England‘s Test captain Ben Stokes shocked the cricketing world on Monday, announcing his retirement from the ODI format. Stokes revealed that the series opener against South Africa on Tuesday at Durham’s Riverside Ground will be his last game for the national team in the 50-over format.
Stokes was England’s World Cup hero in 2019 at home. His unbeaten 84 helped to send the match into a Super Over as England claimed their first ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup title in the most thrilling of circumstances.
Following his announcement, the cricket fraternity lavished praise on Stokes’ career in the 50-over format. Among those to react was star Indian batter Virat Kohli. The former India skipper called Stokes the most competitive cricketer he has ever played against in his career.
“You are the most competitive bloke I have ever played against. Respect,” wrote Kohli in the comments section of Stokes’ Instagram post.
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.
“Three formats are just unsustainable for me” – Ben Stokes
Stokes further added that it is difficult to sustain all three formats, which is why he decided to retire from the 50-over format. However, the Durham all-rounder asserted that he remains fully committed to Test and T20I formats.
“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 said in a 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,” he added.