Ben Stokes to take mental health break

England’s Ben Stokes is to take an indefinite break from all types of cricket to “prioritise his psychological wellbeing”, with the all-rounder the most recent high-profile sports activities star to step away from the pressures of competitors.

Stokes has withdrawn from England’s Take a look at squad forward of a five-match collection in opposition to India beginning at Trent Bridge subsequent week, together with his place taken by Craig Overton.

“The England and Wales Cricket Board can affirm that Ben Stokes will take an indefinite break from all cricket with instant impact,” mentioned a press release from the governing physique.

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“Stokes has withdrawn from England’s Take a look at squad forward of the Take a look at collection in opposition to India beginning subsequent week to prioritise his psychological wellbeing and to relaxation his left index finger, which has not totally healed since his return to aggressive cricket earlier this month.”

The 30-year-old Stokes rushed again to guide England in a one-day worldwide collection at house to Pakistan in spite of everything these initially chosen had been dominated out by a coronavirus outbreak throughout the hosts’ camp.

His break was introduced simply hours after the ECB mentioned participant welfare was “paramount” forward of the upcoming Ashes tour of Australia.

There are considerations some England gamers might not make the journey except there’s a rest of the coronavirus restrictions presently in pressure in Australia.

Specifically, all-format gamers similar to Stokes may very well be separated from their households for as much as 4 months because of the five-Take a look at Ashes collection beginning simply weeks after the November end of the Twenty20 World Cup within the United Arab Emirates and Oman.

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– ‘Large braveness’ –

Stokes’s choice comes simply days after American famous person gymnast Simone Biles pulled out of two occasions on the Tokyo Olympics to additionally defend her psychological well being.

The 24-year-old’s struggles adopted these of Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka, one other face of the Video games who misplaced within the third spherical on her return from a psychological well being break.

Osaka withdrew from the French Open after refusing to participate in press conferences, claiming they’re akin to “kicking folks when they’re down”.

She additionally skipped Wimbledon earlier than returning in Tokyo the place she lit the Olympic cauldron on the opening ceremony.

Stokes’ withdrawal, as has beforehand been the case within the vice-captain’s absence from the Take a look at crew, will go away England with a significant headache over the best way to greatest stability their facet with out his dynamic batting and energetic tempo bowling as Joe Root’s males look to avenge a collection loss in India earlier this 12 months.

However, the ECB insisted they totally supported Stokes’ choice, with their managing director of males’s cricket, Ashley Giles, saying: “Ben has proven large braveness to open up about his emotions and wellbeing.

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“Our main focus has all the time been and can proceed to be the psychological well being and welfare of all of our folks. The calls for on our athletes to arrange and play elite sport are relentless in a typical atmosphere, however the ongoing pandemic has acutely compounded this.”

The previous England left-arm spinner added: “Spending vital quantities of time away from household, with minimal freedoms, is extraordinarily difficult. The cumulative impact of working virtually constantly in these environments over the past 16 months has had a significant affect on everybody’s wellbeing.

“Ben will likely be given so long as he wants and we sit up for seeing him enjoying cricket for England sooner or later.” | Ben Stokes to take psychological well being break


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