Stokes will play his last ODI against South Africa at his home ground in Durham on July 19
Ben Stokes. File Pic
Star England all-rounder and 2019 Word Cup final hero Ben Stokes made a surprise announcement to retire from ODI cricket, saying playing three formats has become "unsustainable" for him.
The 31-year-old Stokes will play his last ODI against South Africa at his home ground in Durham on Tuesday. Stokes' ODI career will forever be remembered for his Player-of-the-Match performance in the World Cup final against New Zealand at the Lord's three years ago. His unbeaten 84 helped to send the match into a Super Over as England claimed their first 50-over World Cup title in the most thrilling of circumstances. Stokes, who is England's Test captain, has scored 2919 runs in 104 ODIs and taken 74 wickets. "I will play my last game for England in ODI cricket on Tuesday in Durham. I have decided to retire from this format," he said in an England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) statement.
"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," he added.
After making his ODI debut against Ireland in 2011, Stokes has emerged as one of England's top all-rounders, slamming three centuries. Stokes said he was no longer able to give 100 per cent and that playing three formats was "unsustainable" for him now. "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." He wished luck to current white-ball captain Jos Buttler and coach Matthew Mott. "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," Stokes said.
Stokes' decision follows his recent appointment as England's Test captain as Joe Root's successor. Clare Connor, interim ECB CEO, said: "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." Stokes captained the ODI side during last summer's 3-0 series victory against Pakistan.
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