Ben Stokes has withdrawn from England’s Test squad ahead of the Test series against India starting from August 4 to prioritize his mental well-being and also to give ample rest to his left index finger, which was not fully healed since his return to competitive cricket earlier in this month.
The ECB confirmed that the England all-rounder will take an indefinite break from all cricket with immediate effect. Managing Director of England Men’s Cricket, Ashley Giles, said in the press conference:
The ECB fully supports Stoke’s decision, and we will continue to help him during this period away from the game.
“Ben has shown tremendous courage to open up about his feelings and well-being.
“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 well-being.”
“Ben will be given as long as he needs, and we look forward to seeing him playing cricket for England in the future.”
Stokes will be replaced by Somerset’s Craig Overton in the squad.
We request that enough privacy is given to Ben Stokes and his family during these tough times and may he get all the needed peace of mind and rest at the moment.