The father of England’s star all-rounder Ben Stokes, Ged Stokes, has recently diagnosed with brain cancer and that is the reason Ben Stokes has pulled out of the Pakistan series and returned home to stay with his family.
Ben Stokes left England after the first Test in Manchester and he will undergo a 14-days Covid-19 quarantine period in New Zealand before he will join his family in Christchurch.
Ged, a former New Zealand rugby international player, was first admitted in the hospital while in Johannesburg in December when he needed emergency surgery three days before England’s first Test against South Africa.
However, later on his return to New Zealand, medical tests found that he has tumours on his brain.
“So, basically brain cancer,” Ged Stokes said to the New Zealand Herald in an article published Saturday.
“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. It wouldn’t have helped,” he added.
Ben Stokes further shared, “I was carrying a knee injury in South Africa but I felt my attitude change. What’s a sore knee? I can bowl another over or I can bowl another spell. I decided an injury meant very little compared with what Dad was going through. That has been there since because I felt Dad might not see me play again.”
“Even when I left South Africa to get back home (to England), I had a feeling something else would happen. I felt like I was constantly preparing myself for another phone call, so when it came it wasn’t necessarily a surprise but it didn’t make it any easier,” he told.
However, he praised his father, and his brilliance as a professional rugby league player, who has shown him the discipline needed to be a professional sportsman as well.
“He was hard on me, especially as a teenager — 17, 18, 19, when you’re a bit rebellious — he was tough. 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,” Ben Stokes said.
“I didn’t realise it at the time but when I look back I know he was doing it for the right reasons. He used to get me out of bed early to go to the gym with him when I didn’t want to … all that kind of stuff you don’t appreciate at the time but looking back now I do,” he concluded.