Ben Stokes says England may be the top-ranked ODI team in the world but there is no margin for error if they want to achieve their ultimate goal of winning the Cricket World Cup.

Host nation England are the ICC's number one team as they approach the upcoming tournament, looking to claim the trophy for the very first time.

But Stokes warned that unlike in longer series' where defeats can be rectified, England cannot afford any slip ups.

"All the nations come together over a certain period and whichever team performs best over that time gets to lift the trophy," he told Omnisport, speaking courtesy of Red Bull. "You want to be that team.

"It's not a series, where you can win 3-2. You have to make sure that you're the best team on every day and I think it shows which teams are the best.

"You look at Australia, when they won three in a row [in 1999, 2003 and 2007], they were an unbelievable team. They always won the World Cups because they were the best team.

"I think that's the best thing about it - it puts a big split between the top teams and the lower teams."

After the World Cup, England's Test team will host Australia in the Ashes before head coach Trevor Bayliss departs when his contract expires in September.

And Stokes paid tribute to Bayliss for his work in improving the approach of England's ODI cricket.

"I think he's been brilliant for the one-day team," Stokes said. "He's come in and changed our ethos and thinking towards it.

"He's given us a lot of confidence and he just lets us drive the team forward really with how we want to play.

"Eoin Morgan has also done a great job with that, as our leader and captain, but [Bayliss] has been very, very influential over the last four years."

England begin their World Cup campaign against South Africa at The Oval on May 30.

Ben Stokes and Tom Curran rode to England's rescue as they overcame a major wobble with the bat to beat Pakistan by three wickets at Trent Bridge and open up an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match ODI series.

The much-changed hosts - led by Jos Buttler with Eoin Morgan suspended - were initially cruising in pursuit of 341, reaching 201-1 inside 28 overs on the back of Jason Roy's 89-ball 114.

Roy's dismissal at the hands of Mohammad Hasnain triggered an alarming and unexpected collapse that saw England lose four wickets for 15 runs in 17 deliveries.

The required run-rate rose above nine per over thereafter but Stokes (71 not out) shared a crucial seventh-wicket partnership of 61 with Curran, who followed up figures of 4-75 with 31 runs, before sealing victory in the company of Adil Rashid with three balls unused as Pakistan were left to rue a series of sloppy errors in the field.

For the third match in succession, a Pakistan century proved in vain, Babar Azam striking 115 from 112 balls in a losing cause.

Pakistan's total of 340-7 represented their lowest score of the series so far and looked short of par at a venue synonymous with high-scoring feats in recent years, most notably when England registered a world-record tally of 481-6 against Australia last June.

The tourists were dealt a blow early in their innings when Imam-ul-Haq was struck on his left elbow by a Mark Wood short ball and forced to retire hurt. Happily, X-rays showed the opener had avoided a fracture and he returned at the end of his side's innings to finish six not out.

Babar, brought to the crease in the fourth over due to Imam's injury, produced some typically thrilling strokes as he shared in century stands with Fakhar Zaman (57) and the recalled Mohammad Hafeez, who made a somewhat streaky 59.

However, none of that trio were able to accelerate effectively and Shoaib Malik's 26-ball 41 appeared too little, too late as England kept their opponents in check.

Roy rode his luck in reply and would have been run out for seven had Babar managed a direct hit. The opener also offered chances on 25 and 33 and made Pakistan pay for their missed opportunities, kicking on superbly after James Vince had been bowled by Hasnain for 43.

A stunning six over cover off Hafeez brought up Roy's hundred, before he, Joe Root (36), Buttler (0) and Moeen Ali (0) all departed in quick succession to breathe fresh life into the contest.

Junaid Khan then pulled off a superb catch off his own bowling to account for Joe Denly (17), but Pakistan's fielding was hugely unimpressive on the whole and they seemingly failed to appeal when Curran may have been run out for seven.

With Pakistan looking increasingly ragged, England gradually regained control and Stokes fittingly hit the winning run to round off an encouraging individual display ahead of the Cricket World Cup on home soil.

Ben Stokes hopes his response to being arrested and the subsequent court case could prove to be a major positive influence on his mentality during the rest of his career.

The star all-rounder was arrested in September 2017 during a night out after England's one-day international against West Indies.

He missed the 2017-18 Ashes series against Australia as a consequence, but was later acquitted after facing charges of affray. 

"No matter what happens in life with me now, the Bristol thing will always be there," he told ESPNcricinfo.

"It's something I'll always carry with me. It'll always be there. Always.

"I want to do things on the field to be remembered for. If we win the World Cup, that becomes the first paragraph [of a career profile], doesn't it? I don't want to be remembered as the guy who had a fight in the street."

Despite his international and professional future being at risk before and during the trial, Stokes claims he had always considered himself fortunate to play cricket for a living.

"The easy thing to say is yes, it made me appreciate it more," he said.

"But I don't know - I always did appreciate it.

"But thinking all this is going to be taken away from me might be the thing that has changed the way I do things. I was that close to my career ending and being thrown away just like that. Maybe that is it.

"It sounds silly but, could Bristol have been the best thing that could have happened to me? Who knows. But maybe in terms of my way of thinking."

Ben Stokes has weighed in on cricket's 'Mankad' debate, saying he could not be tempted to use the tactic - even in a hypothetical Cricket World Cup final meeting with Virat Kohli.

Ravichandran Ashwin prompted fury on Monday when he stopped his bowling action in an Indian Premier League match to stump the wandering Jos Buttler, giving the Rajasthan Royals batsman no warning.

Kings XI Punjab had previously had no answer to Buttler, who was 69 not out off 43 balls and was incensed by Ashwin's actions.

The India spinner came in for intense criticism, but he insisted he had done nothing wrong and dismissed references to "the spirit of the game".

Australia great Shane Warne kept the conversation going on social media and asked his Twitter followers what the reaction might have been if England all-rounder Stokes had similarly caught out India captain Kohli in the upcoming World Cup.

"If Ben Stokes did what Ashwin did to Virat Kohli, it would be OK?" Warne said to those defending Ashwin.

"I'm just very disappointed in Ashwin as I thought he had integrity and class. Kings lost a lot of supporters tonight - especially young boys and girls! I do hope the BCCI does something."

Having received numerous messages on the subject, Buttler's Royals and England team-mate Stokes took to his own Twitter account to respond.

"Hopefully I'm playing in the World Cup final and, if Virat Kohli is batting when I'm bowling, I would never ever ever ever ever ever ['Mankad' him]," he wrote.

"[I'm] just clarifying to the mentions I've received."

The Royals will look to bounce back from their opening defeat when they face Sunrisers Hyderabad on Friday, while the World Cup gets under way on May 30.

England suffered a late batting collapse as Sheldon Cottrell's maiden five-wicket haul in one-day cricket helped West Indies level the five-match series at 1-1 in Barbados.

Having overhauled a target of 361 with relative ease at the same venue 48 hours earlier, England appeared to be cruising again when they sat at 228-4 in reply to the home side's 289-6, a total built around Shimron Hetmyer's excellent unbeaten hundred.

However, Ben Stokes' departure for 79 sparked a dramatic turnaround in proceedings, with West Indies claiming the final six wickets for 35 runs to bowl their opponents out for 263.

Recalled to the team, Cottrell (5-46) made the most of his opportunity, each of his breakthroughs quickly followed by an army-style salute that has become his trademark celebration.

The left-arm paceman struck twice at both the start and end of England's unsuccessful run chase, while he also had Eoin Morgan caught in the deep for 70 to end a fourth-wicket stand worth 99.

Stokes continued on despite his captain's departure but, crucially, none of England's well-set batsmen managed to see the job through, allowing West Indies to rally in front of a raucous crowd at the Kensington Oval.

The home spectators had been on their feet earlier to celebrate a fourth ODI century for Hetmyer, the left-hander reaching the milestone with a four down the ground from the penultimate delivery of the 50th over as he finished on 104 not out.

Chris Gayle had threatened another big score until he was bowled by Adil Rashid when aiming to smack a fifth six in his innings, the left-hander - who made 135 in a losing cause last time out - departing for an even 50.

John Campbell (23), Shai Hope (33) and Darren Bravo (25) all made contributions, but a more disciplined display from England's bowling attack left them an easier task than Wednesday's six-wicket win.

They looked on course to go 2-0 up despite losing openers Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy in a hurry, both falling to Cottrell's disciplined bowling during the powerplay.

Joe Root eased to 36 before edging a short ball from Oshane Thomas to wicketkeeper Hope and while Morgan and Stokes combined impressively, England were unable to get over the line in the closing overs.

Having dismissed Stokes, West Indies skipper Jason Holder got rid of Jos Buttler - deceived by a slower delivery to be caught at cover for 34 - and Tom Curran with successive deliveries, reigniting his team's hopes before Cottrell claimed the spotlight once again.

Dawid Malan and Sam Billings will replace the rested Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler for England's Twenty20 series against West Indies, while Jason Roy will also miss the three matches as he returns home for the birth of his first child.

Roy made a spectacular 123 on Wednesday as England chased down a target of 361 with remarkable ease in the first of five one-day internationals against the Windies.

However, the opener will fly back to the UK after the final ODI, while Stokes and Buttler will be given a brief break ahead of a hectic period featuring the Cricket World Cup and a home Ashes series.

Malan and Billings are the beneficiaries of that decision, both men returning to England's squad for the first time since the tour of Australia and New Zealand in early 2018.

In quotes reported by the Guardian, national selector Ed Smith rubbished suggestions the move to rest Stokes and Buttler was linked to their upcoming participation in the Indian Premier League.

"That's not the case. I have not favoured franchise cricket over internationals," he said. "The strong recommendation of the head coach [Trevor Bayliss] was that he would like to rest these two players and I said, 'that’s fine by me'.

"There's an incredible period of cricket coming up … I would view it as an unusual set of circumstances and as us responding to them in the best possible interests of English cricket."

St Lucia will host the opening T20 between West Indies and England on March 4, before two subsequent contests in Saint Kitts and Nevis.

 

England T20 squad: Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Billings, Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, David Willey, Mark Wood.

Mark Wood shone on his international return with a first five-wicket Test haul as England removed West Indies for 154 before building up a 142-run lead at stumps.

With England having already lost the three-match series, Wood was recalled for his first Test appearance since May 2018 and made up for lost time with a devastating spell that included a pair of wickets in his first over.

Joe Root's team had earlier slumped to 277 all out - having started the day 231-4 - but Wood and Moeen Ali (4-36) tore through the Windies and earned England a 123-run first-innings lead.

Rory Burns and Keaton Jennings then saw England to the close with their 10 wickets intact as the tourists enjoyed a rare position of dominance on the second day.

Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes had both made half-centuries on Saturday but the former failed to add to his overnight 67 when bowled by Shannon Gabriel.

Stokes moved on to 79 - his best Test score since he was involved in an incident outside a Bristol nightclub in 2017 that resulted in a suspension - but when his mistimed hook off Kemar Roach was brilliantly taken by a diving Shane Dowrich, England unravelled.

They would add just 21 runs for the loss of their final five wickets, Roach accounting for Jonny Bairstow, Wood and James Anderson to finish with 4-48, while Moeen gave Alzarri Joseph his second wicket.

West Indies openers Kraigg Brathwaite and John Campbell had made 50 partnerships in three of their previous four innings in the series - with the other alliance unbroken at 17 in reaching a victory target - and once again they made a solid start.

Anderson eventually played a part in the first wicket, though as the fielder, flying around from cow corner after Brathwaite (12) had launched Moeen into the air.

Campbell (41) was pinned in front next ball and West Indies soon went from 57 without loss to 59-4, with Wood having an immediate impact.

His opening deliveries, some of which reached 90 miles per hour, troubled Shai Hope and so it was no surprise to see him slice to Burns at gully, the same fielder then hanging to another chance to send Roston Chase back for a golden duck.

Wood's extra pace was proving too much and he found Shimron Hetmyer's outside edge before tea, Root holding on at the second attempt at first slip.

Durham seamer Wood then had four wickets for the first time in a Test with his seventh ball of the third session, Darren Bravo picking out Root again in the cordon.

Keemo Paul (9) and Dowrich (38) managed to take the hosts into three figures, though the former would perish when stumped off Moeen.

Dowrich eventually fell lbw to Stuart Broad, who then took a brilliant one-handed catch from over his head after Joseph launched Moeen into the sky.

That left both Moeen and Wood on four wickets each, and it was the latter who would finish with five as he rattled Gabriel's stumps.

Burns (10) and Jennings (8) then negotiated  the final 10 overs of the day without much drama - though the former almost edged to first slip in the final over - to raise hopes of a consolation victory for England.

Ben Stokes was glad he had not been hasty to undress in the England changing room after he was called back to the middle on day one of the third Test against West Indies. 

Ben Stokes made the most of a remarkable second chance as his unbeaten 62 inspired England's fightback on day one of the third and final Test against West Indies in St Lucia on Saturday.

The all-rounder had reached 52 when he clubbed a return catch to Alzarri Joseph and was all the way back in the dressing room when replays revealed the bowler had over-stepped.

Stokes returned to the fray - switching places with Jonny Bairstow, who had been on his way out to the middle - and along with Jos Buttler (67 not out), guided the tourists to 231-4 at stumps at the Darren Sammy National Stadium.

That represented an impressive recovery from England, who, at 2-0 down in the series and having been put into bat, were toiling badly once again at 107-4 when captain Joe Root was dismissed in soft fashion for 15 shortly before tea.

But Stokes and Buttler came together for an unbroken fifth-wicket stand of 124 as two of England's traditionally aggressive batsmen, perhaps in light of recent criticism of the side's approach, reined in their natural game to guide their team to a strong position.

England recalled Keaton Jennings after he was dropped for the 10-wicket defeat in Antigua, but it was an unhappy return for the opener, who ought to have been out twice before he was removed for a painstaking eight from 43 balls.

West Indies opted not to review when he was trapped in front by Kemar Roach, whose anguish was increased two balls later when Roston Chase dropped a chance at slip.

But the introduction of Keemo Paul - replacing suspended captain Jason Holder - paid immediate dividends as Jennings drove loosely at his first delivery and nicked off.

Paul struck again soon after lunch, Rory Burns falling plumb lbw for 29 to a ball that was crashing into the middle of middle - the Windies needing a review to overturn umpire Kumar Dharmasena's not-out call. 

Joe Denly (20) fell in the next over, pinned by Shannon Gabriel, and England were in strife when Root wafted at a wide ball from Joseph and nicked behind.

Stokes survived an lbw shout on umpire's call early in his innings before he and Buttler set about mounting a recovery, bringing up their respective fifties from 84 and 94 deliveries.

Between those milestones, it looked as though their union had been ended by Joseph's superb catch in his follow-through, only for Stokes to be called back to the middle - a welcome rub of the green for an England side that has been a distant second-best in this series.

England have dropped Ben Foakes for the third Test against West Indies, while Ben Stokes' fitness will be assessed, as Keaton Jennings is set to earn a recall.

James Anderson was influential as England stuck doggedly to their task to gain the upper hand in the first Test against West Indies at Kensington Oval on Wednesday. 

The tourists often found the going tough in Barbados but ultimately managed to limit the Windies to 264-8, with Anderson (4-33) the star. 

Test debutant John Campbell (44) and Shai Hope (57) were among several home batsmen to make promising starts without going on to build big scores. 

Anderson impressed the most for England – who left Stuart Broad out of their XI – with the 36-year-old having now taken 200 Test wickets outside of England and Wales. 

The hosts will resume with Shimron Hetmyer (56 not out), dropped by Jos Buttler when on three, and Alzarri Joseph (0 not out) in the middle.

West Indies won the toss and made a solid start, with Kraigg Brathwaite's initial patience – his batting bordering on the ponderous at times – proving a source of frustration for England. 

It was in the 19th over that Moeen Ali made the breakthrough, accounting for Campbell lbw after an eye-catching outing from the opener. 

There was more toil and sweat for the tourists after lunch as Brathwaite and Hope's partnership passed the 50 mark. 

But persistence paid off when Ben Stokes (3-47) sent the stubborn Brathwaite back to the pavilion, forcing an edge that was claimed by captain Joe Root at first slip.  

Darren Bravo, making his first appearance in the longest format since 2016, was the next man in but he added just two runs before being trapped lbw by Stokes. 

Rain led to an early tea with the hosts on 132-3 and upon resumption Hope soon reached his half-century, the milestone reached in 126 deliveries. 

However, his knock ended when Anderson managed to coax a loose shot that Hope inside edged through to wicketkeeper Ben Foakes.  

Hetmyer had a let-off when Buttler dropped a diving catch off Anderson's bowling and he made the most of that reprieve, his innings offering the Windies some consolation. 

England's leading wicket-taker did not have to dwell for too long on that miss, though, with Root taking another catch at first slip to dismiss Roston Chase for 54. 

There was still time for Anderson to account for Shane Dowrich, who failed to score, and captain Jason Holder (5), while Hetmyer reached his 50 before the scoreless Kemar Roach fell to Stokes to bring play to a close.

England opening batsman Keaton Jennings thanked team-mate Ben Stokes for a "humbling" donation as he looks to raise money for cancer research.

Jennings had his head shaved for Macmillan Cancer Support on Friday and easily surpassed his initial target of £3000.

A number of Jennings' county and international colleagues pledged their support by making donations, with Stokes' contribution receiving particular praise from the 26-year-old.

England internationals Dom Bess, Olly Stone, Mark Wood and Sam Curran were among those to donate to the cause, with Jennings revealing all-rounder Stokes had made a hefty addition to the total.

"A special mention to Ben Stokes for donating 50 per cent of the total raised up to today," Jennings posted on Twitter.

"Your support for me and the campaign is absolutely humbling!! Thank you so much my brother."

Jennings also received support from two-time Winter Olympic skeleton gold medalist Lizzy Yarnold.

 

Ben Stokes' punishment for his involvement in an incident outside a Bristol nightclub in September 2017 was not "brushed under the carpet", insists England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chief executive Tom Harrison.

All-rounder Stokes was this month handed an accumulative eight-match ban by the Cricket Discipline Commission (CDC), a body independent from the ECB, which also related to an inappropriate video.

However, it was ruled that Stokes had already served all of those matches and was free to continue playing.

Stokes was found not guilty of affray at trial in August and spoke at the time the sanction was announced of how he is looking forward to playing "without this hanging over me".

And Harrison is adamant the punishment was a "serious" one.

Speaking to BBC Sport, he said: "We have an independent body making these judgements, they are qualified people and this has been a proper process.

"The sanctions handed down are serious, this is not something that's been brushed under the carpet.

"Ben is a key part of the Test and ODI team but I don't think that's got anything to do with the sanctions which have been handed down - the processes have been separate and deliberately so."

Stokes missed five months of England matches, including the 2018-19 Ashes series in Australia, while the investigation was ongoing and was also handed a £30,000 fine by the CDC.

But Harrison says the Durham star can still be a role model.

"Ben is a leader in the England team," he added.

"I do think he can [be a role model] - he's been through a year that will serve as a constant reminder of how quickly things can go wrong if you allow them.

"He's got great people around him, he's got good support structures and I'm sure he's learnt a lesson."

 

Ben Stokes says he has learned his lesson after being handed a backdated ban following his involvement in an incident outside a Bristol nightclub in September 2017.

Stokes was given an accumulative eight-match ban by the Cricket Discipline Commission [CDC] that also covered a second charge in relation to an inappropriate video but it was deemed that he has already served all of those, leaving him free to continue playing.

The England all-rounder, who was found not guilty of affray at trial in August, said in a statement that he is now looking forward to playing cricket "without this hanging over me".

"Everyone will now be aware that the CDC disciplinary proceedings have now concluded and I accept the decision of the panel," he said.

"I had entered guilty pleas to bringing the game into disrepute much earlier in the process and I want to thank the panel for their time and consideration now that the hearing has ended.

"The criminal charges and, subsequently, the disciplinary charges have made it difficult to make public comment about the issues.

"I have already apologised to my team-mates, coaches and support staff for the consequences of my actions in Bristol.

"I regret the incident ever happened and I apologise to England supporters and to the public for bringing the game into disrepute. I want to say thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout this process.

"Cricket and family are my life. This incident has been a huge burden for the last 15 months.

"I am relieved to get back to playing the game that I love without this hanging over me.

"Although the disciplinary process is now over, I have learned lessons that will stay with me for much longer."

Hales was also present at the incident, which occurred several hours after England's ODI against West Indies in Bristol, and has been given a six-match white-ball ban, which incorporates a second offence of inappropriate images.

The remaining four matches of Hales' sanction are suspended for 12 months.

"I am relieved today's decision by the CDC means this chapter is now closed and I can move on with my career," said Hales.

"There is no doubt I fell below the high standards expected of an international sportsman and that was the reason for my decision to admit the charges and accept the punishment handed down.

"More than anything, I sincerely apologise for putting myself in a position which allowed these very regrettable incidents to happen.

"The next year is obviously an important one for England. I would love to be part of a squad that wins the World Cup in front of our own fans and I will be doing everything in my power to make that dream come true."

Stokes has also been fined £30,000, with Hales given a £17,500 penalty, £10,000 of which is suspended.

England cricketers Ben Stokes and Alex Hales have been handed backdated bans following their involvement in an incident outside a Bristol nightclub in September 2017.

Stokes was given an accumulative eight-match ban that also covered a second charge in relation to an inappropriate video but it was deemed that he has already served all of those.

The remaining four matches of Hales' six-match white-ball ban, which incorporated a second offence of inappropriate images, are suspended for 12 months.

All-rounder Stokes has also been fined £30,000, with Hales given a £17,500 penalty, £10,000 of which is suspended.

Stokes was charged with affray following the incident in Bristol, where Hales was also present, several hours after England's ODI against West Indies in the city.

The 27-year-old missed the third Test with India to face trial in August, but was found not guilty by a unanimous 12-person jury verdict. He returned to help England complete a 4-1 series win.

He also played all three Tests as England won 3-0 in Sri Lanka last month.

The two players admitted the charges brought against them by the Cricket Discipline Commission. 

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