MANCHESTER: England star all-rounder Ben Stokes will miss the concluding two Tests against Pakistan for family reasons, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced on Sunday.
Stokes’s father Ged was admitted to hospital in Johannesburg two days before Christmas last year with a serious illness while following his son’s progress with the England cricket team during their tour of South Africa.
Ged Stokes — a former New Zealand rugby league international —underwent three operations and spent 37 days in hospital, with his conditions initially described as ‘critical’ before it stabilised.
He has since continued his recovery in New Zealand.
Despite his father’s health problems, Stokes was named player of the series in England’s 3-1 Test series win over South Africa.
Stokes, however, spent time at Ged’s beside when England returned to Johannesburg for the fourth Test at the Wanderers.
He later posted a picture of his father leaving hospital, praising him as ‘strong and stubborn’.
“Stokes will leave the UK later this week and travel to New Zealand,” said an ECB statement issued on Sunday. “He will miss England’s two Test matches against Pakistan at the Ageas Bowl [starting] on Aug 13 and Aug 21.