England’s 2019 World Cup hero Ben Stokes announces retirement from ODI cricket
England all-rounder Ben Stokes surprisingly announced his retirement from ODI cricket on Monday (July 18). One of the best all-rounders in the world at present, Stokes was recently appointed as England’s Test captain after Joe Root stepped down from the post. Stokes said he is now willing to focus entirely on Tests and T20Is, and give his all in the two formats.
Stokes confirmed he will play his last ODI for England when the hosts take on South Africa in the opening game of the upcoming three-match series at the Riverside Ground in Chester-le-Street on Tuesday. His final ODI appearance for England will come at his home ground in Durham.
“I will play my last game for England in ODI cricket on Tuesday in Durham. I have decided to retire from this format. 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,” Stokes said in a statement on Twitter.
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Explaining the reason behind his retirement, Stokes said he believes playing all three formats of the game is unsustainable for him and his body is letting him down. The all-rounder feels he should make way for someone who can give his all to the team in the fifty-over format.
“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.
“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,” Stokes explained.
Stokes, who was one of the heroes of England’s maiden ODI World Cup triumph in 2019, said retiring from ODIs will help him shift his focus entirely on Tests and T20Is. Nonetheless, his absence in ODIs will be a huge loss for England, who will be defending their title in the ODI World Cup next year.
“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,” said Stokes.
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The all-rounder’s decision to quit ODI format comes immediately after England’s 2-1 loss against India in the recently-cocnldued ODI series at home. England are currently undergoing a massive transition in white-ball cricket following the retirement of former captain Eoin Morgan, who led a white-ball revolution for the team and helped them win their maiden World Cup in 2019.
Stokes was one of the best all-rounders in the 2019 ODI World Cup where he notched up 465 runs and picked up 7 wickets in 11 matches for England to play an intrumental role in their title triumph. He has so far played 104 ODIs for England, amassing 2919 runs at an average of 39.44, including 3 centuries and 21 fifties. He has also picked up 74 wickets in the fifty-over format and will play his final ODI game against South Africa on Tuesday.
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