Must be tough on Stokes and family, wouldn't have been an easy decision: Sangakkara

back icon
safari
31 Jul 2021 | 03:52 AM
authorcricket.com staff

Must be tough on Stokes and family, wouldn't have been an easy decision: Sangakkara

The England all-rounder announced an indefinite break from cricket to focus on his mental health

Ben Stokes' indefinite break from cricket to focus on his mental well-being took the world by surprise. However, in the recent past, we have seen elite athletes like American gymnast Simone Biles pull out of the ongoing Olympics for the same reason and also, tennis star Naomi Osaka too crashed out in the third round following her return to the sport after a break, which she took to protect her mental health.

Former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara sympathises with Stokes saying that it must be difficult for him to be locked away in bubbles with the pressure to perform at the highest level.

"It must be a very, very tough time for Ben and his family. It won't be a decision made easily but (it) brings into focus the level elite players play at -- your coping mechanism can only deal with so much," Sangakkara said.

"A lot of time away from home, in bubbles, restrictions in terms of freedom of movement, then the added pressures of performing at such a high level in the public eye."

"We've had a host of elite athletes who've spoken about mental wellbeing and the effects of Covid and the pressure around it, and of course pressure in the limelight, that have led to them making some very tough decisions," he added.

A key figure for England, Stokes has scored 4,631 runs in 71 Tests at an average of 37.04, which included 10 hundreds. He has been a valuable asset with the ball as well, having picked up 163 wickets at 31.38.

As as well as playing under the shadow of Covid-19, the past year has also seen Stokes coping with the death of his father Ged, a former New Zealand rugby league international, from brain cancer. "I hope he's OK -- he's a fabulous cricketer, one of the best in the world at the moment," said former England batsman Kevin Pietersen.

"He obviously lost his dad, there are a lot of things that have happened to Ben Stokes in the last couple of years."

Stokes' break was announced just hours after the ECB said player welfare was "paramount" ahead of the upcoming Ashes tour of Australia amid concerns some of their side may not make the trip unless coronavirus restrictions currently in force in Australia are relaxed.

In particular, all-format players such as Stokes, a husband and the father of young children, could be separated from their families for up to four months due to the five-Test Ashes series starting just weeks after the November finish of the Twenty20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates and Oman.

(With inputs from AFP)

heart
shareGray Share
Tags
India tour of England, 2021EnglandBen StokesKumar Sangakkara

Related Articles

safari
NEWS
It has become okay to talk about depression, it's positive: Anderson
The England seamer is also hopeful of his teammate Stokes coming back stronger
userPTI
03 Aug 2021
safari
NEWS
Ben Stokes opts out of India Test series to "prioritize mental well being"
The star all-rounder has prioritized his mental well-being to take some time away from cricket
usercricket.com staff
30 Jul 2021
safari
NEWS
'It's a final,' says Stokes going into the T20I series decider against India
India levelled the five-match T20I series 2-2 when their bowlers stifled England's run chase for 186 despite Stokes' defiant 46
userAFP
19 Mar 2021
safari
NEWS
Ben Stokes' father dies after cancer battle
Stokes, who played rugby league in England in the 1980s and returned as a coach, was diagnosed with the disease in January
userAFP
08 Dec 2020
safari
NEWS
Hopefully my hundred will give my family some happiness: Stokes
The England all-rounder, who missed the early part of the tournament to be with his father, said he was relieved to finally come to the party after a sluggish start in the opening role
userPTI
26 Oct 2020
safari
NEWS
Stokes may miss first part of IPL; Royals "will wait" to hear from their all-rounder
Stokes left for Christchurch in the middle of the Test series against Pakistan last month after his father was diagnosed with brain cancer
userPTI
07 Sep 2020
safari
NEWS
Stokes "didn't sleep for a week" after father's diagnosis
Stokes said his father has had a strong influence on his career
userPTI
29 Aug 2020
safari
NEWS
No cricketer in world is even close to Stokes: Gambhir
The 29-year-old England all-rounder has been in top form in the ongoing Test series against the West Indies
userPTI
26 Jul 2020
safari
NEWS
England in the presence of Stokes' 'greatness' says Root
Stokes laid the platform for a 113-run victory that saw England level the three-match series at 1-1 with 176 in a first innings of 469-9 declared
userAFP
21 Jul 2020
safari
ANALYSIS
The unflappable, extraordinary Mr Stokes
England's all-round superstar has come a full circle
userArjun Ganesh
20 Aug 2019
logo
Cricket like never before
Follow us on
FacebookTwitterLinkedin
@ 2020 cricket.com | All rights reserved