The England and Wales Cricket Board stated on Friday that all-rounder Ben Stokes will take a break from all forms of cricket to protect his mental health, making him the latest high-profile sports star to step away from the pressures of competition.
Craig Overton has taken Stokes' place in England's Test team ahead of a five-match series against India that begins at Trent Bridge next week. "With immediate effect, the England and Wales Cricket Board can confirm that Ben Stokes will take an indefinite absence from all cricket," the governing body said in a statement.
The ECB stated it completely supported Stokes' choice and will continue to assist him during his time away from cricket. "Ben has shown wonderful courage to open up about his thoughts and welfare," said managing director Ashley Giles.
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"Our first priority has always been and will remain the mental health and well-being of all of our employees. In a typical setting, the pressures on our athletes to prepare for and perform in elite sports are relentless, but the current pandemic has exacerbated this, "said ECB.
Earlier, Simone Biles, an American Olympic gymnast, withdrew from two competitions at the Tokyo Olympics to safeguard her mental health.