England whiteball captain Jos Buttler has described Ben Stokes as “a once-in-a-generation player”, while his predecessor Eoin Morgan hailed him as a “true leader” after the star all-rounder retired from ODIs, leaving the cricketing world was left shocked. Stokes, the lead architect of England’s historic 2019 World Cup triumph, ended his 105-game ODI career with a forgettable 5-run innings at his home ground here in Durham as England lost to South Africa by 62 runs to leave 0-1 in the three-match series.
“People who play like Ben are players who are only once in a generation, so it’s a good challenge for us (as an ODI side) to find the best way forward as a team without him,” Buttler said after the game.
“From myself and all the England fans, we would like to thank you for everything he has done in this form of the game.
“Three years ago (the 2019 World Cup final) will be long remembered, but every day he shows up, whether it’s for training or in a game, he puts in 100 percent. He’s a fantastic ambassador for us in ODI cricket.” Stokes, 31, has said it was “unsustainable” for him to play all three formats in an “overcrowded” cricket calendar.
The all-rounder’s ODI stats read 2,924 runs, three hundred and 74 wickets with a career-best 5 for 61 against Australia in September 2013. “We’ll miss him and it’s bittersweet as an England fan. There’s a bit of sadness 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,” said Buttler.
Stokes, however, continues to play the T20Is as he leads the test side.
“That’s (Tests) his favorite format and his 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 said.
Former skipper Morgan, who stepped down earlier this summer, was also “sad” about Stokes’ ODI retirement.
“He’s a real leader who takes people along and makes people better players by making them believe that anything is possible,” Morgan told Sky Sports Cricket.
“It has been a tremendous pleasure to be on the pitch with him for so long and it is incredibly sad for him to retire from this form at the age of 31.”
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