'We're not cars where you can fill us up with petrol' - Ben Stokes laments jam-packed schedule ahead of farewell ODI

Ben Stokes is appearing in his final ODI against South Africa in Durham.

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Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes. (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images for Cricket Australia)

Ben Stokes sent shockwaves around the cricketing world on Monday, July 18, after announcing his retirement from ODI cricket. The star all-rounder is featuring in his final ODI against South Africa in Durham in the first match of the three-match ODI series. The England international revealed his thought process behind his decision to quit the 50-over format ahead of the series opener.

Stokes has represented the 50-over team for over a decade now and was an integral part of Eoin Morgan’s World Cup-winning team in 2019. Renowned for his match-winning capabilities, the Kiwi-born cricketer etched his name in English folklore by playing a sensational match-turning knock in the 2019 ICC World Cup final.

The all-rounder spoke on his decision to quit the 50-over format and stated that with all the upcoming fixtures, he needs to take care of his body to prolong his cricketing career. He also highlighted the jam-packed international schedule with the T20 World Cup later this year and the 50-over World Cup next year.

“It was never going to be an easy one, but now being the captain of the Test team and how much cricket is coming up, I have to look after my body because I want to play as long as I possibly can. We’re not cars where you can fill us up with petrol. It does all add up, it does have an effect on you. The schedule is jam-packed, and you’re asking a lot of the players to keep putting in 100% of their efforts every time you walk onto the field for your country,” Ben Stokes spoke to the media ahead of his final match.

I want to play 140, 150 Test matches for England: Ben Stokes

The Test skipper had earlier withdrawn his name from the T20I series against South Africa and the second edition of England’s domestic tournament, The Hundred. Stokes has revealed his intention of playing 150 Tests for his country and want to prolong his red-ball careers like James Anderson and Stuart Broad did after quitting white-ball cricket. While he admitted that the decision to bid farewell to 50-over cricket was hard, he hopes he can look back at the decision in the future with no regrets.

“I look at how Jimmy and Broady’s careers have gone since they stopped playing white-ball cricket. I want to play 140, 150 Test matches for England. It’s come earlier than I would have liked but in T20 cricket I bowl two or three overs here and there. Hopefully when I’m 35, 36 I can look back on this decision and say I’m happy with it,” Stokes added.

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