Ben Stokes, 31, was given the opportunity to march the England side into the ground at the start of Tuesday’s ODI against South Africa, which is his last ODI match for England, played at his home ground in Chester-le-Street in Durham.
On Monday, Stokes had made a sudden and shocking announcement that he will retire after the first ODI versus the Proteas. The England’s Test captain said that playing all three formats was “just unsustainable for me now” in the hectic schedule and that his body couldn’t give his 100 percent to the 50-over format; he admitted that it was an “incredibly tough decision to make”.
Ben Stokes takes field in his last ODI match
“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,” Stokes said in his statement on his social media.
“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.”
Stepping out in ODI cricket at his home ground for one last time.
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) July 19, 2022
The Player of the Match in the memorable 2019 World Cup final triumph, Stokes led the England side into the ground after South African skipper Keshav Maharaj had won the toss and elected to field first.
Before the start of the game, Stokes was the first England player to take the field and received a standing ovation from his home crowd. As Stokes soaked in the applause, after him the rest of his teammates scampered in and gave a handshake to England’s talisman all-rounder.
You can watch the video here:
We will miss you Ben Stokes in ODI format. pic.twitter.com/dITQsSOiNh
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) July 19, 2022
Social media also went emotional and paid tributes to Ben Stokes on his last ODI game.
Here are some of the reactions:
— Vasudevan Ks (@FOREVERVK_18) July 18, 2022
Eoin Morgan ❌
Ben Stokes ❌
England’s World Cup-winning squad has lost 2 major stars 🏴 pic.twitter.com/zq3NvmGy8z
— Sport360° (@Sport360) July 18, 2022
From the 2015 World Cup final to the 2019 World Cup final, Ben Stokes averaged 50.00 with the bat (striking at 95), and took 50 wickets @ 44. For all his maverick work in Tests and (occasional) bursts of T20 brilliance, ODIs were basically his best format.
— Ben Jones (@benjonescricket) July 18, 2022
Well played Ben Stokes. We Salute… pic.twitter.com/DDkt965Pcw
— Caribbean Cricket Podcast (@CaribCricket) July 18, 2022
— Surya (@Imvsurya) July 19, 2022
Matt jaa Stokesy. Ideally I wish to see you in every match 😒 https://t.co/arnX0O4RkP
— Mandakini (@mandakini_) July 19, 2022
— Mohammad Jamlish Roy (@jamlishsays) July 19, 2022
— Sir Manav (@SirManav14) July 19, 2022
Stokesy ❤️ https://t.co/0XzKTuSM4C
— FPL Zayy (@FPLZayy) July 19, 2022
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