England's Test head coach Brendon McCullum has welcomed all-rounder Ben Stokes' decision to retire from ODIs, calling it an 'absolute positive' move.
Stokes stunned the cricketing world with his abrupt decision on July 18, bringing the curtains down on his 50-over career. The ace all-rounder resonated that playing all three formats has become 'unsustainable' for him, considering the hectic schedule and the travel involved.
McCullum views this as a move in the right direction. However, he is unsure whether Stokes' decision will inspire other players to take a call on their careers.
Speaking to SENZ Breakfast, the former New Zealand captain said:
"There are not too many all-format players. He's probably in a luxurious position that he's able to do that, but also with the demands of the schedules and with his heightened schedule as Test captain, it would've become too much. He also has a young family and there's a lot going on."
"I don't know if it's symbolic of where the game itself is at around the globe, but I see it as an absolute positive to be honest. I'm looking forward to being able to spend even more time with 'Stokesy' trying to get this thing cracking."
Stokes, who is only 31, represented England in 105 ODIs, scoring 2924 runs. The Durham cricketer also picked up 74 wickets.
"He's going to have the time to really immerse himself in the Test side" - Brendon McCullum
McCullum sees the retirement decision as an opportunity for Stokes to concentrate more on Test cricket. The celebrated all-rounder was recently handed the captaincy reins after Joe Root decided to step down a few months back.
"Obviously we would've loved to see Ben Stokes playing in three forms of the game, he's an out-and-out superstar and we've seen what he's been able to achieve, but sometimes things have to give way and I look at it as a positive that he's going to have the time to really immerse himself in the Test side."
Stokes had a spectacular start to his captaincy career, winning four out of five matches. McCullum also sounded excited about the prospect of England's Test side under Stokes.
"Stokes is the skipper of our Test side and the job that I've seen him do with this team in a very short period of time really excites me about what he can do with this side, particularly now that he'll have more available time rather than jumping from series to series to series."
England's next Test assignment will be against South Africa when both teams lock horns for a three-match series, starting August 17 at Lord's in London.