England’s star all-rounder Ben Stokes, on Friday, has taken an indefinite break from international cricket with immediate effects to keep his mental wellbeing in check, confirmed by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).
Stokes, subsequently, has withdrawn from England squad that is scheduled to play against India in the upcoming five-match Test series, starting from August 4 in Nottingham. He is also focusing to heal his index finger, which hasn’t healed properly yet despite making his comeback.
Ben Stokes took this decision “to prioritise his mental wellbeing and to rest his left index finger, which has not fully healed since his return to competitive cricket earlier this month,” said ECB in a media release.
Craig Overton will replace him in the squad.
“Ben has 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. 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,” said Ashley Giles, the Managing Director of England Men’s cricket.
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“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.”
Stokes made his return to cricket during the One-Day International series against Pakistan, where he captained his team to a 3-0 series win. He also played for Northern Superchargers in The Hundred.