Ben Stokes to take indefinite break from cricket
England all-rounder Ben Stokes has withdrawn from the Test squad ahead of his nation's five-match series against India, starting August 4. The star cricketer wants to take an indefinite break from cricket with immediate effect to prioritize his mental well-being, besides resting his left index finger. The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has issued a statement backing Stokes. Here's more.
ECB issues a statement confirming Stokes' decision
The ECB issued a statement confirming that Stokes will take an indefinite break from the game with immediate effect. "The England and Wales Cricket Board can confirm that England men's all-rounder Ben Stokes will take an indefinite break from all cricket with immediate effect."
Stokes wants to prioritize his mental well-being
Besides withdrawing to prioritize his mental well-being, Stokes wants to rest his finger which hasn't healed. "Stokes has withdrawn from England's Test squad ahead of the LV= Insurance Test series against India starting next week to prioritize his mental well-being and to rest his left index finger, which has not fully healed since his return to competitive cricket earlier this month," the statement read.
Ashley Giles says Stokes will be given the desired time
As per Sky Sports, England managing director Ashley Giles said that Stokes will be given as long as he needs to make a full recovery. Giles said Stokes has shown tremendous courage to open up about his feelings and well-being. He also said that the ECB's primary focus as always been and will continue to be the mental health and welfare of everyone involved.
ECB to help Stokes during this period
The ECB also stated that it fully supports Stokes and will help him during this period. "The ECB fully supports Ben's decision and we will continue to help him during this period away from the game," the statement added.
England replace Stokes with Overton in the Test squad
The ECB confirmed that Somerset's Craig Overton will replace Stokes in the Test squad. The 27-year-old Overton has played four Tests for England, claiming nine wickets. He has the best score of 41* in his tally of 124 runs at 20.66. Overton last played a Test for England during The Ashes in 2019. Recently, he was seen in the ODIs against Pakistan.
Stokes could miss the T20 World Cup and Ashes series
Stokes could be a doubt for England in the ICC T20 World Cup in October-November this year, followed by The Ashes series against Australia. The Ashes will begin in December.