‘I retired from ODIs and ECB banned me from T20Is too’: England legend | Cricket

On Monday, Ben Stokes made a shock announcement to retire from ODIs. The England all-rounder insisted playing all three formats of the game was “not sustainable” for him, saying the packed schedule was draining his fitness. Stokes played his final ODI against South Africa on Tuesday, but endured a poor outing (0/44 and 5) as England suffered a crushing 62-run defeat at Chester-le-Street.

After Stokes’ announcement, there were significant discussions on social media about the tight schedules of international cricketers and the declining popularity of ODIs. Former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen also joined the discussion, recalling his decision to retire from ODIs due to fatigue. However, Pietersen stirred the pot as he took a subtle dig at the England and Wales Cricket Board over the events that led to his premature exit from the game.

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“I once found the schedule horrendous and I couldn’t cope, so I retired from ODI cricket and the ECB banned me from T20s as well,” Pietersen wrote.

Pietersen called time on his ODI career in May 2012, adding that he was “easily playing” for the national team in the T20 World Cup scheduled for later that year. However, the ECB selection policy eventually restricted the playing of the shorter format of the game.

“As the programming and plans for ODI and T20 format cricket are very closely linked we have a selection policy such that any player who is unavailable for any of the one-day formats is excluded from consideration for both formats. The selectors will now replace Kevin in both the ODI and T20 squads,” said Hugh Morris, the then managing director of the ECB, of Pietersen’s announcement. Later said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Ben Stokes is currently England’s Test captain and made a bright start to his captaincy last month. Under his captaincy, England clean-swept New Zealand 3–0, beating India by 7 wickets in the rescheduled fifth Test of the series, as the teams drew the series 2–2.

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