‘Authorities should stop treating players like cars and fix cricket’s jam-packed schedule’: Ben Stokes

Ben Stokes of England said authorities should stop treating players like ‘cars’ and fix a ‘crowded’ cricket schedule to retain polymorph players.

Stokes announced his abrupt retirement from international play for a day on Monday, saying that playing all three forms of the game had become “unsustainable” for him.

He detailed his decision ahead of his 105th and final match, which South Africa won by 62 rounds.

“We are not cars,” the 31-year-old told the BBC Test Match Special.

“You can’t just fill us up and we’ll go there and be ready to refuel again.

“We had a test series and then the one-day team had a series running at the same time – that was a bit ridiculous.”

Stokes, who took the England Test lead in April, has struggled with injuries recently and also took a break from the match last year to focus on his mental health.

“I just feel like there’s a lot of cricket that people are shocked to play all three formats now. It’s a lot harder than it used to be,” said England’s mantra.

“I think back to the time I used to do all three, and it didn’t feel like it was jam-packed and all that.”

The governing International Cricket Council wants to hold one global event each year, and the proliferation of franchise-based tournaments has increased players’ workload.

“The more cricket that is played, the better for the sport, but you want a product of the highest quality,” said Stokes, who withdrew from this year’s Indian Premier League.

“You want the best players to play as often as possible, all the time, and that’s not just me or us.

“You see it all over the world now that teams have to rest some players in a certain series so they feel like they’re getting a break.”

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