Current England captain Ben Stokes with former skipper Joe Root
Current England captain Ben Stokes with former skipper Joe Root (Image Credits: Twitter)

Former England Test captain and star batter Joe Root praised his successor Ben Stokes for sharing his difficulties endured during a break last year. 

On December 8, 2020, George Stokes, father of Ben, passed away at the age of 65 after a year-long battle with brain cancer.

Eight months later the England all-rounder took an indefinite period of break from cricket to focus on his mental health and spend time with his family. He returned to the squad in the Ashes 2021-22 after nearly missing competitive cricket for four months including the India Test series and the T20 World Cup 2021.

Never thought I would be on medication: Ben Stokes

Stokes admitted that he was on medication to combat anxiety issues and continued the process even after resuming playing cricket. 

“I never thought I would be on medication to help me for that kind of stuff [anxiety]. I am not embarrassed or ashamed to say it because I needed the help at the time,” Stokes said in an Amazon documentary. 

Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes. Credits: England Cricket/Twitter

“But it’s not done just because I’m back playing. I still speak to the doc, not as regularly, and I’m still taking medication every day. It’s an ongoing process,” he further said.

It’s quite powerful for people to see: Joe Root supports Ben Stokes

Root, who has been teammate with Stokes in the national side for close to a decade, appreciated the present Test skipper for speaking on an important issue that many won’t be comfortable to open up. 

It’s quite powerful for people to see sometimes it’s OK not to be OK,” Root told BBC Sport.

“It shows great leadership to put yourself out there and express some of the difficulties he’s gone through.”

Joe Root, Ben Stokes
Joe Root, Ben Stokes. (Photo: Twitter)

“It’s very powerful for anyone watching to see someone who at times looks superhuman and can do things that other players can’t do,” the former England captain added.

England is due to play the second Test match against South Africa at Old Trafford in Manchester, starting on Thursday (August 25).

'It's Quite Powerful': Joe Root Backs Ben Stokes On Sharing About Mental Health Issues 'It's Quite Powerful': Joe Root Backs Ben Stokes On Sharing About Mental Health Issues 'It's Quite Powerful': Joe Root Backs Ben Stokes On Sharing About Mental Health Issues 'It's Quite Powerful': Joe Root Backs Ben Stokes On Sharing About Mental Health Issues

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