Michael Vaughan Blames Franchise Cricket for Ben Stokes’ ODI Retirement

Former England skipper Michael Vaughan has blamed franchise cricket for the early retirement of Ben Stokes. Lashing out at cricket boards for being “desperate” for their own franchise tournaments, Vaughan in a tweet, said that bi-lateral T20 and ODI tournaments will have to be comprised to give players a break from the hectic cricket calendar. “Bilateral ODI / T20 series will have to go if all the boards around the world are desperate for their own Franchise tournaments! Something has to give. It shouldn’t be players retiring from one format aged 31!” Vaughan tweeted.

Stokes, who was recently appointed England’s Test captain announced surprising retirement from the ODI format ahead of the start of the three-match ODI series against South Africa. Stokes will play his farewell match today.

Announcing his ODI retirement, Stokes, in a statement, said that playing all the three formats had become “unsustainable” for him. “Not only do I feel that my body is letting me down because of the schedule and what is expected of us, but I also feel that I am taking the place of another player who can give Jos (Buttler) and the rest of the team their all,” he added.

Stokes said that with the decision, he can now give “total commitment” to the T20 format while giving everything to Test cricket.

Stokes’ retirement left his fans and cricket community in total shock. Former England skipper Nasser Hussain said that there was a need to look into the scheduling of the cricket calendar. Speaking to Sky Sports, Hussain said that cricket boards keep filling the gaps between ICC events with “as much cricket as possible,” leaving the players burned out.

“Eventually these cricketers will say ‘I’m done.’ Ben Stokes is done in one format aged 31, which can’t be right really. The schedule needs looking at, it’s a bit of a joke at the moment,” he said.

Stokes, who led England to their World Cup title in 2019 with his heroics at the finals, has played 104 games in the ODI format, scoring 2919 runs at an average of 39. 45 and strike rate 95.27. This includes 21 half centuries and 3 tons. With the ball, the all-rounder had scalped 74 wickets at an economy rate of 6.03.

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