In a surprising turn of events, England’s star all-rounder Ben Stokes on Monday announced that he will be retiring from the 50-Over format of cricket and will be playing his last ODI game on Tuesday against South Africa in Durham.
Stokes took to Twitter to make the announcement along with an image of him holding the shiny World Cup trophy. The all-rounder will forever be remembered for his Player-of-the-Match performance in the 2019 World Cup final against New Zealand at Lord’s.
His unbeaten 84 helped England propelled to Super Over as the Three Lions claimed their first 50-over World Cup title in the most enthralling fashion. Stokes, who has been recently appointed the captain of England’s Test team, has accumulated 2919 runs in 104 ODIs he played so far and has 74 wickets to his name.
“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,” said Stokes in the official statement.
“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,” he added.
Further in his statement, Stokes said: “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,” he added.
Since his appointment as full-time skipper of the Test side, the 31-year-old has led England to a 3-0 clean sweep against World Test Champions New Zealand and followed it up with a draw against India in Edgbaston in the rescheduled fifth Test to level the series 2-2.