Ben Stokes: England all-rounder says his ODI retirement should be a wake-up call for authorities

England all-rounder Ben Stokes says his retirement from one-day internationals should be a wake-up call for the authorities about the intense schedule.

The 31-year-old said on Monday that Tuesday’s 50-over match against South Africa will be his last in the format.

He says he has taken the decision to extend his Test and Twenty20 career.

“There is too much cricket rammed in for people to play all three formats now,” said Stokes, who became England’s Test captain in April.

“We are not cars, you can’t just fill us up and we’ll go out there and be ready to be fuelled up again.”

England played four Tests, against New Zealand and India, between 2 June and 5 July.

While those series were ongoing, England played three ODIs in the Netherlands and two days after the India Test ended, a three-match T20 series began, followed by three ODIs.

England will now play three ODIs, three T20s and three Tests against South Africa by 12 September, having finished the India ODI series on Sunday.

In the next 12 months England will play more than 100 days of men’s international cricket across all formats.

Stokes said he made his decision after the first ODI against India and said he spoke to England’s veteran bowler Stuart Broad, who played his last 50-over match in 2016 but remains a Test regular aged 36.

“Hopefully when I’m still playing at 36 I can look back at this moment and say it was a big reason behind why I’m still able to get out on the park and represent England in Test cricket,” Stokes told BBC Test Match Special.

Stokes’ 105-game ODI career will be best remembered for his match-winning contribution in the 2019 World Cup final against New Zealand.

But he appeared to rule out coming out of retirement when England defend their title in India next year.

“You obviously think about stuff like that but what I don’t want to be doing is saying ‘Nah, I won’t play that’ but when an ICC event comes up, ‘Yeah’,” said Stokes.

“This gives an amazing opportunity for somebody to come in and get experience and then hopefully go and win that World Cup again like we did in 2019.

“It wouldn’t be fair on anyone who gets that opportunity with me not playing this format now to all of a sudden be like ‘Yeah, I’ll come back’.”

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