Stokes out of Test series against India’ takes ‘indefinite break’

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Ben Stokes cites mental health issues
Ben Stokes has taken a break from cricket, citing mental health issues. Photo Courtesy: ECB.

Mental health issue has hit the England team ahead of their home series against India. Ben Stokes has announced to take an indefinite break from cricket, citing mental health issues. He will not participate in the upcoming five-Test series against India.

England is slated to host India in the first match of the five-Test series from August 4 at the Trent Bridge ground in Nottingham.

Sportsmen have been dealing with acute stress. Earlier this week US gymnast Simone Biles had skipped her events at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Tennis star Naomi Osaka had earlier opted out of the Wimbledon Championships.

Now Stokes has taken “an indefinite break from all cricket” to focus on his mental wellbeing. He was reportedly stressed with the bio bubble fatigue, having been away from home for his England and Indian Premier League duties.

He had also lost his father Ged Stokes, who was battling cancer.

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ECB in a statement has said that the veteran cricketer will be extended full support. “Our primary focus has always been – and will continue to be – the mental health and welfare of all of our people,” said ECB director of men’s cricket Ashley Giles. “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.

“Stroke has shown tremendous courage to open up about his feelings and wellbeing,” added Giles. “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.”

Craig Overton has been named to replace Stokes for the Test series against India.

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