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Newly-appointed Test captain Ben Stokes has decided to call time on his ODI career with England, with the 31-year-old keen to focus on his responsibility in the red-ball setup. England's 2019 World Cup hero will play his 105th and final ODI match on Tuesday against South Africa, and England's director of cricket Rob Key has praised Stokes for his "selfless decision". "It may well end up having financial implications to Ben Stokes in terms of his contract,"said Key. "That's why it's a selfless decision, he could easily have said 'no, no, I'm the key' and kept getting picked in the 50-over team. "But he wants to do the Test job as best as he can, he wants to take England's Test team forward.
From Pie and Peas in Cumbria 🥧
To winning the World Cup at Lord's 🏆
In his own words, these are the matches that made Ben Stokes 💪
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) July 19, 2022
"I was probably surprised at the timing but I'm not surprised that he's had to give one format away. I think it's a good decision from Ben that England will benefit from in the long term." Key, who spoke to Stokes about his decision last Thursday, thinks the 31-year-old was also motivated by his desire to continue being a presence in both batting and bowling disciplines in the Test side. "Him bowling is actually the thing he wants to be able to do, he doesn't just want to go and be a batter, he wants to be able to contribute as an all-rounder," Key said.
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) July 18, 2022
"To do that he feels this is the best way. I'm hoping and I'm betting that this is what gets him up to 120-plus Test matches." Stokes quitting one format has led to questions about England's congested programme, with 12 white-ball fixtures crammed into 25 days this month while they also have seven Tests this summer.
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