File photo of England's Ben Stokes. Photograph:( Reuters )
American gymnast Simone Biles started a debate on mental health after pulling out of two events at the Tokyo Olympics a few days ago.
According to the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), cricketer Ben Stokes will take an "indefinite break" from all forms of cricket with immediate effect to "prioritise his mental wellbeing" and to rest his left index finger.
Managing director of England men's cricket, Ashley Giles, said: "Our primary focus has always been and will continue to be the mental health and welfare of all of our people. The demands on our athletes to prepare and play elite sport are relentless in a typical environment, but the ongoing pandemic has acutely compounded this."
"Ben has shown tremendous courage to open up about his feelings and wellbeing."— England Cricket (@englandcricket) July 30, 2021
We're all with you, Stokesy ❤️ pic.twitter.com/6HmEzmCxvw
England's star World Cup all-rounder will be unavailable for the five-match series against India starting at Trent Bridge next week.
Stokes, 30, will be replaced in the squad by Somerset's Craig Overton, the ECB said.
"Ben has shown tremendous courage to open up about his feelings and wellbeing," Giles said adding that spending significant amounts of time away from family with "minimal freedoms" has had a major impact on everyone's wellbeing in the past 16 months.
The development comes as American gymnast Simone Biles pulled out of two events at the Tokyo Olympics to protect her mental health.
Biles who pulled out abruptly from the vault said, "Mental health is more prevalent now in sports" starting a major debate about pressure in sports, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka had earlier pulled out of the French Open over a row on taking part in press conferences and later skipped Wimbledon while declaring that she suffered “long bouts of depression” since the 2018 US Open final.
(With inputs from Agencies)