Ben Stokes withdraws from England squad for rest of summer to be with family in New Zealand


Ben Stokes is out of action for the remainder of the test match summer as he puts his family first.The England columnist and Mirror Sport columnist has stepped down from the squad to compete in the final two tests against Pakistan and will instead spend time with his family in New Zealand.

Stokes had a typically huge impact on the pitch this summer helping England win a series against the West Indies, capturing Joe Root for a test and playing his part in the opening victory over Pakistan.

But Mirror Sport understands that at the end of the match he informed his teammates that he should support them from afar as he leaves the bio-secure bubble and flies to Christchurch.

Stokes played his last test of the summer

In the same way that Jos Buttler was able to play with his thoughts on his father in the hospital, it is a testament from Stokes that he was able to focus on the job at hand and make a difference for the Manchester team. with a lot of other things on his mind.

Despite the distance, the Stokes family are a close unit and the serious illness suffered by their father Ged, a former rugby league international, in December during the winter tour to South Africa took them all seriously.

As Ben continued his tour, playing a lead role, his father remained in a Johannesburg hospital recovering with his wife Deborah by his side.

Ged and Deborah Stokes with their son Ben

Ben was able to join them when the tour team returned to Jo’Burg for the fourth test, alternating their time between the hospital and the Wanderers where England took a 3-1 series victory.

At the time, he said, “It’s been a bit of a roller coaster with everything going on to be honest. Hope the old man is in the hospital looking at this with a big smile on his face.

It was only at the end of the tour that Ged was deemed fit enough to return to New Zealand to continue his rehab, as he had done for the past seven months.

Stokes turns 100 with a nod to his father’s missing number

Father and son share a strong bond as evidenced by the finger salute Ben gives when he makes a hundred in recognition of the part of a number Ged had cut off to allow him to continue playing rugby during his career.

It was a quintessentially pragmatic and altruistic decision that Ged made, and those two qualities were certainly passed on.

As much as Stokes will be sorry to let his teammates go on without him, there’s no doubt where the priorities lie. England is important, but family comes first.

Stokes was not available for comment, only asking that his family’s privacy be respected at this time.


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