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England players must raise game in Ben Stokes’ absence: Dom Sibley

Ben Stokes has been ruled out of the remaining two matches against Pakistan for family reasons and the ECB said he would shortly fly to New Zealand, the country of his birth.

By: Reuters |
August 11, 2020 9:08:31 pm
Ben StokesBen Stokes was ruled out of the remainder of the series due to personal reasons. (File Photo)

England all-rounder Ben Stokes will be missed in the remaining two test matches against Pakistan and players must step up in the absence of the 29-year-old to add balance to the team, opening batsman Dom Sibley said on Tuesday.

Stokes has been ruled out of the two matches at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton for family reasons and the England and Wales Cricket Board said he would shortly fly to New Zealand, the country of his birth.

“He’s a massive part of our team and one of the best players in the world but family comes first and we’re supporting him with everything that is going on,” Sibley told reporters ahead of the second test, which begins on Thursday.

“We’ll have to make do in his absence and people will have to step up.”

England sealed an unlikely three-wicket victory in the first test after slumping to 117-5 at one point in their chase of 277 runs.

“Winning the last game was brilliant and the balance of that side was the way we had it for the West Indies series. I’m not sure (who will come in for Stokes), I just train hard and do my thing to score as many runs as possible,” Sibley added.

“It’s going to be interesting to see what kind of wicket we’ve got in Southampton… the conditions at Manchester were more suitable to their attack than what they might get here.

“They showed they have an impressive attack. They’ve got all the variety and the skills so we’ll have to be at our best to be able to cope with them.”

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