Cricket world reacts to sad Ben Stokes announcement: 'Madness'

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·Sports Reporter
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England allrounder Ben Stokes (pictured right) embraces Joe Root (pictured left) after the World Cup final.
England allrounder Ben Stokes (pictured right) will retire from ODI cricket at the age of 31 following the next game against South Africa. (Getty Images)

Ben Stokes' shock decision to retire from ODI cricket has sent shockwaves through the sport, with tributes pouring in for the England all-rounder.

The 31-year-old became a national hero with his performance in the 2019 World Cup final when the powerful batter hit 84 not out in a tied match against New Zealand.

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In dramatic circumstances, Stokes guided his team over the line in a super over in front of an adoring home crowd.

Throughout his career he has scored 2919 runs and taken 74 wickets in the format.

However, since 2019 the all-rounder has only featured nine times in ODIs for England due to injuries, a mental health break and workload management.

Stokes has also recently taken over as Test captain from teammate Joe Root as England look to turn around their poor form with the red ball.

After taking on the extra responsibility, Stokes announced on Tuesday that the upcoming match against South Africa on Wednesday will be his last in ODI cricket, with the short form schedule taking too big of a toll on his body.

"This has been an incredibly tough decision to make," he said.

"I have loved every minute of playing with my mates for England. We have had an incredible journey on the way.

"As hard as a decision as this was to come to, it's not as hard dealing with the fact I can't give my teammates 100 per cent of myself in this format anymore.

"The England shirt deserves nothing less from anyone who wears it.

"Three formats are just unsustainable for me now."

Stokes' statement sparked England great-turned-commentator Nasser Hussain to blast the short from schedule for players.

"If the ICC just keep putting on ICC events, and the individual boards just keep filling in the gaps with as much cricket as possible, then eventually these cricketers will say 'I'm done'," Hussain said.

"Ben Stokes is done in one format aged 31, which can't be right really. The schedule needs looking at, it's a bit of a joke at the moment.

"It's disappointing news to say the least. But if you're a multi-format, multi-dimensional England Test match captain like Ben Stokes, who throws himself into his job 100 per cent on and off the field, eventually something is going to have to give.

"It's a reflection of where the cricketing schedule is at the moment. It is madness for players."

Mark Wood (pictured left) hypes up Ben Stokes (pictured right) before the World Cup final super over.
Ben Stokes (pictured) was the hero during England's super over in the World Cup final. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Cricket world praises Ben Stokes

The cricket world was quick to send their best wishes to Stokes, whose crowning moment came in an unforgettable 2019 World Cup final.

Stokes admitted that as the new Test captain he needed to give his body a rest from the rigour of short from cricket.

"Not only do I feel that my body is letting me down because of the schedule and what is expected of us, but I also feel that I am taking the place of another player who can give (captain) Jos (Buttler) and the rest of the team their all," he added in the statement.

"It's time for someone else to progress as a cricketer and make incredible memories like I have over the past 11 years.

"I will give everything I have to Test cricket, and now, with this decision, I feel I can also give my total commitment to the T20 format."

Stokes' decision was described as "selfless" by Rob Key, managing director of men's cricket at the England and Wales Cricket Board.

"I know this must have been a tough decision, but I completely understand why he has reached this conclusion," said Key, who appointed Stokes as Test captain this year.

"It is a typically selfless decision that will benefit England long-term."

with AAP

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