England’s most celebrated all-rounder and 2019 World Cup final hero Ben Stokes has announced his retirement from the One Day International format. He will retire from the ODI format immediately after the 1st ODI against South Africa on Tuesday at Chester-le-Street.
“I will play my last game for England in ODI cricket on Tuesday in Durham. I have decided to retire from this format,” he said.
Ben Stokes was appointed as England’s Test Captain in April this year after the retirement of Joe Root. Noe Stokes says that playing all three formats is just unsustainable for him. Also, he feels that he is blocking opportunities for other players.
“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 Jose and the rest of the team their all.”
Stokes has played 104 ODI matches and scored 2919 runs and 74 wickets in total. Tuesday’s ODI is his 105th game in this format for England at his home ground. He has made his debut in the ODI format against Ireland in August 2011. With a batting average of 39.4 and a strike rate of 95.3, Stokes is heading to his final appearance.
With the Player-of-the-match performance in the 2019 World Cup final at Lord’s, the 31-year-old’s ODI career will forever be remembered. It was only because of his unbeaten 84 not-out that the match goes into a super over and then the added 8 runs of 3 balls helped England to lift the trophy against New Zealand. Ben Stokes’ only heroics allowed England to win their first World Cup championship.
Stokes ranks seventh in ODI wickets for England since his debut and he was the ICC’s player of the year in 2019. He was Wisden’s leading cricketer in the world in 2020 and 2021.
Stokes has been troubled to play all three formats since the pandemic. After his injury in the 2021 IPL, he has taken an indefinite break from cricket for almost 16 months, especially from the T20s. He couldn’t even participate in the 2021 World Cup in UAE. His decision now probably means that he is clearing his path for the coming T20I World Cup in Australia.
He has played all six of England’s ODIs this summer and now decided to focus on the Tests and T20s. “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.”
Sharing the news of his retirement on Twitter, Stokes said “This has been an incredibly tough decision to make. I have loved every minute of playing with my mates for England. We have had an incredible journey on the way. As hard as a decision as this was to come to, it’s not as hard dealing with the fact I can’t give my teammates 100% of myself in this format anymore. The England shirt deserves nothing less from anyone who wears it.”
He is very much happy to play his last game at his home ground and he wished all success to Jos Buttler, Mathew Mott, and other players and support staff to go forward. He also thanked his fans before his last game, “As always, the England fans have always been there for me and will continue to be there. You’re the best fans in the world. I hope we can win on Tuesday and set the series up nicely against South Africa.”
Stokes’ retirement will be a threat to England’s 50-over World Cup next year since Eoin Morgan also retired from all formats. Now the future of England’s ODI cricket looks uncertain as Stokes played an instrumental role in the 50-over format.
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