‘I felt just a bit useless’: Ben Stokes reveals his frustration at not being able to give his all for England was behind his decision to quit ODI cricket… as he aims to emulate Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson by playing ‘150 Tests’ for his country
- Ben Stokes will play his final One Day International for England on Tuesday
- The 31-year-old is retiring from the format to focus on Test and T20 cricket
- He revealed he spoke to Jos Buttler and Stuart Broad when making up his mind
- His final ODI appearance for England will come at his home ground of Durham
Ben Stokes has revealed his frustration at having to hold back was behind his decision to walk away from One Day International cricket.
The 31-year-old, recently installed as England’s Test captain, announced his retirement from the 50-over format on Monday, and will play his final game against South Africa at his home ground in Durham on Tuesday afternoon.
Stokes has given England some of their most memorable ODI moments during his 105 appearances – his innings during the World Cup final against New Zealand in 2019 going down in folklore.
But speaking to Sportsmail columnist Nasser Hussain on Sky Sports, the all-rounder revealed that his inability to give his all had led him to walk away.
Ben Stokes has revealed he spoke to both Jos Buttler and Stuart Broad on his ODI retirement
‘I always knew I’d have to choose one of the white-ball formats. I just didn’t know which one,’ Stokes said in an interview with Sky Sports.
‘After that one day game it just hit me in the face. I had a quick chat with Jos after the game. I said if the game was in a different situation I would’ve carried on bowling
‘We had a little five minutes together and he said you don’t owe the team anything. You’ve got a lot of cricket coming up. You need to look after yourself.
‘When I went away after and had five mins to myself, I almost felt just a bit useless that I can’t do that. It’s not a nice feeling that I’ve got to look after myself. The captain’s trying to look after me, the medical team and the coach as well. It’s international cricket, you can’t be doing that.’
Having only recently replaced Joe Root as captain of the Test side, Stokes’ priorities have shifted since his return to the game following time out.
Stokes and Buttler chatted following England’s ODI clash with India earlier this month
He revealed he had spoken to team-mate Stuart Broad about continuing well into his thirties, and admitted his advice had helped mold his own decision.
‘It was never going to be an easy one,’ he said on his decision. ‘Now being the captain of the Test team, and how much cricket we’ve got coming up, I’ve got to look after my body because I want to play for as long as I possibly can.
‘I look at the way Jimmy [Anderson] and Broady’s careers have gone since they stopped playing white ball cricket.
‘I asked Stuart himself and said when you stopped playing white-ball cricket do you feel that’s a huge reason as to why you’re still playing now at 36. He said without a shadow of a doubt, yes.
‘That’s what I want to do. I want to play 140, 150 Test matches for England. It’s come earlier than I would have liked it to, to give up one of the formats at 31.
‘There’s the longevity I’ve thought about. Hopefully when I’m 35, 36 still playing Test cricket and T20 cricket I can look back on this decision and say I’m very happy with the decision I made.’
The 31-year-old wanted Broad’s thoughts on how best to prolong his Test career in cricket