England’s Ben Stokes will retire from international one-day cricket after Tuesday’s series opener against South Africa in Durham. Stokes was appointed as England’s Test captain earlier this year.
The 31-year-old averages 39.44 with the bat in 104 ODIs. He has taken 74 wickets and was Player of the Match in England’s incredible World Cup win in 2019.
“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,” said Stokes, who has also captained the ODI side, in a statement on Monday.
"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."
“You’re the most competitive bloke I’ve ever played against. Respect,” Virat Kohli said in response to Stokes’s statement on Instagram.
In a statement, the ECB said Stokes' ODI career would "forever be remembered" for his role in the World Cup final at Lord's, where he scored an unbeaten 84 to help England win via a Super Over.
"I know this must have been a tough decision, but I completely understand why he has reached this conclusion," added Rob Key, the managing director of England men's cricket.
"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."