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  1. #1
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    Ben Stokes withdraws from the remainder of the Test series against Pakistan for family reasons

    Official Statement- Ben Stokes

    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.


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  2. #2
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    He is not much of a lose really.he averages 18 against Pakistan in tests.

  3. #3
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    i hope everything is allright.

    Hes a great cricketer, and this series would become boring without him. That fear of Ben stokes could come up and do this with the ball or do that with the bat has its own hype.

    Must be something serious, whatever it is, i wish him luck


    "Life is Pain"
    ~House~

  4. #4
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    Not such a big deal.

    England can bring in any XYZ lallu, and he will wreck us.

  5. #5
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    Even Zak Crawley will do well against Pakistan. So not much of an issue for England.

    Hope everything is well for Stokes.


    "You aren't a failure if you fail, you are a failure if you don't get up to try again" - Imran Khan.

  6. #6
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    Way clear for Sam Curran.

  7. #7
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    Let’s hope that all is well - he’s from a very traumatised family.

    In another thread @Saj and I are arguing about all-rounders. He says that they must be a match winner with bat or ball, whereas I believe that any team only contains 2-3 match winners, and that any all-rounder who is 0.6 of a batsman and 0.5 of a bowler is better than the seventh best batsman or fifth best bowler.

    I think that right now in English conditions England have four match winners - Root, Stokes, Woakes and Broad.

    The loss of Stokes massively reduces that amount - this is a huge bonus for Pakistan.

  8. #8
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    Big blow to England.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mueez View Post
    Big blow to England.
    Indeed

  10. #10
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    That opens the series for Pakistan.


    And I get so high.. And I just can't feel it....

  11. #11
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    Hope everything is fine with Stokes, family - must be some serious issue, otherwise guy won’t have left the a squad and go through all these hassle of travelling to NZ during CV period.

    This is a great opportunity for England as well to play Ben Foakes. Everyone seems to be convinced that Zak Crawly will play but I think they’ll play Foakes, who is a better batsman than Crawly and a far better gloves-man than JB.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMHS View Post
    Hope everything is fine with Stokes, family - must be some serious issue, otherwise guy won’t have left the a squad and go through all these hassle of travelling to NZ during CV period.

    This is a great opportunity for England as well to play Ben Foakes. Everyone seems to be convinced that Zak Crawly will play but I think they’ll play Foakes, who is a better batsman than Crawly and a far better gloves-man than JB.

    That might make Butler play even better, if possible, if he plays just as a batsmen.

    How is Foakes in batting?


    And I get so high.. And I just can't feel it....

  13. #13
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    It’s clearly his NZ family - mum and stepdad.

    Presumably he will have to do 14 days of hotel quarantine under armed guard. Everybody else does - including his fellow NZ citizens.

  14. #14
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    Big blow to England.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    Let’s hope that all is well - he’s from a very traumatised family.

    In another thread @Saj and I are arguing about all-rounders. He says that they must be a match winner with bat or ball, whereas I believe that any team only contains 2-3 match winners, and that any all-rounder who is 0.6 of a batsman and 0.5 of a bowler is better than the seventh best batsman or fifth best bowler.

    I think that right now in English conditions England have four match winners - Root, Stokes, Woakes and Broad.

    The loss of Stokes massively reduces that amount - this is a huge bonus for Pakistan.
    Do you think we really have a consistent match winner other than possibly Babar ? I guess Abbas in the right conditions but the other two are still too experienced. Shan played out of his skin but he is unlikely to repeat that again

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr_Bassim View Post
    That might make Butler play even better, if possible, if he plays just as a batsmen.

    How is Foakes in batting?
    Averages 41+ in his 5 Tests with a valuable match winning hundred against Srilanka (in SRL), and has 5400+ FC runs at 38+ with 9 hundreds and 30 fifties. Only ODI that he played scored 61* so no average but his List A average is also ~38. In every scope his batting stats are better than Crawly and FC stats are far better than Buttler.

    This will allow England to play JB as a specialist bat and Pope at 3, pushing Root to his best place at 4. They should also drop Bess and bring Moeen - another PAK basher.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    It’s clearly his NZ family - mum and stepdad.

    Presumably he will have to do 14 days of hotel quarantine under armed guard. Everybody else does - including his fellow NZ citizens.
    Stokes doesn't have a stepdad. Added to that quarantine in NZ isn't under 'armed guard'.

  18. #18
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    I wish the guy and his family the best. A brilliant cricketer and a talisman for the England team.

  19. #19
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    That upsets the balance for england they should play zack or even play Curran as an all rounder

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abdullah719 View Post
    Official Statement- Ben Stokes

    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.
    Oh no...big blow for england, a talismanic cricketer out of action...hope all well with his family situation....
    what an awesomefirst test....this serieswill be competitive...


  21. #21
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    Great chance for Pakistan to make a comeback though.

    England XI will be:-

    Burns
    Sibley
    Crawley
    Root
    Pope
    Buttler(wkt)
    Curran
    Woakes
    Bess
    Archer/Wood
    Broad


    I don't think they will play both Buttler and Foakes because then Root at 3, Pope 4, JB 5, Foakes 6 will be a very weak batting lineup as they have to play 5 bowlers(including Curran and Woakes).

  22. #22
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    Curran is better batsman than most of ours let alone than shadab

  23. #23
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    Hope everything works out for him and family.

  24. #24
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    Think Crawley may replace him.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hasan123 View Post
    Think Crawley may replace him.
    Yes, I think they’ll go with the batsman. Stokes was picked as a batsman for this Test and it allows Root to come in at 4 which he clearly prefers

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by gibsyhesperis View Post
    Yes, I think they’ll go with the batsman. Stokes was picked as a batsman for this Test and it allows Root to come in at 4 which he clearly prefers
    Exactly. They may replace Bess as well. Don't think they trust him as a spinner.

  27. #27
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    All very mysterious. Hope his family is ok and he has a safe flight.


    I for one welcome our new In____ overlords - Kent Brockman

  28. #28
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    Blow for Pakistan. Stokes does not do much against Pakistan,and now they will have a batsman or an all rounder like Curran, who can bat and bowl.

  29. #29
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    Massive blow for England , it’s just not him being able to play , but what it does to Englands team combination.

    After yesterday I was thinking this is going to be an easy 3-0 too england but now Pakistan have a chance.

    Provided we play an extra batsman instead of shadab

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by PakPremi View Post
    Blow for Pakistan. Stokes does not do much against Pakistan,and now they will have a batsman or an all rounder like Curran, who can bat and bowl.
    Stokes can change the game in half an hour just like he did with the ball

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by azimiqbal View Post
    Massive blow for England , it’s just not him being able to play , but what it does to Englands team combination.

    After yesterday I was thinking this is going to be an easy 3-0 too england but now Pakistan have a chance.

    Provided we play an extra batsman instead of shadab
    Agreed imaam should come in pluss hes in abit of form maybe at 3 or down the order

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hasan123 View Post
    Exactly. They may replace Bess as well. Don't think they trust him as a spinner.
    I dont think they will make to many changes proberly anderson out curran in and wood over archer

  33. #33
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    Looks like he's on his way to Christchurch

    Not sure he would have gone if they had lost the first test

  34. #34
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    Hope things are OK.

    As for this idea that it's no big loss for England because Stokes has a poor record vs Pakistan - don't flatter yourselves Pakistan fans. Ben Stokes is the premier allrounder in world cricket and would've put up a big performance at some point against our mental midgets.

    I'd normally back Pakistan to capitalise but with Azhar and Misbah in charge a whitewash is a formality.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by chacha kashmiri View Post
    Looks like he's on his way to Christchurch

    Not sure he would have gone if they had lost the first test
    Yes fortunately for Ben, that win gives England a cushion which means his loss might not be as damaging as it could have been.


    I for one welcome our new In____ overlords - Kent Brockman

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cpt. Rishwat View Post
    Yes fortunately for Ben, that win gives England a cushion which means his loss might not be as damaging as it could have been.
    We will suffer regardless but it might be an easier duel for us now especially when bowling to england


    "If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles"

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by shamaan View Post
    Stokes can change the game in half an hour just like he did with the ball
    Yes he can but so far Pak have not let him bat well against them, and I doubt they qould risk bowling him as he did not apper fit. By the way those wickets were more our dumb batting.

  38. #38
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    Looks like Ollie Johnson is Stokes replacement

    ==

    Ollie Robinson

    Seamer Ollie Robinson has been withdrawn from Sussex’s squad for their Bob Willis Trophy match against Kent starting today at Canterbury. He will join the bio-secure bubble at the Ageas Bowl as part of England men’s behind closed doors training group ahead of the second Test against Pakistan on Monday.


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  39. #39
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    Doesn't matter much we already are rubbish team .

  40. #40
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    Lots of strength in depth in English cricket these days.

    They probably have about 5 or 6 options who could come into the team.



  41. #41
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    Massive boost to our chances..

  42. #42
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    Bring back Johnny Bairstow, he's too talented to be on the bench.


    John 3:16

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markhor View Post
    Hope things are OK.

    As for this idea that it's no big loss for England because Stokes has a poor record vs Pakistan - don't flatter yourselves Pakistan fans. Ben Stokes is the premier allrounder in world cricket and would've put up a big performance at some point against our mental midgets.

    I'd normally back Pakistan to capitalise but with Azhar and Misbah in charge a whitewash is a formality.
    Most of us believe its not really a big loss, considering how lallus like Woakes smack our bowlers around like rag dolls.

    Stokes isn't needed in this series. England have enough firepower to pulverize us into the ground if we keep making stupid mistakes.

  44. #44
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    Stokes doesn't do that well against Pakistan and hence it may not be a big loss.

    But, still, he is a major player and it is a bit of a blow for England.



  45. #45
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    Family comes first.

    He’s made the best decision for him and his folks to go and see them — hope everything is ok.

  46. #46
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    I do hope all is well in the Stokes family - our best wishes for him and his family.


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  47. #47
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    Read title wrongly, thought he was resting, was going to make a fun comment 😑

    Hope all is well with him & family

  48. #48
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    Ben Stokes will MISS the rest of England's Test series against Pakistan for family reasons as he gets ready to fly home to New Zealand this week

    England suffered a serious blow on Sunday after their dramatic victory over Pakistan at Emirates Old Trafford when their 'Mr Incredible' Ben Stokes was ruled out of the rest of the Test summer for family reasons.

    Stokes will this week fly to New Zealand to be with his parents Ged and Deborah in Christchurch and will miss at least the last two Tests at the Ageas Bowl.

    It remains unclear whether he will be able to return ahead of white-ball games against Pakistan and Australia.

    Ged Stokes was taken ill in Johannesburg over Christmas where he had travelled to watch his son play in the first Test against South Africa in Centurion on Boxing Day but after treatment in hospital he was able to return to his native New Zealand where he has been recovering.

    Only last month Ged, a former rugby league player and coach, talked in an exclusive interview with Sportsmail of his immense pride when Stokes was named captain of England for the first Test against West Indies, with Joe Root on paternity leave.

    'The England and Wales Cricket Board, along with the Stokes family, requests that all media respects the family's privacy at this time,' said an ECB statement.

    It is a huge setback for England with Stokes again demonstrating that he is arguably the best player in world cricket right now when he dominated the second Test against West Indies before suffering a thigh injury that has since reduced his impact on the Test summer.

    He made a big hundred and half century in that second Test at Old Trafford and has taken 11 wickets this summer even though he has played largely as a specialist batsman since his quadriceps injury.

    Now England must find a way of coping without Stokes in the remaining two Tests of the summer after taking a thrilling 1-0 lead thanks to a match-winning partnership of 139 for the sixth wicket between Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler on Saturday.

    It was revealed after Saturday's three-wicket victory that Buttler's father John had been taken to hospital on Friday but thankfully he returned home on Sunday.

    Zak Crawley is the firm favourite to come back in for Stokes and bat at three at the Ageas Bowl on Thursday, with Root returning to his favoured role of four. But England will also consider a debut for exciting Essex batsman Dan Lawrence to bolster the batting.

    England have also called up Sussex seamer Ollie Robinson to their bio-secure bubble in Southampton and he will also be in contention for a debut against Pakistan, possibly at the expense of record-breaking wicket-taker Jimmy Anderson.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/cr...y-reasons.html

  49. #49
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    Thoughts and prayers are with Ben Stokes family. Hoping all gets well whatever it is. At the peak of his career, his absence will be felt.

  50. #50
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    Hope alls well.

    On the other hand, England might debut someone and we will get wrecked by them because we do “not have a tape of them” to review beforehand.

  51. #51
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    Cricket is just a game.... Best Wishes to Stokes.

    Yes his absence will be felt by England as in tight situations he turns matches with ball and bat.

    Defo best All rounder in the world

  52. #52
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    big blow but he has a poor record vs pakistan. In comes the little curran. Don't underestimate him. He was the difference between india and England last time.

  53. #53
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    Best wishes to Stokes and his family.

  54. #54
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    Big blow to Pakistan.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slim View Post
    Big blow to Pakistan.
    Lol stokes changed the game with the 2 wickets

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by tyron_woodley View Post
    big blow but he has a poor record vs pakistan. In comes the little curran. Don't underestimate him. He was the difference between india and England last time.
    Bhai uss chhotu ka naam bhi mat liya karo din kharab ho jaata hae

    The guy came out of nowhere and kept hurting India's victory chances again and again. How annoying.

  57. #57
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    Waqar on Ben Stokes absence

    “There is no doubt about the fact that Ben Stokes is the kind of batsman who takes the game away from you, singlehandedly at times; I wont say his absence will be a boost as in the previous game, I thought we had clear plans and executed them very well; He is not around now, its unfortunate for cricket and there is no doubt that he is a match-winner; If he isnt around then, England will be a touch light when we talk about the middle order so we will try and cash in on this”


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  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    Let’s hope that all is well - he’s from a very traumatised family.

    In another thread @Saj and I are arguing about all-rounders. He says that they must be a match winner with bat or ball, whereas I believe that any team only contains 2-3 match winners, and that any all-rounder who is 0.6 of a batsman and 0.5 of a bowler is better than the seventh best batsman or fifth best bowler.

    I think that right now in English conditions England have four match winners - Root, Stokes, Woakes and Broad.

    The loss of Stokes massively reduces that amount - this is a huge bonus for Pakistan.
    I’d say Curran can swing a test too.

    Otherwise I agree and hope that the family situation is ok.

  59. #59
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    He is not that much of a lose. He averages 18 if I m not wrong against Pakistan with the bat with the ball he would have been effective but I don't think he would have bowled much in this series.

  60. #60
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    Christchurch-born England cricket star Ben Stokes is completing quarantine formalities before returning home to comfort his seriously ill father Ged.

    The World Cup-winning all-rounder recently embarked on a mercy dash to New Zealand after the opening test in England’s three-match series with Pakistan.

    Stokes, 29, is marking time in Covid-19-related managed isolation before reuniting with Ged, who is understood to have been diagnosed with cancer.

    The England Cricket Board confirmed Stokes is currently fulfilling a 14-day quarantine requirement.

    "Ben will stay in New Zealand as long as he needs to," an ECB spokesman said.

    "He won’t be playing for England for the remainder of this season.

    Stokes shares a strong bond with his father, who first fell ill while touring South Africa in December.

    The 64-year-old was hospitalised for 37 days in Johannesburg and underwent three operations before he was cleared to return home.
    Stokes, who recently captained England for the first time in the home test series with the West Indies, celebrates every century by mimicking the middle finger that Ged had amputated during his rugby league career.

    "He’s been crook for a fair while,” said former Kiwis and Warriors coach Frank Endacott, who appointed him as his assistant at Canterbury during the 1990s.

    Endacott had lost touch with Stokes in recent times but was endeavouring to reconnect.

    "I’ve been out of contact for a fair while because he’s been doing a fair bit of travelling overseas following his son," he said.

    https://www.odt.co.nz/star-news/star...ng-father-chch


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  61. #61
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    Gerard Stokes, the former Kiwis rugby league player and father of England cricket star Ben, has revealed he is battling brain cancer.

    Ben Stokes arrived back in New Zealand this week to be with his seriously ill Dad, and is in managed isolation due to coronavirus safeguards. He left the England squad during the recent Pakistan series to be with his family.


    "I didn't sleep for a week and my head wasn't really in it," Ben Stokes told the Weekend Herald. "Leaving [the team] was the right choice from a mental point of view."

    In an interview with the Weekend Herald at his Christchurch home, Gerard Stokes, 64, revealed he was diagnosed with the illness in January on his return to Christchurch from South Africa. He, wife Deb and eldest son James were there to watch Ben represent England in four tests against the Proteas.

    Stokes senior was admitted to hospital in Johannesburg ahead of the Boxing Day test due to a brain bleed for which he required surgery. It was reported at the time as a "serious illness". Further tests on his return to New Zealand revealed cancer.

    "They had to assess how I travelled and from that they discovered I had a couple of tumors on my brain as well," Stokes says.

    "So, basically brain cancer. How that came about nobody knows but obviously I've had a few bangs on my head through my life so that's probably contributed to it."

    Stokes, a well-known Canterbury league identity, coached professionally in England for a decade before returning home seven years ago. Once back in Christchurch, the qualified builder and a man notorious for his toughness led a large team who worked with inmates at Rolleston Prison, a role which he says taught him a great deal about empathising with those less fortunate.

    Ben, 29, one of the world's best allrounders, was just 12 when he left Christchurch with his parents to live in the north of England; a journey which put him on the path to cricketing stardom.

    He played a key role in England's dramatic World Cup final match against New Zealand at Lord's last year which was won on countback by the home side. But he acknowledged that his dad, known as Ged, plotted a path in a different and no less significant way.

    "He was tough [on me]. But as I got older I realised it was all for a reason. He knew I wanted to be a professional sportsman and he was drilling that into me as I started to make a career in cricket."

    Ben also says his dad's illness had given him a new perspective on suffering, adding that he now pushes himself a lot harder on the cricket field. He says his innings of 120 against South Africa in Port Elizabeth a few weeks after his dad's emergency surgery was hugely emotional.

    As has become traditional, he recently celebrated a century against the West Indies in Manchester with a three-finger salute, a tribute to Ged, who dislocated a finger during his league days and requested an amputation in order to get back on the field quicker.

    "His reputation sort of speaks for itself," Ben says. "You speak to anyone who knows him, played with him or worked with him, they'd all say the same thing. Most people acquire a softer side with age and sometimes with dad that has been quite weird to see.

    "What he's going through has brought that side out as well – we all knew he had it, he just didn't show it that often."

    James, Ben's brother, says of his dad: "He has never taken a backwards step in life and never lost his sense of humour, even when life threw him a few curve balls."

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/new...ectid=12360141


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  62. #62
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    Ben Stokes has admitted his head "wasn't really in" England's recent Test series with Pakistan, after it was revealed his father Ged is suffering from brain cancer.

    Stokes left for New Zealand - where his father and mother Deb live - after the first Test win over Pakistan earlier this month, with the England and Wales Cricket Board saying it was down to "family reasons".

    The precise reason behind Stokes' departure was not made public at the time, but his father has now told the New Zealand Herald that he was diagnosed with brain cancer in January.

    "I didn't sleep for a week and my head wasn't really in it," England vice-captain Stokes told the Weekend Herald about his last Test appearance.

    "Leaving (the team) was the right choice from a mental point of view."

    Stokes senior, a former New Zealand rugby league player, was admitted to hospital in Johannesburg ahead of England's Boxing Day Test with South Africa.

    It was said at the time that he had suffered a brain bleed which required surgery, and the cancer diagnosis was made on his return to New Zealand.

    Speaking about his father, Stokes said: "He was tough (on me). But as I got older, I realised it was all for a reason.

    "He knew I wanted to be a professional sportsman and he was drilling that into me as I started to make a career in cricket.

    "His reputation sort of speaks for itself. You speak to anyone who knows him, played with him or worked with him, they'd all say the same thing.

    "Most people acquire a softer side with age and sometimes with dad that has been quite weird to see.

    "What he's going through has brought that side out as well - we all knew he had it, he just didn't show it that often."

    Stokes senior, 64, speaking about his diagnosis, said: "They had to assess how I travelled (to South Africa) and from that, they discovered I had a couple of tumors on my brain as well.

    "So, basically brain cancer. How that came about nobody knows but obviously I've had a few bangs on my head through my life so that's probably contributed to it."

    https://www.skysports.com/cricket/ne...ncer-diagnosis


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  63. #63
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    Only someone who loves his father can understand what Ben Stokes must be going through.

    Thoughts are prayers are with Stokes family who are clearly a family of fighters. I am sure Sr. Mr Stokes will win his battle against cancer.
    Last edited by MenInG; 29th August 2020 at 12:32.

  64. #64
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    PL franchise Rajasthan Royals is likely to miss its premier all-rounder Ben Stokes during the first half of the T20 event as the World Cup-winner is currently in New Zealand to be with his ailing father Ged.

    Stokes, considered the world’s best all-rounder right now, left for Christchurch in the middle of the Test series against Pakistan last month after his father, a former All Blacks International, was diagnosed with brain cancer.

    “As per quarantine rules in New Zealand, Ben has just completed his 14-day isolation period after reaching New Zealand. Now he will be meeting his father and obviously he would like to spend some quiet time with his family in this time of crisis,” a source privy to developments in the franchise told PTI.

    Stokes has been bought by Royals for Rs 12.5 crore.

    “It is only logical that if he has just completed his quarantine, he would not be available for the first part of the IPL and that is completely understandable. The franchise will not even call Ben as this is not priority at the moment. Let him spend quality family time and any discussions on his availability can happen only after that,” the source added.

    The IPL starts on September 19 in the UAE and will conclude on November 10.

    It is understood that the franchise will “wait” for Stokes to get back to the management and only if the cricketer confirms his availability for the second half, it will take things forward.

    The 29-year-old has played 67 Tests, 95 ODIs and 26 T20 Internationals. He had a major role in England’s World Cup triumph besides an epic match-winning hundred in an Ashes Test match in 2019.

    Recently, he singlehandedly won a Test against West Indies despite not being fully fit with a hundred and fifty in each innings and three wickets.

    “I didn’t sleep for a week and my head wasn’t really in it,” Stokes had told the Weekend Herald on Saturday after reaching New Zealand.

    “Leaving was the right choice from a mental point of view,” the cricketer added.

    https://sportstar.thehindu.com/crick...le32541873.ece


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  65. #65
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    Rajasthan Royals head coach Andrew McDonald admitted that is still unaware of when Stokes will be joining the squad, but added that the franchise is willing to give him as much time as possible.

    "First and foremost, thoughts with the Stokes family. It's a difficult scenario, so we are giving him as much time as he needs, and connecting with him as best as we can. So yes, weren't not sure where Stokesy's at right now, but once it has played out, then we can make our own decision from there," McDonald said.

    Stokes absence will deeply hurt Rajasthan Royals as their middle-order will look fragile. Riyan Parag, who had shown glimpses of his talent in the last season, will have be relied upon if Stokes opts out. Moreover, the Royals do not have a like-for-like replacement for Stokes. David Miller might be considered for the batting position while Tom Curran can be used in the lower order


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  66. #66
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  67. #67
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    England cricketer Ben Stokes is finding time to aid the development of some Canterbury cricketers during his stay back home.

    The New Zealand-born all-rounder is here to spend time with his ill father Ged, who was diagnosed with brain cancer last month. In between time with family, the World Cup winner is doing his best to finetune his skills on the pitch.

    One club is benefiting immensely from his services. The Sydenham Cricket Club is located in central Christchurch and on top of being in close proximity to the Stokes household; it also has a strong connection to the 29-year-old.

    "He's got a real close connection with the club, in particular Graham Harris who's the president, some family history there," Sydenham Premier head coach Matthew Bell says.

    Bell, a former Black Caps batsman, says his players are doing all they can to benefit from Stokes' brief yet priceless appearances. Sydenham's cricket season gets underway on October 3, with red ball cricket for the first three rounds before moving into the white ball. Stokes has played a part in helping the team prepare.

    "He's only been around for a week or so, and rubbed shoulders with three or four players. I suppose just that one-on-one time has proved special to pick his brains, the batters that did play against him understand how he's trying to set them up and how they can come up with a good game plan. Also the way he's produced some pretty phenomenal innings as a batter.

    "The thrill they get out of that - to see how he goes about his business and what pace he bowls at - it's a once in a lifetime opportunity for those guys that never get that chance," he adds.

    Despite leave from competition Stokes is not holding back when he does get his hand on a bat or ball. He posted a video on his Instagram bowling to one of the team's batsman, and having little trouble whacking the stumps.

    Bell says one of the obvious qualities that has shone through is Stokes' dedication to his craft.

    "If you're going to be at the top of your game you can't have too much time off.

    "He wants to stay on top of his fitness and being match ready for whenever he is ready to return, whether that is IPL or for England."

    It is unknown at this stage when or where Stokes will take the field again. A return to the Rajasthan Royals in the IPL has been reported for early October, but that hinges on his father's health.

    Bell says while they would love to have Stokes don their strip, they know the purpose of his trip.

    "He's here for his family and we're here to help him with his cricket.

    "He's popping down during the day for an hour and a half and having a good bowl, and he has another location with a bowling machine that he can load up and hit as many balls as he wants to. Just trying to fit in and around what he needs to get done, and when and where.

    "We're happy to have him around, and can only sing high praises of him in terms of the way he's gone about his business mixed in with the group."

    Stokes left the England squad for Christchurch during their series with Pakistan last month upon hearing the news of his father. He is no stranger to the garden city, having been born there and living his early years down under.

    Stokes left for England aged 12 when his father snagged a job coaching the Workington Town rugby league club in West Cumbria.

    Since, his career has been one filled with stardom and success, which all culminated in a World Cup win on English soil last year. The infamous victory over New Zealand in the final was thanks in large part to Stokes' innings, including his unintentional deflection when running between the wickets, which tacked on four extra runs and sent the match to a super over.

    The rest is gruelling, excruciating history… at least for Kiwis, but Bell insists there has been no World Cup final-related banter at the club.

    "Hasn't been any chat of that… let him just do his thing," he says. "Just a real thrill for the guys to bat against him."

    Stokes represented Canterbury domestically at the end of 2017, and while he could end up spending more time in New Zealand in the near future, a return to the domestic scene appears unlikely.

    "I think he's just here for family reasons and little bit of personal stuff with his cricket on the side," says Bell. "I can't see that happening this time round."

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/new...ectid=12367772


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  68. #68
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    absolutely disgraceful abuse that Stokes has got on social media as he got on his Instagram account

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  69. #69
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    Ben Stokes has left New Zealand and is on his way to Dubai to join IPL side Rajasthan Royals, after a period of compassionate leave.

    The England all-rounder travelled to New Zealand in August to be with his father Ged, who has brain cancer.

    In an emotional post on Instagram, Stokes said "goodbyes never get easier" as he prepared to leave his family and return to action.

    The 29-year-old missed two of England's summer Test matches against Pakistan.

    Stokes, who was born in New Zealand, will arrive in Dubai on Sunday, before having to quarantine for six days under Covid-19 measures.

    Following his period of self-isolation, Stokes will have to test negative, before being eligible to join up with his team-mates.

    It means he could return to action against the Sunrisers Hyderabad on 11 October.

    lc(100% - 2px);">


    https://www.bbc.com/sport/cricket/54399193


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  70. #70
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    Excellent news. Stokes will only add more value to the league.

  71. #71
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    Ben Stokes explains decision to return ahead of IPL entrance

    Ben Stokes has revealed he has returned to cricket with his family's blessing.

    The England all-rounder travelled to New Zealand in August to be with his father Ged, who has brain cancer, and missed two Test matches against Pakistan and a short-format series against Australia.

    He is now in Dubai to join IPL side Rajasthan Royals and, after self-isolating, could return against Sunrisers Hyderabad on October 11, live on Sky Sports.

    In his column for the Daily Mirror, the 29-year-old wrote: "Saying goodbye to my dad, my mum and my brother in Christchurch was tough. It has been a difficult time for us as a family, but we've pulled together and supported each other as best we can.

    "And I was able to get on the plane with my parents' love and blessing after we reached the decision, for me to get back playing, as a family with no external influences.

    "I didn't know what dad wanted, I didn't know what mum wanted so to start that conversation off was the hardest thing of all.

    "And then mum made it simple, she said, 'The time you are spending here now with your dad is so much more important than the time you will spend when the worst happens'.

    "My dad was also very strong on the responsibilities I have. He told me I have a duty to do the job that I do and I have a duty as a husband and father as well.

    "We gave it all a lot of thought and talked it over at length, and we came to a decision that now sees me back focusing on the game and then I'll be heading home to Clare and the kids.

    "When I was there I was able to leave cricket behind completely for five weeks. I would just wake up and be useful. That meant looking after dad when mum went to work.

    "We got into a nice routine. I would sit with dad for a bit, watch some TV and then I'd take him out to his favourite coffee shop in Barrington Mall."

    https://www.skysports.com/cricket/ne...f-ipl-entrance

  72. #72
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    Stokes dedicated century to his father with this hand gesture during IPL game

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