England all-rounder Ben Stokes dropped a bombshell on Monday as the 31-year-old announced that he will be retiring from ODI cricket after he plays the first ODI against South Africa on Tuesday (19 July). This announcement from Stokes came as a shocker for many as the 31-year-old was recently appointed as England’s new Test captain and his career was on the rise.
Stokes had cited workload management as the reason behind his decision to hang his boots in the 50-over format. The all-rounder said that three formats don’t feel sustainable for him and his body is letting him down. Now, the all-rounder has hit at authorities for forming a “rammed” cricketing schedule and has hoped that his decision will work as a wake-up call for those.
The 31-year-old slammed the authorities by saying that players are not cars and that it’s too much cricket for players playing all three formats. “There is too much cricket rammed in for people to play all three formats now,” said Stokes, who became England’s Test captain in April. “We are not cars, you can’t just fill us up and we’ll go out there and be ready to be fuelled up again.”
It’s worth mentioning that many top cricketing nations including England have been playing non-stop cricket. The three lions played four Tests, against New Zealand and India, between 2 June and 5 July. Amid this, England also played three ODIs in the Netherlands. Then, after the Test ended against India, they played a three-match T20I series followed by three ODIs.
Just two days after the ODI series against India, England welcomed South Africa for an all-format series including three ODIs, three T20s, and three Tests. In the next 12 months, England are scheduled to play more than 100 days of men’s international cricket across all formats.