Ace England all-rounder Ben Stokes will miss the remaining two Test matches against Pakistan because of family reasons.
The ECB has announced that Ben Stokes, the English stalwart, is all set to leave the UK for New Zealand later in the week. As a result, he will be missing the two Tests at the Ageas Bowl against Pakistan.
"The England and Wales Cricket Board, along with the Stokes family, requests that all media respects the family's privacy at this time," an ECB statement said earlier today.
Ben Stokes' father Ged, a former rugby player, was hospitalized last December in South Africa during England's tour of the country and has since been known to be recuperating in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Ben Stokes could be replaced by Sam Curran for the 2nd Test
Following a stupendous series win against West Indies last month, where he led England in the first Test in the absence of Joe Root, Ben Stokes had a tough first Test against Pakistan.
However, despite scores of 0 and 9 with the bat, Ben Stokes shrugged off his thigh injury and returned 2-11 in the second innings being instrumental in England's excellent bowling performance to knock over Pakistan cheaply.
On Saturday, England added Ollie Robinson, the uncapped Sussex seamer, to the squad. Although the absence of Stokes is a huge blow to their plans and affects the balance of the team, the hosts at least have another all-rounder in Sam Curran in their ranks. Nevertheless, Stokes will certainly be missed by cricket fans and England team alike due to his charismatic aura and never-say-die attitude.
The second and third Tests of the three-match #raisethebat series will be played at the Ageas Bowl from August 13 and 21, respectively.