Ben Stokes has asked the cricket administrators to not treat players like ‘cars’ by cramming the calendar with games aplenty. The Durham allrounder who announced that the first ODI against South Africa at Chester-le-Street would be his last, said it was “unsustainable” for him to play all three formats. England have been in action non-stop in the last couple of months, with as many as 17 cricket days in July alone, followed by a three-match Test series against South Africa next month.
“We are not cars. You can’t just fill us up and we’ll go out there and be ready to be fuelled up again. We had a Test series and then the one-day team had a series going on at the same time – that was a bit silly,” Stokes told Test Match Special.
“I just feel like there is too much cricket rammed in for people to play all three formats now. It is a lot harder than it used to be. I look back to when I used to do all three and it didn’t feel like it was as jam-packed and all that. Obviously you want to play as much cricket as you possibly can but when it is making you feel tired, sore and you’ve got to look towards five or six months down the road for what you’re doing in the here and now it is probably not the best thing.
“The more cricket that is played, the better for the sport, but you want a product that is of the highest quality. You want the best players to be playing as much as you possibly can, all the time, and it isn’t just me or us. You see it all around the world now where teams are having to rest some players in a certain series so they feel like they are getting a break,” Stokes added.
ðŸŽ™ “This England shirt deserves 100% of whoever wears it’
Ben Stokes says he ‘didn’t like the feeling of not being able to contribute’ in the way he wanted to in ODI cricket ðŸ pic.twitter.com/34uKE9Dct5
— Sky Sports Cricket (@SkyCricket) July 19, 2022