London (23/07 – 27.27) England’s 2019 World Cup hero Ben Stokes has announced his retirement from international one-day cricket.
His final 50-over match in England colours will come against South Africa on familiar ground at Chester-Le-Street on Tuesday and the decision allows Stokes to concentrate on his role as England Test captain.
The 31-year-old all-rounder has represented his country 104 times in ODI cricket, the highlight being the astonishing unbeaten 84 that helped England beat New Zealand at Lord’s in the 2019 World Cup final.
A statement released by Stokes read: ‘I will play my last game for England in ODI cricket on Tuesday in Durham. I have decided to retire from this format.
This has been an incredibly tough decision to make. 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% 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. 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 Jos 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 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.
‘I would like to wish Jos Buttler, Matthew Mott, the players and the support staff every success going forward. We have made great strides in white-ball cricket over the past seven years, and the future looks bright.
‘I have loved all 104 games I have played so far, I’ve got one more, and it feels amazing to be playing my last game at my home ground in Durham.
‘As always, the England fans have always been there for me and will continue to be there. You’re the best fans in the world. I hope we can win on Tuesday and set the series up nicely against South Africa.’
Rob Key, Managing Director of England Men’s Cricket, said: ‘Ben Stokes has had an incredible international career in ODI cricket, culminating in his match-winning performance at the 2019 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup final.
‘I know this must have been a tough decision, but I completely understand why he has reached this conclusion.
‘I’m sure that when we look back on Ben’s career and see this as one of the reasons he will play 120-plus Tests and help England in T20 matches and World Cups for many years to come.
‘It is a typically selfless decision that will benefit England long-term.’
Stokes made his ODI debut against Ireland in Dublin in August 2011, making just three runs, and was a regular fixture in the team from 2013 onwards.
While the start of his tenure as England’s Test captain has been a success, with a 3-0 series win over New Zealand and a victory over India, he has struggled for form in the recent ODI series with India, which England lost 2-1.
Stokes made scores of 0, 21 and 27 in the three matches with the bat and failed to take a wicket with the ball.
His 104 ODIs for England have seen Stokes score 2,919 runs at an average of 39.44, including three centuries. He has taken 74 wickets at an average of 41.79.
Stokes last week withdrew from the second edition of The Hundred, where he would have played for Northern Superchargers, in order to manage his workload.
He also pulled out of the upcoming Twenty20 series with South Africa with a view to keeping himself fresh for the Test series against the same opposition in August and September.