Selfless decision by a great player – Mohammad Azharuddin lauds Ben Stokes for retiring from ODI cricket

England Test skipper Ben Stokes put forth his decision of retirning from ODI cricket after playing his last match on Tuesday, July 19.

Ben Stokes of England. Courtesy: Reuters

Ben Stokes of England. Courtesy: Reuters

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Ben Stokes announced his decision to retire from ODIs on Monday
  • Ben Stokes played 11 years for England in ODIs
  • Stokes will play his last ODI on Tuesday

Former Indian skipper Mohammad Azharuddin heaped praise on Ben Stokes after the latter announced his decision to retire from ODI cricket on Monday, July 18. Stokes is set to represent the Three Lions for the last time in the 50-over format on Tuesday in England’s first ODI against South Africa at Riverside Ground in Chester-le-Street.

Stokes made his debut for England back in 2011 and went on to play for 11 years. He was one of the primary reasons behind the British team winning the 2019 World Cup final against New Zealand at the iconic Lord’s Cricket Ground in London.

Azharuddin, one of India’s greatest captains, lauded the 31-year-old Stokes for always putting his team ahead of himself.

Azharuddin took to Twitter and wrote, “No one listens to his body better than the player himself. A well thought, selfless decision by a great player who gave his best to England cricket. #benstokes.”

Earlier, Stokes said that it had become tough for him to put in 100 percent efforts across formats for the national team. In the ODI series against India, Stokes scored 48 runs and failed to pick up a single wicket. He also won’t play in the T20I series against the Proteas and the upcoming edition of the Hundred.

“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,” Stokes said.

“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,” he added.

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