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- Grant Whittington

England Test captain Ben Stokes has announced his retirement from One Day International cricket.

According to Stokes, playing across all three formats simply isn’t sustainable from a physical point of view. As such, he will henceforth focus on T20 cricket and his position as Test captain.

Stokes said this week that the decision wasn’t an easy one to make, and that he had enjoyed every minute of playing alongside his teammates. Even so, he said wearing a shirt for England deserves nothing less than 100% dedication.

He furthermore explained that not only is he no longer able to perform at his best due to a tight schedule, but that he also feels the need to allow someone else to play in his place – someone who might not have had the opportunity otherwise.

The Good And The Bad

The England captain hasn’t competed in T20 international cricket for 16 months. He missed last autumn’s World Cup due to a mental health break taken at the time.

His decision to retire from ODI cricket means he’ll be available for this year’s competition, which will be played in Australia. But regrettably, this also means England’s side will be weakened during their time of preparation for the ODI title in India next year.

But Stokes appears to have his mind made up. He said without the pressure of ODI cricket, he will be in a position to commit 100% of his time and efforts to T20 cricket. Stokes said this week that enormous strides had been made in white-ball cricket over the past seven years, and that for England, the future looks promising.

Stokes isn’t the only player to have bemoaned England’s heavy schedule across its various formats in recent seasons. This summer alone, senior England teams will be playing on 44 of the available 103 days between June and September. Almost all the remaining time will be consumed by commitments to training and travel, leaving even less time for rest and recovery.

Unforgiving Schedule To Blame

Stokes earlier this year referred to the amount of cricket that players are expected to play as “ridiculous”.

He said at the time that the situation deserves looking at and a re-think from a pure workload point of view. Stokes said while he would have loved to play as much cricket for England as possible, the current schedule simply does not allow for it.

In a statement by the ECB, the board said Stokes’ incredible career will not be forgotten.

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