England Test captain Ben Stokes is one of the best all-rounders in contemporary cricket, but the star player, recognizing his heavy workload, had announced his retirement from ODI cricket earlier this year. He played his last ODI against South Africa at his home ground in Durham. When his decision to withdraw from ODI cricket was made public, the debate started on the cricket calendar and how to manage the workload of cricketers so that they play maximum games for their country.
With the rise of various T20 leagues around the world, bilateral cricket faces the real task of keeping itself relevant. Left-handed batter Stokes has said T20 cricket is now becoming a “business” of sorts, but Test cricket will remain the pinnacle and his main job is to promote the game’s longest format. Earlier, former Team India head coach Ravi Shastri had suggested that only 5-6 teams should play the longest format so that it remains competitive.
“To an extent (whether he agrees with Shastri) but also no. Look at the way franchise cricket is going now, there are many multi-team franchises in the world in different countries. Obviously, India, CPL, and South -Africa you see people with multiple franchise teams now,” Stokes said in response to an NDTV question during a select media appeal hosted by Amazon Prime, which will stream his documentary “Ben Stokes: Phoenix From The Ashes” from August 26. .
“You can say that T20 is now becoming a business for certain people, but of course it’s great for the game that things like this happen, you know, it gives a lot more opportunities, there are more opportunities for players than 15 years ago Life outside of cricket, safety and the money involved in the sport now is much more than 15-20 years ago,” he continued.
“So there is also something to look at, professional sport in itself is a very short career, not only do you want to play the best cricket for as long as possible, but you also have to think about the future. If you want to stop playing cricket , could be it, but Test cricket, I don’t see it going away,” he claimed.
“I’m a huge ambassador for the format, it’s the pinnacle of cricket. Its purest form. Yes, I never see Testmatch cricket going anywhere, even if T20 cricket changes the face of the sport, but Testmatch cricket is still the pinnacle of the sport,” said the new England Test skipper.
“And I know that even the other biggest players in the world feel exactly the same way. So I almost feel like, you know, we humans have a responsibility to get that message out that Test cricket isn’t dead. Sure, to our opinion, is not,” he added.
In his upcoming documentary, Stokes also sheds light on his mental health issues. It is important to note that Stokes had taken a break from cricket in 2021 to look after his mental wellbeing and had also missed the T20 World Cup.
“When people say how hard it was? No, it wasn’t, because when I decided, yes that’s something I want to do, in terms of making a documentary, I specifically said I don’t want this documentary just about making I look good It’s a chance for me to know just show people who I am I think athletes rarely can Sportsmen get a sense of what people see of them on the TV, whether they’re playing or in the media, press conferences. It’s very rare that you get to see them in their own space, where they’re comfortable with the environment,” Stokes said while replying to another NDTV interview. ask.
“I felt responsible and I was very clear about how everything should be in the documentary, not just to make me look good. So many things have happened to me in my career, not only in cricket, but also in my career. personal life I felt like if I didn’t share that people would think why he wasn’t talking about it health If I didn’t treat that I thought I wouldn’t do justice I just wanted to make sure that everything was covered as best as possible in the documentary,” he added.
When Stokes announced his decision to withdraw from ODI’s, Indian batter Virat Kohli was one of the first to congratulate him on his career. Kohli had labeled Stokes the “best competitor”.
Speaking of Kohli, the star all-rounder said: “Look, sport is, you know, it’s a great competition, not just between teams, but also between individuals. But in the end there’s always respect between opposites, between individuals. It just sits not in our sport look for example Novak Djokovic and Nick Kyrgios They have had a huge rivalry but in the end you know there is respect between professional athletes That is the same for all sports you will always have a struggle and you will always try your best to win the game, but at the end there’s that respect.”
“To be honest we don’t run into each other outside of cricket. Obviously we play international cricket against each other, IPL cricket, in the time we spent together it’s fine, if you’re on the pitch it’s me against the opposition or me to an individual. You have to separate the two, the competition on the field and also off the field, it’s not like we’re little kids and if we’re a little bit against each other on the field, as soon as we get off being the field, it’s back to two individuals being in the same room together and it’s fine,” he added.