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England vs India: Ben Stokes to take indefinite break from the game

Ben Stokes

Bengaluru, July 30: England's flamboyant all-rounder Ben Stokes has withdrawn from the Test squad to face India in order to prioritise his mental wellbeing and to rest his injured finger.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) confirmed that Stokes has decided to take an indefinite break from all cricket with immediate effect.

Stokes has been captaining the Northern Superchargers in the inaugural Hundred competition but he will not be in the England side to face India when a five-match series starts next week.

Craig Overton will replace the vice-captain in the squad to take on Virat Kohli's side.

Managing director of England men's Cricket Ashley Giles, said: "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.

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"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."

The five-Test series between England and India begins on August 4.

(With inputs from OPTA)

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Story first published: Friday, July 30, 2021, 22:20 [IST]
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