Durham: England all-rounder Ben Stokes announced on Monday that he will retire from ODI cricket after Tuesday’s match against South Africa at his home ground, Riverside Ground, at Chester-le-Street in Durham.
Stokes made his ODI debut against Ireland in 2011 and has scored 2919 runs in 104 ODIs, averaging 39.44, including three centuries and 21 half-centuries, and picked 74 wickets at an average of 41.79. He captained the ODI side during last summer’s 3-0 series victory against Pakistan when first-choice members were unavailable due to Covid-19 outbreak.
“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,” said Stokes in an official statement by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).
Stokes will be remembered for his Player-of-the-Match performance in the 2019 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup final at Lord’s, where he slammed an unbeaten 84 to send the match into a Super Over as England claimed their first ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup title on home soil in the most thrilling of circumstances.
Stokes cited the workload of playing three formats in international cricket and giving a youngster a chance to make a place for himself as reasons behind retiring from ODIs.
“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,” concluded Stokes.
Rob Key, Managing Director of England Men’s Cricket, said Stokes decision to retire from ODIs is a 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. 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, remarked that she understands and respects the call made by Stokes to retire from ODIs after Tuesday. “Ben Stokes is a superstar in every format of our game. 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.”