Ben Stokes to retire from ODIs after Chester-le-Street game
The Chester-le-Street game against South Africa will be Ben Stokes’s final ODI in an England shirt, the all-rounder has announced. He has played 104 ODIs so far, the most famous one being the 2019 World Cup final at Lord’s.
The 31-year-old, who recently took over as England’s Test captain, revealed that playing all three formats of the game was “unsustainable” for him given his body and the hectic schedule, and that he will now instead be focusing his energy on Tests and T20s.
“I will play my last game for England in ODI cricket on Tuesday in Durham,” Stokes said on Monday (July 19) in an ECB release. “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.
“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.
“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.
“I have loved all 104 games I have played so far, I’ve got one more, and it feels amazing to be playing my last game at my home ground in Durham.
“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.”
England are in the middle of a major churn in both red and white-ball cricket. Rob Key’s appointment as the Managing Director of England Men’s Cricket was closely followed by Joe Root’s resignation as Test captain and Stokes’s appointment to the same. In the white-ball formats, Eoin Morgan also recently retired leading to Jos Buttler’s promotion to the role.
Key, who appointed Stokes as Test captain, called the cricketer’s decision to retire from ODIs a “typically selfless” one.
“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,” Key said. “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.”
Clare Connor, interim ECB CEO, called Stokes an “inspirational figure” and said that the board completely understands the reasoning that went behind his decision to retire from the 50-over format.
“Ben Stokes is a superstar in every format of our game,” Connor said. “His remarkable contribution to the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Final at Lord’s in 2019 enabled England Men to win that prestigious trophy for the first time.
“Ben is not only one of the world’s best players, but an inspirational figure too so our ODI team will miss him. But having taken on the Test captaincy and with today’s busy calendar of cricket, we completely understand and respect his decision.
“We look forward to watching him excite and enthral in an England shirt for many years to come.”