India Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane said that he respects England all-rounder Ben Stokes’ decision to pull out of the upcoming five-Test series between England and India which begins from August 4. Stokes, who recently captained England to a 3-0 ODI series win over Pakistan, has taken an indefinite break from all cricket.
Stokes, who is still recuperating from his finger injury which he had sustained during the first half of the IPL 2021, was called up to lead the England ODI team in an emergency. He had been playing in the Hundred as well, but recently shocked one and all with his decision, saying that he needed to prioritize his mental health over the sport.
From The Players’ Point Of View, What Ben Stokes Did, It Was His Call: Ajinkya Rahane
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) respected his decision and selected Craig Overton as his replacement in the Test squad for the upcoming five-match series against India.
When questioned about the same, Ajinkya Rahane admitted that bubble life was extremely challenging and taxing on a cricketer’s mental health. He added that the effect might vary from person to person, but he respects the decision taken by Stokes.
“Bio-bubble life is really challenging. From the players’ point of view, what Ben Stokes did, it was his call. You have got to understand the player’s mindset as well. It’s all about how we experience it. Because when you play at the highest level, you want to give your best, more than a hundred percent, and your mental health matters a lot. So we respect that. We respect his decision. I am sure his teammates also respect his decision,” Ajinkya Rahane said during the post-match media conference.
Ben Stokes had lost his father Ged to cancer last December and since then has been playing cricket with a few breaks in between. Only a fractured finger gave Stokes a break since he was a key member of his England team.
You Have To Understand What The Player Is Going Through In That Difficult Moment: Ajinkya Rahane
Rahane further continued to share his thoughts about the toll taken by the bio-bubble on the mental health of international players. The Test vice-captain stated that the entire India contingent respected the England all-rounder’s decision to take a break.
“I think it’s all about understanding the player’s headspace. You have to understand what the player is going through in that difficult moment. So we respect the decision, whatever he did, it was his call. But yes, it is tough, it is challenging as a player as a team to be in the bio-bubble continuously and give your best all the time takes a lot,” he said.
The first Test match between England and India will begin on August 4 in Trent Bridge.