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‘Three formats are just unsustainable for me now’ – Ben Stokes retires from ODI cricket

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Ben Stokes, 31, has announced his retirement from ODI cricket.

Stokes, who was player of the match in England’s epic Cricket World Cup final win over New Zealand in 2019 and is their current Test captain, announced that Tuesday’s ODI at Durham – his home ground – will be his last in the format.

With one ODI of his career left to go, Stokes boasts a batting average of just under 40 along with a strike rate of 95.26. Stokes has also taken 74 ODI wickets.

In his retirement statement, Stokes said that playing all three formats was now “unsustainable” for him and his ODI retirement will allow him to give everything to both Test and T20 cricket.

Stokes said: “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. 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.”

Rob Key, managing director of England men’s cricket, said of the announcement: “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.”

In the three years since the 2019 Cricket World Cup final, Stokes has played just nine ODIs.

Rob Key, the ECB’s managing director of England men’s cricket, praised Stokes’ decision.

“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,” he 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.”

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