Ben Stokes an indefinite break from all cricket
By Sarita Dey
on Sat Jul 31 2021
Ben Stokes has pulled out of England’s Test series against India and will take “an indefinite break from all cricket” to focus on his mental wellbeing and continue his recovery from a finger injury
Stokes has withdrawn from England’s Test squad ahead of a five-match series against India starting at Trent Bridge next week, with his place taken by Craig Overton. “The England and Wales Cricket Board can confirm that Ben Stokes will take an indefinite break from all cricket with immediate effect,” said a statement from the governing body.
The ECB said in a statement that it “fully supports” Stokes’ decision and that it would “continue to help him during this period away from the game”.
Ashley Giles, 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.
Stokes has spent the vast majority of the last year away from home, living in bio-secure environments with England’s Test and limited-overs squads and with Rajasthan Royals in the IPL. 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.
He has also struggled with a finger injury throughout the summer. These have healed much slower than initially anticipated. Stokes was rushed back to play for Durham in the Vitality Blast. After they suffered an availability crisis due to a Covid-19 outbreak in their second XI squad. And then returned to England duty ahead of schedule in similar circumstances, captaining a second-string team to a 3-0 ODI series win against Pakistan.
Ben will be given as long as he needs and we look forward to seeing him playing cricket for England in the future.