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“Begins with S ends with E”: Ben Stokes points out England’s biggest issue in ODI cricket

England’s Test skipper Ben Stokes has pointed out the biggest issue behind the English team’s declining performance in the One-Day Internationals (ODIs). Stokes, who has already retired from the 50-over format, shared his opinion following England’s loss against South Africa in the first ODI of the ongoing three-match series at Mangaung Oval, Bloemfontein on Friday (January 27).

Notably, it was England’s fourth straight loss in ODIs after a 0-3 series defeat to Australia post their T20 World Cup triumph. Now with the 2023 ODI World Cup approaching, the defending champions need to explore all options in order to sort out their ‘issues’.

After the 27-run loss to South Africa in the first ODI, Wisden asked about the biggest issue England are facing in ODIs. Stokes responded to the tweet with a cryptic comment as he wrote, “Begins with S ends with E and has chedul in there as well.”

Stokes’ tweet clearly meant that he was referring to schedule, which has become the major talking point in world cricket at the moment involving all the big teams. The Christchurch-born had bid farewell to his 50-over career in July last year, citing that he was not being able to give his 100 per cent and that playing all three formats amid a busy schedule is ‘unsustainable’ for him.

Not to mention that Stokes had also warned the authorities over the amount of multi-format players are expected to take part in modern-day cricket.

“There is too much cricket rammed in for people to play all three formats now. We are not cars, you can’t just fill us up, and we’ll go out there and be ready to be fuelled up again,” Stokes had said.

England will play two more ODIs in the ongoing tour against South Africa. The three lions will then travel to New Zealand for the Test leg before visiting Bangladesh for the multi-format series that features three ODIs.

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