Star England all-rounder Ben Stokes has remembered his late father, Ged Stokes, before the high-voltage Ashes series against Australia, which begins on Wednesday. Stokes, however, shared that his father was one of his biggest motivators and he would have been very proud to see him playing in the Ashes.
However, Stokes’ father passed away last year, aged 65, on December 8 2020 in brain cancer. The seam-bowling all-rounder missed international duty in August of 2020 to be with his father after discovering the disease as well. Ged, a former New Zealand Rugby player, had received widespread tributes after his death as well. While writing in his column for The Mirror, Ben Stokes has opened up on his father’s first death anniversary.
Ben Stokes wrote: “There will also be a bit of my mind thinking about my dad Ged and the fact that it will be exactly one year to the day since he passed away. He and my mum have always been my biggest supporters and I know he would have been hugely proud to see me back out there representing England, ready to take on Australia.”
He continued: “Walking out to play in an England shirt once more after the break I’ve had will be a special moment as it always is. Playing in the Ashes is all the motivation you need. I’ll be fully focused on my job and doing what I can whenever Joe Root asks me to get involved.”
However, the England all-rounder will be returning to professional cricket since August. He skipped the home series against India and the T20 World Cup as well, taking a break to cure his mental health. Stokes, who missed the 2017-18 season in Australia, will be eager to deliver impactful performances this time as well. The first Ashes Test will begin on December 8 at the Gabba in Brisbane.
“The Aussies have named their side early and it is good to see another all-rounder in the contest with Cameron Green playing his first Ashes Test. We don’t focus too much on the opposition and put our faith in what we can do as a team, but from one all-rounder to another, it is good to see a young player making his way in international cricket. You always look out for the players who do the same things as you, so it will be interesting to see how he goes in the series. The main interest, though, is how our players perform,” Ben Stokes concluded.