'It is madness' - Nasser Hussain reckons ICC's tight schedule causing problems for all-format players

Nasser Hussain made the statement following Ben Stokes' retirement announcement from ODIs.

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Nasser Hussain (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

England’s star all-rounder Ben Stokes, on Monday, announced his retirement from the ODI format, saying that the upcoming fixture against South Africa, scheduled for July 19, would be his last appearance in the 50-over version of the game. He revealed that playing across all three formats has become ‘unsustainable’ for him and as a result, he has arrived at the shocking decision.

Stokes’ early retirement from the format, at the age of just 31, got everyone thinking about the amount of pressure the all-format players go through. First, it was Michael Vaughan who gave his opinion, blaming the franchise-based models of the tournament, and now Nasser Hussain has shared his opinion, saying that the number of games that the all-format players indulge in is very tiring and that the ICC should come up with a plan to ease things out for such cricketers.

“It is disappointing news, to say the least, but it is a reflection of where the cricketing schedule is at the moment. It is madness for players. If the ICC just keeps putting on ICC events and individual boards just keep filling the gaps with as much cricket as possible, eventually these cricketers will just say ‘I’m done.’,” Hussain told Sky Sports.

The schedule needs looking at, it is a bit of a joke at the moment: Nasser Hussain

The ICC will shortly unveil its new schedule this month, which is likely to include separate windows for the franchise-based tournaments. While the Indian Premier League is likely to get an extended window, Australia’s Big Bash League and England’s The Hundred might also get separate slots in the new ICC Calendar.

“Stokes is done with one format aged 31, which can’t be right, really. The schedule needs looking at, it is a bit of a joke at the moment. It looks like 50-over cricket is the one everyone is looking at because everyone loves Test match cricket and everyone loves T20 cricket,” Hussain added.

Stokes will play his final ODI match for the team on Tuesday, against South Africa at the Riverside Ground in Durham. He will continue to represent the side in the Test format as the captain, and also in the T20Is under Jos Buttler’s leadership.

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