While cricket fans all around the world are still coming to terms with the fact that Ben Stokes will no longer be seen in the 50 overs format of the game, seems like it was a bit of an emotional blow for many of his teammates. And now a video has been shared by the England and Wales Cricket Board in which Stokes' national teammate and former skipper Joe Root can be seen giving an emotional speech.
Notably, Stokes had announced that the first ODI of the three-match series against South Africa will be his last, a day prior to the match on Tuesday, July 19. The Englishman had said in his retirement note that playing all three formats is becoming unsustainable for him at the moment.
Reacting to Stokes' decision, Root addressed an England dressing room gathering and shared a heartfelt message for his friend. "Obviously, a lot of emotions will be running through you. There’s a lot running through me at the minute as a friend. But just to some things, I mean your performances throughout your career. Some of the things you’ve achieved on the field have been extraordinary. Whether it be in the (World) cup final, whether it be a number of things that you’ve done. Fifers, hundreds, incredible pieces of fielding," Root said in the video.
"But I think it’s also important to remember that some of the things that you’ve done have captured a nation. They’ve brought people to the game that have never watched it before. Been a part of the team and been a big part and a leader of a team that’s changed the way a lot of people around the world play white ball cricket in its format. The same with kids now that want to bat, bowl and field because of the way you have gone about it," he added.
While Stokes won't feature in ODIs, he was recently named the captain of the England Test team. After taking over as the full-time Test skipper, Stokes has led the Three Lions to wins in each of the four Test matches that he has captained. In addition, the 31-year-old will continue to play the shortest format of the game for England as well in leagues around the world.