England all-rounder Ben Stokes will not be available for the final two Tests against Pakistan in Southampton due to family reasons, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have announced.
Stokes, who has played all four Tests so far this summer, captained England in the opener against the West Indies, before going on to impress with bat and ball throughout the series.
The 29-year-old struggled to score runs at Old Trafford in the first Test against Pakistan, but once again made the difference when called upon with the ball, as he helped restrict the tourists to 169 in their second innings, taking two wickets in just four overs.
But England won’t be able to call on his services for the remainder of the #RaiseTheBat series, as an ECB statement read: “He will miss England's two Test matches against Pakistan at the Ageas Bowl on Thursday 13 August and Friday 21 August.
“The England and Wales Cricket Board, along with the Stokes family, requests that all media respects the family's privacy at this time.”
Born in New Zealand, the Durham all-rounder is due to fly to the country this week.
Stokes, famed for his record-breaking 135 not out against Australia at Headingley last year, also picked up the Man of the Match accolade in the 2019 World Cup final, thanks to his superb innings in the match and Super Over against the Kiwis.
The absence of Stokes is likely to see Zak Crawley return to the side after featuring in the first two Tests against the West Indies.
Jos Buttler, whose invaluable knock of 75 in the second innings against Pakistan, is likely to take up the vice-captaincy role.News Now - Sport News