“Most Competitive Bloke”: Virat Kohli’s Tribute After Ben Stokes’ ODI Retirement

Star England all-rounder Ben Stokes, who was the hero of England’s 2019 World Cup final win, announced on Monday that he will be retiring from ODIs after the series opener against South Africa, which will be played at his home ground in Durham. Stokes released a statement on social media to announce his retirement from the 50-over format, stating that playing all three formats was “just unsustainable” for him. Star India batter Virat Kohli, who has often clashed against Stokes on the field, paid the all-rounder the ultimate tribute.

“You’re the most competitive bloke I’ve ever played against. Respect,” Kohli commented on Stokes’ Instagram post.

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Virat Kohli left a comment on Ben Stokes’ Instagram post.

“I will play my last game for England in ODI cricket on Tuesday in Durham. I have decided to retire from this format,” Stokes wrote in his statement.

“This has been an incredibly tough decision to make. I have loved every minute of playing with my mates for England. We have had an incredible journey on the way,” he wrote.

“As hard as a decision as this was to come to, it’s not as hard dealing with the fact I can’t give my teammates 100% of myself in this format anymore. The England shirt deserves nothing less from anyone who wears it,” he further added.

“Three formats are just unsustainable for me now. 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 and the rest of the team their all. It’s time for someone else to progress as a cricketer and make incredible memories like I have over the past 11 years,” he said.

Stokes’ decision comes a few months after he was appointed England’s Test captain.

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Stokes has so far played 104 ODIs for England, scoring 2919 runs with three centuries and 21 half-centuries, and taking 74 wickets.

He was named ‘Player of the Match’ in the 2019 World Cup final for his unbeaten 86-run knock.

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