Ben Stokes has admitted his head “wasn’t really in” England’s recent Test series with Pakistan, after it was revealed his father Ged is suffering from brain cancer. The star allrounder left for New Zealand after the first match of the three-match series to be with his father and mother Deb.
At that time, the reason behind his departure was not made public at that time. While announcing Ben Stokes’ departure, the England and Wales Cricket Board had said it was down to “family reasons”. However, his father has now revealed the heartbreaking reason.
Speaking to the New Zealand Herald, he revealed that he was diagnosed with brain cancer in January. Towards the end of last year, Ged had travelled to South Africa to support his son during the Test series before he was hospitalised even before the series started.
“They had to assess how I travelled (to South Africa) and from that, they discovered I had a couple of tumors on my brain as well,” said Ged.
“So, basically brain cancer. How that came about nobody knows but obviously I’ve had a few bangs on my head through my life so that’s probably contributed to it,” added the 64-year old who is a former New Zealand rugby league player.
‘Didn’t sleep for a week’
Following the revelation from his father, Ben Stokes opened up on his emotional battle. The England World Cup-winner revealed he could not sleep for a week after knowing about his father’s illness.
“I didn’t sleep for a week and my head wasn’t really in it,” the England vice-captain told the Weekend Herald about his last Test appearance.
“Leaving (the team) was the right choice from a mental point of view,” he added.
Speaking about his father, Ben Stokes said: “He was tough (on me). But as I got older, I realised it was all for a reason.
“He knew I wanted to be a professional sportsman and he was drilling that into me as I started to make a career in cricket.
“His reputation sort of speaks for itself. You speak to anyone who knows him, played with him or worked with him, they’d all say the same thing.
“Most people acquire a softer side with age and sometimes with dad that has been quite weird to see. What he’s going through has brought that side out as well – we all knew he had it, he just didn’t show it that often,” he added.