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Monday, September 20, 2021

England head coach says won’t push Ben Stokes to return from indefinite break

Speaking a day after the 151-run loss to India in the second Test at Lord's, Silverwood said Stokes will get as much as he needs to address his mental wellbeing, something skipper Joe Root had also stressed on ahead of the five-Test series.

By: PTI | London |
August 17, 2021 8:04:27 pm
Ben StokesBen Stokes had taken an indefinite break from the game last month after leading England to a 3-0 ODI series win over Pakistan. (File Photo)

England head coach Chris Silverwood on Tuesday said he won’t push star all-rounder Ben Stokes’ return from mental health break despite the team’s struggles in the ongoing Test series against India.

Speaking a day after the 151-run loss to India in the second Test at Lord’s, Silverwood said Stokes will get as much as he needs to address his mental wellbeing, something skipper Joe Root had also stressed on ahead of the five-Test series.

“No, there is no pushing from my point of view. I don’t think you can push with these issues. I will wait and there will be an element of waiting for him to come to me to let me know he is ready,” Silverwood said.

Stokes had taken an indefinite break from the game last month after leading England to a 3-0 ODI series win over Pakistan.

Echoing Root’s opinion, Silverwood said one can’t push an individual on sensitive matters like mental health.

“There is no time limit on it,” asserted Silverwood.

“I would stress again the important thing is Ben is okay, his family is okay and that he comes back strong and, when he re-enters the frame, he is ready in his mind to come back and perform for England like we know he can.

“I am certainly not pushing him for an answer and I don’t think that would be the right thing to do. There are people around him supporting him and, when he is ready to come back in, we will welcome him with open arms, but until then he will get all the support he needs.”

England are expected to announce the squad for the third Test on Wednesday. There are question marks also over the fitness of pacer Mark Wood after he injured himself while fielding in the Lord’s Test.

The third Test in Headingley begins from August 25.

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