In a surprise announcement on Monday, England all-rounder Ben Stokes announced his retirement from the ODIs. He added that he will be playing his last ODI for England on Tuesday against South Africa in Durham. The 31-year-old England Test captain’s ODI career will forever be remembered for his Player-of-the-Match performance in the 2019 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup final against New Zealand at Lord’s. Explaining his decision to retire, Stokes said that playing all three formats of the game is just unsustainable for him right now.
It is important to note that Stokes was made the Test captain of England earlier this year.
“Three formats are just unsustainable for me now. Not only do I feel that my body is letting me down because of the schedule and what is expected of us, but I also feel that I am taking the place of another player who can give Jos and the rest of the team their all. It’s time for someone else to progress as a cricketer and make incredible memories like I have over the past 11 years,” said Stokes in an official statement.
“I will give everything I have to Test cricket, and now, with this decision, I feel I can also give my total commitment to the T20 format. I would like to wish Jos Buttler, Matthew Mott, the players and the support staff every success going forward. We have made great strides in white-ball cricket over the past seven years, and the future looks bright,” he added.
After making his ODI debut against Ireland in 2011, Stokes has scored 2919 runs, including three centuries, and taken 74 wickets.
He captained the ODI side during last summer’s 3-0 Royal London Series victory against Pakistan and has been an inspirational leader.
Rob Key, Managing Director of England Men’s Cricket, said: “Ben Stokes has had an incredible international career in ODI cricket, culminating in his match-winning performance at the 2019 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup final. I know this must have been a tough decision, but I completely understand why he has reached this conclusion.”
“I’m sure that when we look back on Ben’s career and see this as one of the reasons, he will play 120-plus Tests and help England in T20 matches and World Cups for many years to come. It is a typically selfless decision that will benefit England long-term,” he added.
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