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Ben Stokes: England’s key player out of Pakistan series for ‘family reasons’

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England cricketer Ben Stokes will miss the remainder of the Test series against Pakistan for “family reasons”.

The all-rounder will leave the UK later this week and travel to New Zealand to be with his parents.

He will miss the second Test match against Pakistan, starting on Thursday and the third, which begins on 21 August.

Image:
Ben Stokes helped England to win the Cricket World Cup final at Lord’s in 2019

Both are being played at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton.

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The England and Wales Cricket Board, said in a statement: “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 starting 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.”

England lead the three-match series 1-0 after a memorable three-wicket victory at Emirates Old Trafford on Saturday.

Stokes, England’s vice-captain, has already had a huge impact on the summer thus far, leading the side against West Indies in Southampton and then helping set up the 2-1 series victory by averaging 90 with the bat and claiming nine wickets with the ball.

England celebrate victory at Headingley
Image:
Stokes (R) celebrates England’s incredible Ashes victory at Headingley

But after Saturday’s win in a match where he took two wickets after shrugging off a thigh injury, Stokes told his teammates he will now be leaving the biosecure bubble and fly out to Christchurch to join his family.

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The 29-year-old’s father, Ged, was hit by serious illness after arriving in South Africa before the winter’s 3-1 series victory before returning to New Zealand to continue his recovery.

Stokes wasn’t the only England player with non-playing matters on his mind.

Jos Buttler, whose 75 on the final day was a huge part of England’s unlikely comeback win, played despite knowing his father had been taken to hospital the previous evening.

Last summer, Stokes played the decisive innings as England beat New Zealand in the Cricket World Cup final as well as hitting a match-winning hundred to secure an Ashes test victory.

In 2018, he was acquitted of affray after a fight outside a Bristol nightclub the previous year.

England’s Test series against Pakistan is live on Sky Sports.

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