Joe Root’s emotional tribute to Ben Stokes: ‘Kids now want to bat, bowl & field because…’

England all-rounder Ben Stokes may have retired from ODI cricket but he has left behind an indelible mark in the annals of English cricket.

On July 19, Ben Stokes officially stepped away from ODI cricket after the first 50-over match in the series against South Africa.

Stokes did not have the farewell he would have hoped for when England went down by 62 runs against the Proteas, with the man of the moment himself scoring just 5.

After the match, Joe Root paid tribute to long-time teammate Stokes, who had just succeeded him as England’s Test captain.

“Obviously, a lot of emotions will be running through you. There’s a lot running through me at the minute as a friend. But just to some things, I mean your performances throughout your career. Some of the things you’ve achieved on the field have been extraordinary. Whether it be in the (World) cup final, whether it be a number of things that you’ve done. Fifers, hundreds, incredible pieces of fielding,” Root said in a video posted by England Cricket on Twitter.

“Kids now want to bat, bowl and field because of the way you have gone about it and done it in an England shirt.”@root66 with some lovely words after @benstokes38 played his final ODI ❤️

— England Cricket (@englandcricket) July 22, 2022

“But I think it’s also important to remember that some of the things that you’ve done have captured a nation. They’ve brought people to the game that have never watched it before. Been a part of the team and been a big part and a leader of a team that’s changed the way a lot of people around the world play white ball cricket in its format. The same with kids now that want to bat, bowl and field because of the way you have gone about it,” he added.

The 31-year-old Stokes’ ODI career will forever be remembered for his Player-of-the-Match performance in the 2019 World Cup final at Lord’s where his unbeaten 84 helped send the match into a Super Over as England claimed their first World Cup title.

Stokes played 105 ODIs and scored 2924 runs at an average of 39 and a strike rate of 95.1.

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