Ben Stokes dropped a big bombshell on Monday when he said he would retire from ODIs and play his final 50-over format against South Africa in Durham on Tuesday. The England Test captain said playing all three formats of the game is simply untenable for him at the moment and so he has decided to devote time to his ODI career. Former England captain Nasser Hussain weighed in on the decision, saying the current cricket schedule is simply “crazy for players”.
“It’s disappointing news to say the least, but it’s a reflection of where the cricket schedule is at the moment. It’s madness for players. cricket possible, eventually these cricketers will just say I’m done. Stokes is done with one format aged 31, which is actually not right. The schedule needs to be looked at, it’s a bit of a joke at the moment,” Hussain told Sky Sports.
“It seems that 50-over cricket is the one everyone is looking at because everyone likes test match cricket and everyone likes T20 cricket. The IPL will have a wider window so that will go on for even longer and players will withdraw from South -Africa has also withdrawn from a bilateral streak that is in the pipeline in white ball cricket, which could cost them qualification for the World Cup, and that is a big problem,” he added.
Speaking further about Stokes’ decision, Hussain said: “It came as a surprise, to be honest. You thought he would be looked after, in terms of rest from various white ball tournaments and formats – he had already announced that he I’m going to miss white-ball series, and The Hundred. It’s a huge surprise to hit 50-over cricket completely on the head.”
“I think it’s the schedule. The cricket schedule is absolutely crazy right now. If you’re just playing in one format – let’s say Test matches – it’s absolutely fine. But if you’re a multi-format, multi-dimensional player , and even a Test match captain like Stokes, who is 100 per cent committed to his job both on and off the pitch, will eventually have to pay off. For Ben it’s 50-over cricket, which is a real shame as he gave us and England fans their biggest day for a very long time in 2019, a day we will never forget with that World Cup final victory,” he added.
It is important to note that Stokes became England’s Test captain earlier this year.
“Three formats are just untenable for me right now. Not only do I feel like my body is letting me down because of the schedule and what’s expected of us, but I also feel like I’m taking the place of another player that Jos can give.” 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’ve had for the past 11 years,” Stokes had said in an official statement.
After his ODI debut against Ireland in 2011, Stokes has scored 2,919 runs, including three centuries, and taken 74 wickets.
The 31-year-old England Test captain’s ODI career will be forever remembered for his Player-of-the-Match performance in the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup final against New Zealand at Lord’s.