England all-rounder Ben Stokes has come down hard on administrators of the game for hectic cricket scheduling and urged the authorities to stop considering players as ‘cars’.
Notably, Stokes, who retired after the recently-concluded ODI game against South Africa on Tuesday, had mentioned how tight scheduling across the formats has led to his decision of early retirement from ODI cricket.
“I have decided to retire from this format. 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. Three formats are just unsustainable for me now. I feel that my body is letting me down because of the schedule and what is expected of us,” Stokes had said in a statement on Monday.
Now, ahead of the first ODI against the Proteas on his home ground in Durham, Stokes went further on his comments and reckoned the on-field product would suffer if nothing changed.
“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. 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.” Stokes told Test Match Special.
“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,” he added.