England star Ben Stokes taking ‘indefinite break’ from cricket


ngland all-rounder Ben Stokes is taking an “indefinite break” from all forms of cricket with immediate effect.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) confirmed on Friday that Stokes was stepping away from the game to prioritise his mental wellbeing and to rest his hurt left index finger, on which he had surgery earlier this year.

It means the 30-year-old has withdrawn from England’s Test squad for the upcoming five-Test series against India, which begins at Trent Bridge on Wednesday.

Somerset’s Craig Overton has replaced Stokes in the squad.

The ECB say they fully support Stokes’ decision and will continue to support him while he takes a break from cricket.

“Ben has shown tremendous courage to open up about his feelings and wellbeing,” said Ashley Giles, managing director of England men’s cricket.

“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.”

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