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‘Cricket Board banned me from T20Is too’- Kevin Pietersen takes a sly dig at England board after Ben Stokes’s ODI retirement

Ben Stokes has meanwhile retained Test captaincy.

Kevin Pietersen Ben Stokes

Ben Stokes’s sudden retirement from ODI has sent shockwaves throughout the cricketing world. Taking to Twitter the England Test captain bid adieu to the 50-over format and said, “three formats are just unsustainable for me now.”

His retirement, but moreso the reason for it, has stirred up a hornet’s nest of jampacked cricket schedule. Ben Stokes’s rationale behind ODI retirement has ringed true with other players as well. Ex-England player Kevin Pietersen, recently, came out with a sly dig at the board.

In a Tweet, the former England captain said, “I once said the schedule was horrendous and I couldn’t cope, so I retired from ODI cricket & the ECB banned me from T20s too………….,”

Kevin Pietersen’s Tweet was a direct attack on the England Cricket Board and their ask to comply with the fatigue-inducing cricket schedule.

The ECB managing director Hugh Morris, came up with a reason for Petersen’s removal from white-ball cricket saying, “As the programming and planning for ODI and T20 format cricket are very closely linked we have a selection policy that means that any player making himself unavailable for either of the one-day formats rules himself out of consideration for both formats. The selectors will now replace Kevin in both the ODI and the T20 squads.”

Ben Stokes’s retirement has thrown light on the matter and in hindsight, it is the board which is coming out as the bad guys.

Ben Stokes is not the first cricketer to call it quits from one format of the game. Joe Root is another England player who has virtually retired from T20Is. AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis also missed World Cups as they were unwilling to play every bilateral series for South Africa.

Once number one batter in all formats, Virat Kohli’s prolonged poor form could be credited to a packed International schedule as well. Stokes’s retirement has opened up Pandora’s box and is a wake-up call for the cricket officials and it would be interesting to see how cricket boards reacts.

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