• Friday, August 19, 2022

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‘The schedule is a bit of a joke at the moment, says former England captain Hussain on Ben Stokes’ shock retirement

“It is madness for players.”

England’s captain Ben Stokes reacts after the final one-day international (ODI) cricket match between England and India at Old Trafford in Manchester on July 17, 2022. (Photo by LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Pramod Thomas

THE number of games being crammed into the global cricket schedule is “madness” and more players could follow Ben Stokes in quitting the one-day format, said former England captain Nasser Hussain.

Stokes, who helped England win their maiden 50-overs World Cup in 2019, announced his shock retirement from one-day cricket on Monday (18) saying that playing all three formats of the game had become “unsustainable” for him.

Hussain wants the governing International Cricket Council (ICC) to look at the “absolutely crazy” calendar and make changes to ease the strain on multi-format players like Stokes.

“It is disappointing news to say the least but it is a reflection of where the cricketing schedule is at the moment,” Hussain told Sky Sports.

“It is madness for players.”

“If the ICC just keep putting on ICC events and individual boards just keep filling the gaps with as much cricket as possible, eventually these cricketers will just say ‘I’m done.'”

The ICC is set to unveil a new calendar later this month with an extended window for the Indian Premier League, while England and Australia are also likely to get dedicated slots for their domestic franchise-based leagues.

“Stokes is done with one format aged 31, which can’t be right, really,” Hussain said.

“The schedule needs looking at, it is a bit of a joke at the moment.

“It looks like 50-over cricket is the one everyone is looking at, because everyone loves test match cricket and everyone loves T20 cricket.”

England test captain Stokes will play his 105th and final one-dayer against South Africa at his home ground in Durham later on Tuesday (19).

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