Former India captain Virat Kohli stated that Ben Stokes is "the most competitive bloke" he has "ever played against" as he paid tribute to the England all-rounder who announced his retirement from ODI cricket on Sunday. England's Test captain Stokes said in a statement, which he posted on his social media handles, that his body is unable to sustain playing all three formats and he now intends to give it his all in red ball cricket and T20s.
Kohli replied to Stokes' retirement announcement on Instagram. "You're the most competitive bloke I've ever played against. Respect," said the 33-year-old. Stokes said in the statement that England's game on Tuesday against South Africa will be his last game in the 50-over format.
"I will play my last game for England in ODI cricket on Tuesday in Durham. I have decided to retire from this format. This has been an incredibly tough decision to make. I have loved every minute of playing with my mates for England. We have had an incredible journey on the way," Stokes wrote in the post.
"As hard as a decision as this was to come to, it's not as hard dealing with the fact I can't give my teammates 100 per cent of myself in this format anymore. The England shirt deserves nothing less from anyone who wears it," read his statement.
"Three formats are just unsustainable for me now. Not only do I feel that my body is letting me down because of the schedule and what is expected of us, but I also feel that I am taking the place of another player who can give Jos and the rest of the team their all. It's time for someone else to progress as a cricketer and make incredible memories like I have over the past 11 years."
The present England Test captain has scored 2919 runs in 104 ODIs along with taking 74 wickets. The highlight of his ODI career was the Player-of-the-Match performance in the 2019 World Cup final against New Zealand at Lord's. He scored an unbeaten 84, helping the home side win their maiden 50-over World Cup title.