It must be a very, very tough time – Kumar Sangakkara on Ben Stokes' mental health break

Stokes will be taking an indefinite break from all forms of cricket.

Ben Stokes took mental health break | AFP

Former Sri Lanka captain and the MCC President Kumar Sangakkara has empathized with Ben Stokes after the England all-rounder decided to take “an indefinite break from all cricket” with immediate effect “to priorities his mental wellbeing”.

On Friday, July 30, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced Stokes has withdrawn from the upcoming Test series against India and is taking an indefinite break from all form of cricket to focus on his mental wellbeing while also continuing his recovery from a finger injury.

Well, Stokes’ decision to take an indefinite break from cricket has left everyone stunned, but Sangakkara felt it would have been a tough decision to make, saying it would be a tough time for the all-rounder. The Sri Lankan legend further said the demands of the game and living in the bio-bubble takes toll on the physical and mental health of the players and Stokes made the right decision for himself.

Read Also: ENG v IND 2021: Ben Stokes pulls out of India Tests; takes indefinite break from all cricket

Notably, Stokes had spent a major portion of last year away from his family, living in the bio-bubbles for the India series and then a few weeks for the IPL 2021 before he returned home with a finger injury. He has also been dealing with the passing away of his father, Ged, last year in New Zealand. He had rushed back from injury to lead England in the ODI series against Pakistan earlier this month.

Sangakkara told Sky Sports: “It must be a very, very tough time for Ben and his family. It won't be a decision made easily but (it) brings into focus the level elite players play at -- your coping mechanism can only deal with so much.”

The MCC President added, “A lot of time away from home, in bubbles, restrictions in terms of freedom of movement, then the added pressures of performing at such a high level in the public eye.”

He signed off by saying, “We've had a host of elite athletes who've spoken about mental wellbeing and the effects of Covid and the pressure around it, and of course pressure in the limelight, that have led to them making some very tough decisions.”


By Rashmi Nanda - 31 Jul, 2021

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