England all-rounder Ben Stokes will miss the rest of the Test series against Pakistan due to family reasons. He will fly to Christchurch in New Zealand later this week. ECB announced the news on Sunday. The board said in a press release, “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.”
Ben Stokes was born in New Zealand. His parents Ged and Deb still live in New Zealand. The exact reason for Stokes’ unavailability has not been revealed. His father was hospitalized in December last year. Since then he has been recuperating at his home in New Zealand. “England and Wales Cricket Board, along with Stokes family requests that all media respects the family’s privacy at this time”, ECB added in its statement.
Ben Stokes has become one of the pillars of strength of England cricket team. He was instrumental in the team’s World Cup victory last year where they beat New Zealand in the final match. Along with limited over cricket, he has also become consistent in the traditional format. He scored a memorable Test century against arch-rival Australia in Headingley.
Pakistan and England are currently involved in a three-match Test series. England won the first match in Manchester and took 1-0 lead in the series. The series is being played in a bio-secure environment without any spectators. England became the first country to host international cricket series after the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in March 2020. After more than 100 days break, international cricket began in July with England-West Indies three-match Test series. The Caribbean won the first match but went on to lose the next two matches of the series.