Ben Stokes: The star English all-rounder and Test vice-captain has decided to travel home to Christchurch due to family reasons.
England Test vice-captain Ben Stokes won’t take any further part in the ongoing Test series against Pakistan for he is all set to travel back to New Zealand to remain with his family.
The development was made public in the form of an official statement by the England Cricket Board which stated that Stokes will leave England later this week.
It is worth mentioning that Stokes’ father had been hospitalized due to a “serious illness” in Johannesburg during England’s tour of South Africa earlier this year.
“He will miss England’s two Test matches against Pakistan at the Ageas Bowl on Thursday 13 August and Friday 21 August. The England and Wales Cricket Board, along with the Stokes family, requests that all media respects the family’s privacy at this time,” a statement from the ECB read.
Ben Stokes to skip remainder of Pakistan series
In the seven Tests that Stokes played this year, he scored 641 runs at an average of 58.27 including two centuries and half-centuries each. With the ball in hand, Stokes dismissed 19 wickets at an average of 18.73 and a strike rate of 39.6.
Stokes, arguably the most important member of England’s current Test side, had played as a specialist batsman in the last two Test matches due to an injury which required England to play an extra bowling option in place of batsman Zac Crawley.
England may well have to consider a forced change with Ben Stokes unlikeky to play in rest of the series. Ollie Robinson has been asked to become part of the biosecure bubble.
— Dr. Nauman Niaz (@DrNaumanNiaz) August 9, 2020
As an immediate replacement, England are highly likely to include Crawley into their Playing XI for the next match. The move will mean that captain Joe Root will return to his favoured batting position of No. 4.
It will be interesting to note if Stokes returns back to England for a three-match T20I series against Pakistan starting from August 28 and a white-ball series against Australia next month.