'Kids want to bat, bowl and field because of you' - Joe Root delivers emotional speech as Ben Stokes retires from ODIs

Ben Stokes was dismissed for just 5 runs in his final ODI against South Africa.

Ben Stokes and Joe Root
Ben Stokes and Joe Root. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Manoj Kumar
Manoj Kumar

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Former England captain Joe Root came up with an emotional speech to address the sudden retirement of his teammate Ben Stokes from ODIs. Stokes recently confirmed that the first ODI against South Africa would be his last in the 50-over format as he wants to concentrate more on Tests and T20Is. The 31-year-old played 105 ODIs, scoring 2924 runs at an average of 39 and a strike rate of 95.1.

He was recently appointed the Test captain, and since then, England has taken a big stride in the longest format. He has produced a lot of memorable innings, including playing a big part in winning the ODI World Cup in 2019. He has scored three centuries and 21 half centuries in his ODI career, apart from taking 74 wickets.

Some of Ben Stokes’ achievements have been extraordinary: Joe Root

Root mentioned the kind of emotions that has been running through him and noted the significance of his match-winning performances for England. He highlighted the innings in the final of World Cup 2019 alongside the fifties, hundreds and some incredible fielding efforts.

“Obviously, a lot of emotions will be running through you. There’s a lot running through me at the minute as a friend. But just to some things, I mean your performances throughout your career. Some of the things you’ve achieved on the field have been extraordinary. Whether it be in the (World) cup final, whether it be a number of things that you’ve done. Fifers, hundreds, incredible pieces of fielding,” Root said in a video posted by ECB on Twitter.

Root also went on to mention how Stokes grabbed the attention of the whole nation and has brought a lot of love for the game to the fans. He added Stokes had a big impact on how white-ball cricket has changed over the years and felt that the kids nowadays have aspired to become all-rounder looking at Stokes.

“But I think it’s also important to remember that some of the things that you’ve done have captured a nation. They’ve brought people to the game that have never watched it before. Been a part of the team and been a big part and a leader of a team that’s changed the way a lot of people around the world play white ball cricket in its format. The same with kids now that want to bat, bowl and field because of the way you have gone about it,” he added.