sport news NASSER HUSSAIN: Ben Stokes shows he was right not to go home for knee op with ... trends now
Some claimed Ben Stokes shouldn’t have been playing in this match, because England’s elimination from the tournament presented an opportunity to get his knee operated on earlier than scheduled.
But it was a balancing act. Remember, he took someone’s place when he agreed to come out of one-day retirement, and so he naturally wanted to be faithful to the decision to play at the World Cup by seeing this through to the end, not disappear home, leaving his team behind when there was a Champions Trophy slot up for grabs. He isn’t that kind of bloke.
Equally, while this performance showed why he needed to stay, to a degree it highlighted why he needs to get that knee sorted — because the Test team ideally need this once-in-a-generation cricketer as an all-rounder when they return to India in early 2024.
If you think the World Cup has been tricky, those five Tests are going to be more of a challenge. England will need their influential captain to be somewhere near full fitness so he is able to bat to his best at the very least. Fingers crossed he will come back post-surgery able to bowl, but England will desperately need him back any