Kevin Pietersen, Ben Stokes
Kevin Pietersen, Ben Stokes. (Photo: Twitter)

Ben Stokes announced his retirement from one-day internationals on Monday, but these are not his words. Instead, they are drawn from a statement issued by Kevin Pietersen in June 2012, when he announced his retirement from international white-ball cricket. They sound uncannily familiar a decade later.

Pietersen temporarily rejoined England’s ODI and T20I squads the following year, but his argument was clear: he had been drained, psychologically and physically, by a rigorous schedule that included too much sport and not enough importance. Stokes’ decision was guided by the same rationale, as he said in a statement that effectively served as a farewell to his former employers.

In general, it should serve as a wake-up call for cricket officials. One of the sport’s most recognisable players withdrawing from his team’s world title defence in India next year is a disastrous moment, highlighting the extent to which boards have flogged their most precious assets by packing series into even the tiniest holes in the schedule.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 14 : Ben Stokes of England with the trophy after the ICC Cricket World Cup Final between New Zealand and England at Lord's on July 14, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Philip Brown/Popperfoto via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 14: Ben Stokes of England with the trophy after the ICC Cricket World Cup Final between New Zealand and England at Lord’s on July 14, 2019, in London, England. (Photo by Philip Brown/Popperfoto via Getty Images)

Ben Stokes Is Not The First High-Profile Cricketer To Ignore One Format Completely

But, as Pietersen’s experience shows, Stokes is not the first or last high-profile player to call it quits. Joe Root, his predecessor as Test captain, virtually resigned from T20Is for the second part of his tenure, having played the final one in May 2019.

Because they were unwilling to play every final bilateral series for South Africa, AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis missed World Cups. In the recent decade, the West Indies have seldom fielded a full-strength white-ball team.

Between the beginning of June 2022 and the end of March 2023, England will play nearly 100 days of men’s international cricket in seven different countries: 12 Tests, 18 ODIs, 19 bilateral T20Is, and a T20 World Cup.

It’s tiring just thinking about it, let alone playing in it; little surprise their all-format fast bowlers are suffering from a collective injury issue.

Kevin Pietersen Takes A Sly Dig At ECB After Ben Stokes' ODI Retirement Kevin Pietersen Takes A Sly Dig At ECB After Ben Stokes' ODI Retirement Kevin Pietersen Takes A Sly Dig At ECB After Ben Stokes' ODI Retirement Kevin Pietersen Takes A Sly Dig At ECB After Ben Stokes' ODI Retirement

Pietersen in his autobiography has written, that he had “gone to the ECB and told them what they already knew: I was playing too much cricket.”

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