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Ben Stokes to take an indefinite break from all forms of cricket, withdraws from England squad for India Tests

Ben Stokes has withdrawn from the upcoming 5-match Test series against India which begins from August 4 in Nottingham as he has decided to 'prioritise his mental wellbeing'.
By hindustantimes.com, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 30, 2021 10:37 PM IST
Ben Stokes: File photo(Getty Images)

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday confirmed that all-rounder Ben Stokes will take an indefinite break from all forms of cricket with immediate effect.

According to ECB's official statement, Stokes has also withdrawn from the upcoming 5-match Test series against India, which begins from August 4 in Nottingham, as he has decided to 'prioritise his mental wellbeing'. He will be replaced by Somerset's Craig Overton.

"Ben Stokes has withdrawn from England's Test squad ahead of the Test series against India starting next week to prioritise his mental wellbeing and to rest his left index finger, which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," the ECB statement read.

"The ECB fully supports Ben's decision, and we will continue to help him during this period away from the game," it added.

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England Men's Cricket Managing Director Ashley Giles has backed Stokes' decision and said the all-rounder will be given as much time as he needs for himself.

"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," Giles said.

"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," he added.

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