Ben Stokes’ retirement should be a ‘wake-up call’ for cricket – Jos Buttler

England captain Jos Buttler believes Ben Stokes’ retirement from one-day cricket should be a ‘wake-up call’ for the game as he faces his own challenge of finding a way to replace his star all-rounder.

Stokes bid farewell to the 50-over game with a disappointing 62-round loss to South Africa at his home ground in Durham, drawing the curtain on an 11-year career that will always be remembered for his impressive performance in the 2019 World Cup final .

The 31-year-old has made it clear he will leave earlier than intended, a clear response to an unrelenting fixture schedule that no longer allows him to meet his own high standards across three different formats.

Stokes said England’s calendar had become “unsustainable” and extended the warning in interviews ahead of his farewell appearance, which revealed figures of zero for 44 from five overs and an innings of just five.

And it’s clear that Buttler shares his concerns. England have played seven games in a streak of 12 white-ball internationals in 24 days, with four friendlies already on the books and three still to come against the Proteas.

“It should definitely be a little wake-up call. Absolutely. Especially with the size of the player,” he said.

“Ben is one of the most iconic players in world cricket, someone everyone wants to see play in any format. I’m sure there’s more to it than fixture lists etc. But I think in international cricket you always want your best players to play when possible.

“It’s bittersweet for an England fan… it’s a bit sad that Ben is no longer available in this form of the game. But our loss in ODI cricket will certainly be England’s win in Test cricket.

Jos Buttler has a lot to think about as England captain (Owen Humphreys/PA)

(PA wire)

“It’s his preferred format and priority, especially now that he’s captain, and I’m sure it will give him a lot more longevity in the purest form of the game.”

Buttler had a difficult start to his tenure, losing the T20 and ODI series to India and already facing another decider against the South Africans at Old Trafford on Friday.

With five losses and two wins to his name since taking over from Eoin Morgan, he has now accepted that forging his own path will not be an easy challenge or an instant success.

“We’re probably in a period of transition with Eoin and Ben leaving. It’s the natural cycle of teams,” he said.

“We need to find ways to give people the ability to replace these guys. People who play like Ben are players once in a generation, so it’s a good challenge for us as a team to find the best way forward without him.

“It offers opportunities for others to rise in other roles and take on more responsibility.” Ben Stokes’ retirement should be a ‘wake-up call’ for cricket – Jos Buttler

Fry Electronics Team

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