ENG vs IND: Ben Stokes pulls out of India series, takes indefinite break from cricket

With Stokes pulling out of the India Test series, the team management has brought in Somerset's Craig Overton into the squad.

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Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

England all-rounder Ben Stokes has decided to take an indefinite break from the game of cricket with immediate effect to concentrate on his mental health. This means the English star will not be available for the five-match Test series against India, starting from August 4. England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have completely supported Stokes’ decision.

As per the media release, the board will extend their support during the all-rounder’s period away from the game. In October last year, Stokes stressed the difficulties of staying in a bio-bubble. The England board event issued strict fines for the players who left the bio-secure bubble without prior consent.

Managing Director of England Men’s Cricket, Ashley Giles, said as quoted by ECB’s official website, “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.

“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.”

Harsha Bhogle, DK react to Ben Stokes’ news

Twitter went berserk after hearing the news of Stokes’ absence for the upcoming Test series. Harsha Bhogle joined the bandwagon and tweeted, “Ben Stokes withdrawing from the test series is big news. Virtually impossible to replace. So many elite sportspeople getting affected.” Cricketers Shan Masood and Dinesh Karthik went on to react to the news as well.

Ahead of the IPL 2021 season in April, the Indian team skipper Virat Kohli also raised his concerns regarding the bio-bubble and the difficulties to adapt to it. Kohli felt that the game has to consider some important scheduling changes in order to concentrate on players’ well-being during his COVID-19 era.

With Stokes pulling out of the India Test series, the team management has brought in Somerset’s Craig Overton into the squad.

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