Stokes retirement just one of England’s ODI issues

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Stokes retirement just one of England's ODI issues

Ben Stokes rocked England by retiring from ODI cricket after playing 105 matches for the Three Lions over the course of his ten-year career.

The 31-year-old cited the packed schedule and potential burnout as the reason for his retirement, allowing him to focus on his duties as Test captain and his performances for the T20 side. Stokes was the key player for England in their World Cup final triumph over New Zealand in 2019. His innings of 84 and performance in the Super Over guided England to the crown for the first time.

The Three Lions now have to build for the 2023 World Cup in India after losing a slew of players who were integral parts of their success three years ago. England are still backed at +300 in the odds to win the 2023 World Cup, giving punters who want to back them a chance to play and win with sports betting online, with the Three Lions considered second in the minds of bookmakers behind hosts India. Therefore, there is still a lot of confidence in England to fire on all cylinders, but it will be a challenge.

Eoin Morgan was credited as the architect for England’s revival in white-ball cricket when he became skipper in 2015. He revolutionized the Three Lions from a pedestrian outfit to a swashbuckling unit that continually broke records with the bat.

However, Morgan opted to retire following England’s series against the Netherlands, believing that the time was right to bow out of the game after struggling for form for a sustained period. Jos Buttler inherited the captaincy, but the early days of his reign have not gone to plan, losing his first series to India 2-1, including a 10-wicket hammering in the first match at Trent Bridge.

Stokes’ retirement has poured the pressure on England’s new skipper and new white-ball coach Matthew Mott. The loss of Stokes and Morgan has left a void of talent and leadership that cannot be easily replaced.

Then there are the injuries that have decimated England’s bowling attack. Jofra Archer has barely played a white-ball match since the 2019 World Cup Final, while Chris Woakes and Mark Wood have been sidelined for a large portion of 2022.

Even one of their replacements, Saqib Mahmood, has been struck down with a stress fracture, leaving the selectors short on options. Reece Topley and Brydon Carse have shown promise, but it will take time to garner the experience to adjust to the highest form of the game, especially with the high standards that England have set over the last seven years.

There are no easy answers for Buttler and Mott along with managing director Rob Key. Most of the best pool of players who are present in the county game will be playing in The Hundred rather than the 50-over competition in the English summer, which means there is no time for rising stars to fine-tune their games.

For a team that was the envy of world cricket for a five-year period, England have now come back to the pack, and need to reinvent themselves quickly otherwise they will be putting up a feeble defense of their crown rather than retaining it.

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