Rob Key Feels Ben Stokes' ODI Retirement Is A Selfless Decision

Rob Key feels Ben Stokes’ decision to retire from one-day internationals was motivated by altruism, especially given that the England Test captain’s choice may have monetary repercussions.

Stokes, England’s World Cup final hero, will play his 105th and last ODI against South Africa on Tuesday at his home field of Chester-le-Street, following his surprise statement 24 hours earlier.

An “unsustainable” schedule was mentioned as a significant issue, and Key, who picked Stokes as Test captain as his first act as managing director of men’s cricket, was unsurprised.

While the financial conditions of Stokes’ core contract may be reviewed, Key believes England’s Test and Twenty20 sides would benefit greatly from the all-rounder reducing his workload.

Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Jason Roy
Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Jason Roy. (Photo: Twitter)

Ben Stokes Wants To Take The Test Team Forward: Rob Key

It may well end up having financial implications to Ben Stokes in terms of his contract,” Key said on Sky Sports News.

Ben Stokes-Virat Kohli
Photo Credit: (Twitter)

“That’s why it’s a selfless decision, he could easily have said ‘no, no, I’m the key’ and kept getting picked in the 50-over team. But he wants to do the Test job as best as he can, he wants to take England’s Test team forward. I was probably surprised at the timing but I’m not surprised that he’s had to give one format away. I think it’s a good decision from Ben that England will benefit from in the long term.”

Stokes’ departure from one format has raised concerns about England’s crowded schedule, which includes 12 white-ball matches in 25 days this month, as well as seven Tests this summer.
They are scheduled to fly to Pakistan for seven T20s less than a week after their last home Test in September. A white-ball tour of Australia follows, featuring the T20 World Cup, before returning to Pakistan for a Test series before Christmas.

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