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England star Ben Stokes pays tribute to late father Ged in first Ashes Test

England all-rounder Ben Stokes paid tribute to his late father Ged during the first Ashes Test by wearing his New Zealand rugby league cap number on a black armband

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Day one of the first Ashes Test between England and Australia marked the one-year anniversary of the tragic passing of Ben Stokes ‘ father Ged.

Ged was a Rugby League player and represented New Zealand once back in 1982.

He passed away last year after a battle with brain cancer and Stokes paid tribute to his father during the first Ashes Test by wearing his cap number, 568, on a black armband when he came out to bat.

Writing in his Mirror Sport column ahead of the Test, Stokes said: “Call it fate or whatever you like, but there will also be a bit of my mind thinking about my dad Ged and the fact that it will be exactly one year to the day since he passed away.

England all-rounder Ben Stokes paid tribute to his late father Ged during the first Ashes Test by wearing his New Zealand rugby league cap number on a black armband
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PATRICK HAMILTON/AFP /AFP via Getty Images)

“He and my mum have always been my biggest supporters and I know that he would have been hugely proud to see me back out there representing England, ready to take on the Aussies.

“It is obviously not a great ­anniversary to be reminded of. But I think it is a positive ­little thing that I’m getting back out there and will have my dad in my thoughts.

“It is amazing how these things work out sometimes.”

On Tuesday, Stokes posted an emotional tribute to his father on Instagram, writing: “I wasn’t sure if I would ever walk out onto a field ever again a few months ago.

“I find it amazing that when I do walk out tomorrow I’ll be remembering you exactly 1 year on since you left us….You are gonna be with me this whole week.”

The Test was Stokes’ first competitive game in four months and marked his return to cricket, having taken a break from the sport earlier this year to prioritise his mental health and recovery from a finger injury.

However, things did not go to plan on day one, with England getting bowled out for 147 and Stokes scoring five before getting caught at slip off the bowling of Pat Cummins.

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