New Delhi: England’s talisman all-rounder Ben Stokes has decided to take an indefinite break from International cricket with immediate effect to prioritise his mental well being and rest his injured index finger. Stokes had suffered the injury while playing in the first match of the Indian Premier League for Rajasthan Royals and was ruled out of the season.Also Read - Babar Azam Reacts After England Cancel Pakistan Tour: "Disappointed Yet Again"
Stokes was recently playing for the Northern Superchargers in the ongoing Hundred. Thus, Stokes has decided to pull out of the upcoming five-match Test series against India. England and Wales Cricket Board have named Craig Overton as a replacement for the linchpin all-rounder for the five-match Test series against India. Also Read - Ellyse Perry Wants BCCI to Organise a Women's Indian Premier League
This is a massive blow for the Joe Root-led team as Stokes is a key player in the team. The all-rounder is well known to deliver in all three aspects of the game and he is certainly going to be missed by the hosts. Also Read - IND vs ENG: Darren Gough Blames Virat Kohli & Co For Shopping Before 5th Test
Stokes has been a consistent performer for England in all three formats of the game and his worth is unmatched.
“Just because we are in nice hotels and are well paid doesn’t mean we don’t go through the same stresses and strains as everyone else,” said Stokes. “We are all human and our mental well-being is very important. The ECB are right to look after their players as best they can.”
ECB appreciated Stokes for opening up on the mental pressure he is going through and the England board will support the all-rounder in his decision.
“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. 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,” said Ashley Giles, the Managing Director of England Men’s cricket.
“Ben will be given as long as he needs, and we look forward to seeing him playing cricket for England in the future,” added Giles.