England cricketer Ben Stokes‘ father Ged has been diagnosed with brain cancer with the allrounder flying to New Zealand to be by his side after being granted indefinite compassionate leave. Also Read - Dream11 IPL 2020: Ben Stokes Starts Training in New Zealand, Hints at Joining Rajasthan Royals | WATCH
Stokes arrived in New Zealand earlier this week and is currently undergoing the mandatory quarantine period after leaving the home Test series against Pakistan midway due to personal reasons. Also Read - ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Super League Latest Points Table Update: England Maintain Top Spot Despite Series Defeat
“I didn’t sleep for a week and my head wasn’t really in it,” Stokes told the New Zealand Herald. “Leaving was the right choice from a mental point of view.” Also Read - England vs Australia: Maxwell, Carey Tons Hand Tourists 2-1 Series Win in Thrilling Chase
Ged Stokes, a former New Zealand league rugby player, revealed to the English daily that he was diagnosed with the cancer after arriving from South Africa earlier this year where he was admitted to a hospital after suffering a brain bleed. He was there to watch his son represent England during their tour of the country.
“They had to assess how I travelled and from that they discovered I had a couple of tumours on my brain as well,” Ged was quoted as saying. “So, basically brain cancer. How that came about nobody knows but obviously I’ve had a few bangs on my head through my life so that’s probably contributed to it.”
Recalling the impact his Ged has had on his career, Stokes said his father pushed him to do better.
“He was tough [on me],” Stokes revealed. “But as I got older I realised it was all for a reason. He knew I wanted to be a professional sportsman and he was drilling that into me as I started to make a career in cricket.”
Stokes offers a three-finger salute as part of his on-field celebration which is a tribute to his father who had a dislocated finger amputated to allow him to make a quick return to the field.
“His reputation sort of speaks for itself,” Stokes said. “You speak to anyone who knows him, played with him or worked with him, they’d all say the same thing. Most people acquire a softer side with age and sometimes with dad that has been quite weird to see. What he’s going through has brought that side out as well – we all knew he had it, he just didn’t show it that often.”