Fri, 17 Sep 2021

Nottingham [UK], August 2 (ANI): England Test skipper Joe Root wants his "friend" Ben Stokes to look after himself and be in a good shape before the all-rounder comes back to the field to play cricket.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday confirmed that England men's all-rounder Stokes will take an indefinite break from all cricket with immediate effect.

"Yeah, from my point of view, I just want my friend to be okay. I think anyone who knows Ben, he always puts other people in front of himself and I think now is an opportunity for him to put himself first," Root said in a virtual press conference.

"I want him to look after himself and get into a good place again. Hopefully, that can be sooner rather than later," he added.

The English skipper said Stokes has full support from the players and team management"I think Cricket has to be a secondary thought, a long way down the line, and he should take as much time as he needs. He's got my full support on that and he's been assured he's got the full support of the ECB on that," said Root.

"And certainly, he's got the whole team's support. More than anything, we just want Ben to be OK. He's got everyone behind him.

"In my opinion, there's no one that compares with Ben Stokes and so obviously for a long time now he has very much been the heartbeat of this team," he added.

India and England will lock horns in the Test series from August 4 with the first match at Nottingham.

ECB said Stokes has withdrawn from England's Test squad Test series against India to prioritise his mental well-being and to rest his left index finger, which has not fully healed since his return to competitive cricket earlier this month. (ANI)

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