The England Cricket Board (ECB) has announced today (July 30) that veteran England all-rounder Ben Stokes has taken an indefinite break from the game. While he has taken the leave to give priority to his mental well-being and recover from his index finger injury, he will not take part in the five-match Test series against India as well.
However, Ben Stokes had recently returned to international cricket and led the second-string England team to a 3-0 win against Pakistan in ODIs as the main team had to stay in isolation following a few positive cases in the camp. But, he didn’t feature in the T20Is series as well. Notably, he sustained the injury in his finger while playing for Rajasthan Royals’ opening game of IPL 2021 as well.
Meanwhile, Ben Stokes had revealed that he wouldn’t have taken part in the series against Pakistan had the situation was normal owing to his finger issue. However, ECB has backed his decision and said their primary focus is to focus on players’ mental health as well.
“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, Managing Director of England Men’s Cricket.
“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 concluded.
The five-match Test series between England and India will start next month as well.