Ben Stokes retirement from the ODI format has run a wave of shock among the entire cricket fraternity & fans & got them thinking about the woes of players who are churned around in all three formats ignoring the capacity of their bodies. Speaking about his retirement in his 105th & final ODI against South Africa on Tuesday Ben Stokes urged the authorities to stop treating players like “cars” & hopes that his ODI retirement will be a wake-up call for them.
Stokes was firmer & clear on his stance that such unrealistic cricket schedules will continue to have a toll on a player’s performances. He emphasized the need for a change in jam-packed schedules as it will directly hamper players’ individual performances on-field.
“We are not cars,” he stated to Test Match Special. “You can’t just fill us up and we’ll go out there and be ready to be fuelled up again. We had a Test series and then the one-day team had a series going on at the same time – that was a bit silly.
“I just feel like there is too much cricket rammed in for people to play all three formats now. It is a lot harder than it used to be. I look back to when I used to do all three and it didn’t feel like it was as jam-packed and all that. Obviously, you want to play as much cricket as you possibly can but when it is making you feel tired, sore and you’ve got to look towards five or six months down the road for what you’re doing in the here and now it is probably not the best thing.”
Ben Stokes further revealed that he called time on his ODI cricket in order to lighten his workload as it has now become unsustainable for him to play continuously across all three formats & give his best in all of them. Having been elected as Test Captain last month, Ben Stokes will continue to give his 100% to the longest format of Cricket & T20I format.
Ben Stokes revealed that his decision to retire from ODI cricket came after the first ODI against India on July 12 when he was unable to bowl his entire quota of 10 overs. He admitted that the difficulty in playing an all-round role in the recently concluded ODI series hit him hard & made him consider putting a full stop on his ODI career.
“After that one-day game, it hit me in the face. In a quick chat with Jos after the game, I said that if the game was in a different position I’d have bowled more for him. We had five minutes together, he said you don’t owe the team anything and that I had a lot of cricket coming up. That was nice to hear.
“I went away and had five minutes to myself, I told him I almost felt a bit useless that I can’t do that. It’s not a nice feeling, knowing I have to look after myself, the captain is trying to look after me, the medical team, and the coach as well. It’s international cricket you can’t be doing that.”
Ben Stokes had missed the T20I series against India to rest after Test matches against New Zealand and India, and will not play in the T20s against South Africa that follow the ODI series, or The Hundred ahead of the three Tests with the Proteas.
Stokes will be remembered for his Player of the Match performance in the 2019 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup final against New Zealand at Lord’s. After making his ODI debut against Ireland in 2011, Stokes scored 2924 runs, including three centuries, and taken 74 wickets in 105 ODI matches he had played. Stokes who led England during last summer’s 3-0 Royal London Series victory against Pakistan, continues to be a role model for budding cricketers across the globe.
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