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England all-rounder Ben Stokes will miss the remainder of the Test summer and return to New Zealand for 'family reasons.'
Stokes, so often England's hero in the past few years, will not be part of the England squad for either of the final two Tests against Pakistan, both taking place at the Ageas Bowl, and will leave the 'bio bubble.'
A statement from the ECB confirmed that he would fly back to the country of his birth, "England all-rounder Ben Stokes will miss the remainder of the #raisethebat Test series against Pakistan for family reasons.
"Stokes will leave the UK later this week and travel to New Zealand. He will miss England's two Test matches against Pakistan at the Ageas Bowl starting 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."
"Take a bow Ben Stokes"- Sky Sports Cricket (@SkyCricket) August 25, 2019
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The Durham player's father Ged took ill during the tour to South Africa and spent a large part of the series in hospital in Johannesburg, with Ben staying on with the team.
During the fourth Test in 'JoBurg' the 29-year-old split his time between the Wanderers Stadium and the hospital, although he scored just 30 runs and took only two wickets, as England won by 191 runs to win the series 3-1.
Ged flew back to New Zealand after the series was over and it was expected that his recovery would take some time, so Ben is heading back to visit him and the rest of the family.
The younger Stokes captained his country in a Test for the first time in the first match of the series against West Indies earlier this summer, after Joe Root had to leave the bio bubble to be at the birth of his child.
England lost that match but Stokes still top scored and took the most wickets for his team in the first innings and returned as a match winner in the second Test, at Old Trafford.
With Root back as captain, he scored 176 in the first innings and 78 not out in the second as England won by 113 runs.
An injury in that match meant he couldn't bowl in the third match and he was expected not to bowl in the first Test against Pakistan but he ended up bowling four overs and taking two important wickets in the second innings to help set up a famous run chase for England.
Zak Crawley could come back into the side for the final two matches, having been dropped for an extra bowler due to Stokes' injury.
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