'Writing is on the wall for lot of players': Former Australia captain's grim prediction after Ben Stokes' ODI retirement

Published on Jul 20, 2022 01:11 PM IST

Ben Stokes's ODI retirement has led to a discussion on the future of multi-format players. 

Ben Stokes walks back after playing his final ODI innings(Action Images via Reuters)
Ben Stokes walks back after playing his final ODI innings(Action Images via Reuters)

A number of former players have voiced their opinion on England all-rounder Ben Stokes retiring from ODI cricket at the age of 31 and what it could mean for the future of players involved in all three formats of international cricket. Former Australia captain Mark Taylor has now said that Stokes's retirement may just be an option that a number of players could choose in the future considering the growth of T20 leagues around the world.

While Stokes, who is England's Test captain, has said that he will continue to lead England in red ball cricket and will play T20Is, Taylor said that there may be other players who would choose to prioritise playing in T20 leagues.

ALSO READ | 'Individual boards keep filling in gaps...': Ex-England captains furious at 'joke' schedule for Stokes' shock retirement

"I think alarm bells have been ringing for some time, to be brutally honest. The issue is where the game is at with three international formats, then all the domestic T20 leagues, headed up by the IPL which is huge," said Taylor on Wide World of Sports.

"Players like Ben Stokes are in high-demand, and given they're very well paid by the T20 competitions, eventually something has to give. The unfortunate reality is it's usually one form of international cricket that has to give.”

"The writing is on the wall for a lot of cricketers, given there's three forms of international cricket, but then the domestic T20 format has so many options with the different leagues around the world. Players have the potential to have four or five employers at any one time, and you'd think the market for freelance players is only going to get greater.”

Taylor also said that ending bilateral T20Is may not be a solution as that would mean that players and countries not noticed by the big leagues like the Indian Premier League and Big Bash League would be left behind.

"Some people who love their Test and one-day internationals will say that T20 cricket should be played at the domestic level only, which is where it started out.

"There's a very good argument for that, but the problem is the rich get richer and the poor don't make anything out of it. Everyone would gravitate to the bigger nations like the IPL and the BBL, and the smaller countries would miss out," said Taylor.

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