Ben Stokes has announced a sudden retirement from ODI cricket. This decision comes a day after England’s ODI series drubbing at the hands of India. This decision has shook the cricketing world, and has become a hot topic of discussion. Stokes has had some of the most memorable moments in ODI cricket. His world-cup-winning knock against New Zealand in the finals of 2019 still tops all those moments. It was a fabulous inning that came at the biggest of cricketing stages. England are set to defend their title in India next year. Naturally, their superstar player retiring from the format might worry a lot of the English fans.
However, Stokes’ decision comes off as completely rational given the kind of cricketing schedule that lies ahead for England players. England have 138 bilateral fixtures in the next FTP from 2023-27. Also, during these years, they would have two ODI World Cups, two T20 World Cups and two Champions trophies as well. Playing all three formats would not be easy for any player, no matter how good the fitness and recovery is. 4
Stokes clearly stated in his statement that playing all three formats would be ‘unsustainable’ for him. Also, the red-ball cricket of England needs a lot of attention, given their poor performances in recent years. Experts have expressed their views on Stokes’ decision. Naseer Hussain, former England captain, said that the decision comes off as ‘surprising’ but ‘understandable’.
Naseer Hussain Takes A Dig At ECB’s Tight Schedule
“Something had to give and it is a real shame it’s the one-day format because Stokes gave us that incredible day three years ago at Lord’s that no England fan will ever forget. It is just jam-packed. The International Cricket Council keep adding their own tournaments and each board still seem to want a future tours programme full with as much bi-lateral cricket as possible.
I do think I might have tried to convince him to just have a break, miss some bilateral cricket and save him for World Cups or big tournaments. It could be argued that it would have been better for Ben to give up Twenty20 cricket and he may been torn but 50-over games are long days and take a lot out of you.”