Ace England all-rounder Ben Stokes has withdrawn from the England squad for the series against India. He has done this so that he can focus on his mental well-being and continue recovering from his finger injury.
Ben Stokes has played most of his cricket away from home since last year. He has lived in bio-bubble secure environments for quite some time. He missed two of England’s Tests against Pakistan last summer in order to see his family in New Zealand, and his father Ged died in December after suffering from brain cancer during the final year of his life.
Wishing @benstokes38 all the best for his time away from the game. Probably a timely reminder that, no matter how resilient or ‘mentally tough’, the last couple of years have been challenging for everyone for many different reasons. Be a little kinder to each other 🙂
— Jimmy Neesham (@JimmyNeesh) July 30, 2021
He has also struggled with a finger injury throughout the summer, which has healed much slower than initially anticipated.
ECB released a statement saying that they were in full support of Ben Stokes’s decision. England’s director of men’s cricket said Stokes had “shown tremendous courage to open up about his feelings and wellbeing.”
“Our primary focus has always been – and will continue to be – the mental health and welfare of all of our people,” Giles said. “The demands on our athletes to prepare and play elite sport are relentless in a typical environment, but the ongoing pandemic has acutely compounded this.
“Spending significant amounts of time away from family, with minimal freedoms, is extremely challenging. The cumulative effect of operating almost continuously in these environments over the last 16 months has had a major impact on everyone’s wellbeing.
“Ben will be given as long as he needs and we look forward to seeing him playing cricket for England in the future,” he added.
ECB named Craig Overton as Stokes’ replacement in the squad. Stokes was recently also leading the Northern Superchargers franchise in the ongoing inaugural season of ‘The Hundred’