Test longevity of James Anderson and Stuart Broad influenced Ben Stokes' ODI retirement

Stokes announced his retirement from ODI cricket on July 18, with his final appearance coming the following day at Chester-le-Street, labelling playing in three formats "unsustainable"


James Anderson and Stuart Broad's lengthy Test careers influenced Ben Stokes' decision to retire from ODI cricket.

The allrounder called time on his ODI career on July 18, with his final appearance coming the following day at Chester-le-Street. In his retirement statement he labelled playing in three formats "unsustainable".

Speaking on Sky Sports ahead of his final appearance, Stokes, England's Test captain, cited Anderson and Broad as players who have stopped playing white-ball cricket in order to prolong their Test careers.

Anderson and Broad played their last white-ball internationals in March 2015 and February 2016, respectively. Both players have played over 150 Test matches.  

"I look at the way Jimmy and Broady's career have gone when they stopped playing white-ball cricket. I asked Stuart if he felt that not playing white-ball cricket was a reason he is still playing now. He said, 'Without a shadow of a doubt, yes'. I want to play 140-150 Tests for England." Stokes said.


Ben Stokes bowling during his final ODI appearance [Stu Forster/Getty Images]

"It's come a lot earlier than I would have liked at 31 years old, giving one of the formats up. T20 bowl [I bowl] two or three overs here and there. Longevity I have thought about. Hopefully when I'm 35 or 36 still playing Test cricket I can look back on this decision and say I'm very happy with it."

Speaking on Test Match Special, he added: "Test cricket has always been the absolutely pinnacle for me. That is where everything is for me now with me being Test captain, it is not more important but it is even more to think about."

Stokes' decision followed a disappointing India series during which he scored 48 runs and bowled just three overs across three matches. And the allrounder admitted he wasn't able to give "everything" to the format.

"I was always going to have to choose one or the other of the white-ball formats to stop playing and then focus on the other alongside Test cricket but after the first game against India at The Oval, it sort of just hit me that it was going to have to be this format because not being able to go out there and give everything that I can isn't what the England shirt deserves," he said.

"I asked Stuart if he felt that not playing white-ball cricket was a reason he is still playing now. He said, 'Without a shadow of a doubt, yes'"

"It deserves 100 per cent from whoever puts the shirt on. Also feeling like I'm stopping someone else coming into the team and progressing themselves as a player and going on to create some amazing memories, like I have in the last 11 years, with an amazing group of players and all that considered it was 'right, the time is now'."

Addressing that "unsustainable" schedule, he continued: "There is too much cricket rammed in for people to play all three formats now. It is a lot harder than it used to be. I look back to when I used to do all three and it didn't feel like it was as jam-packed and all that.

"Obviously you want to play as much cricket as you possibly can but when it is making you feel tired, sore and you've got to look towards five or six months down the road for what you're doing in the here and now it is probably not the best thing.

"The more cricket that is played, the better for the sport, but you want a product that is of the highest quality. You want the best players to be playing as much as you possibly can, all the time, and it isn't just me or us. You see it all around the world now where teams are having to rest some players in a certain series so they feel like they are getting a break.

"We are not cars, you can't just fill us up and we'll go out there and be ready to be fuelled up again. We had a Test series and then the one-day team had a series going on at the same time – that was a bit silly."

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