London: England’s Ben Stokes has announced he will retire from one-day international cricket after Tuesday’s series opener against South Africa on his Durham home ground, citing an “unsustainable” schedule
The powerful all-rounder, who captains the England Test team, famously inspired his side to victory in the 2019 World Cup final against New Zealand at Lord’s.
But in the three years since that triumphant moment, the 31-year-old has played just nine more times in the 50-over format due to injuries, a mental health break and workload management.
He will turn out once more for a farewell appearance at Chester-le-Street against South Africa on Tuesday before focusing on his Test captaincy and Twenty20 career.
Stokes, who has scored 2,919 runs and taken 74 wickets in the ODI format, said in a social media post on Monday that it had been an “incredibly tough decision to make”.
“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 percent of myself in this format anymore,” he said.
“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 (captain) Jos (Buttler) and the rest of the team their all.”
Rob Key, managing director of men’s cricket at the England and Wales Cricket Board, paid tribute to Stokes, saying: “Ben 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”.
Stokes’s decision comes after England’s 2-1 series defeat against India, in which he scored 48 runs in three innings, but only bowled three overs.
He has been rested from the three T20 games against South Africa that will follow the ODI series.