BREAKING NEWS: Ben Stokes will MISS the rest of England’s Test series against Pakistan for family reasons with the vice-captain travelling to New Zealand this week
England vice-captain Ben Stokes will miss the rest of the Test series against Pakistan for family reasons, the ECB have announced on Sunday.
Stokes played in the first Test at Old Trafford which concluded with an England victory on Saturday, but will play no part in the second and third Tests at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, starting on the 13 August and 21 August respectively.
The 29-year-old is leaving the UK and travelling back to New Zealand, the country of his birth, later this week to be with his family – Stokes’ father, Ged, was serious ill during the tour of South Africa in the winter.
England’s Ben Stokes will miss the rest of the Test series against Pakistan for family reasons
A statement from the ECB read: ‘England all-rounder Ben Stokes will miss the remainder of the #raisethebat Test series against Pakistan for family reasons.
‘Stokes will leave the UK later this week and travel to New Zealand. 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.’
The Stokes family had a tough time over Christmas, with Ged rushed to hospital in Johannesburg on the eve of the Boxing Day Test against South Africa.
Stokes spent a considerable amount of time at the bedside but was encouraged by his father to play a full part in that game and the 3-1 series win that followed. He later posted a picture of his father leaving hospital after 37 days and three operations praising him as ‘strong and stubborn’.
The England squad were due to leave Manchester, site of their three-wicket win over Pakistan in the first Test, and head to Southampton on Sunday.
The second Test will begin on Thursday at the Ageas Bowl, with Sussex bowler Ollie Robinson linking up with the side.