Ben Stokes has taken an indefinite break from all cricket with immediate effect, announced the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday, July 30.
As a result he’s withdrawn from the England Test squad that is set to take on India in a five-Test series beginning next week. Stokes has taken the break 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 a media release from ECB. He will be replaced by Craig Overton in the Test 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.
“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,” said Ashley Giles, the Managing Director of England Men’s cricket.
The all-rounder, who captained England’s revised ODI side against Pakistan, also recently played for Northern Superchargers in The Hundred.