England star Ben Stokes misses India Test series to prioritize ‘his mental wellbeing’

Ben Stokes pulls out of England Test side to prioritize ‘his mental wellbeing’, with the all-rounder also still struggling with a left index finger injury

England have confirmed that Ben Stokes will be taking an ‘indefinite break’ from all forms of cricket, with the all-rounder missing the entire India Test series.

The ECB released a statement confirming its failure to prioritize “his mental well-being and resting his left index finger, which has not fully healed.”

England Men’s Cricket Managing Director Ashley Giles said: ‘Ben has shown tremendous courage to be open about his feelings and well-being.

“Our primary focus has always been and remains the mental health and well-being of all our people. The demands placed on our athletes to prepare and play elite sport are relentless in a typical environment, but the ongoing pandemic has exacerbated this acutely.

Spending significant amounts of time away from family, with minimal freedoms, is a huge challenge. The cumulative effect of operating almost continuously in these environments over the past 16 months has had a major impact on everyone’s well-being.’

“Ben is getting the time he needs and we look forward to seeing him play cricket for England in the future.”

Stokes has been replaced by Craig Overton in the England Test squad to face India – with the five-game streak starting next week at Trent Bridge.