Dubai, October 7
Rajasthan Royals all-rounder Ben Stokes has stated that he had his family’s blessings to return to cricket action in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 edition.
Stokes arrived in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Sunday after missing the initial couple of weeks of the tournament in order to be with his family in New Zealand. He is currently undergoing the mandatory quarantine as per the COVID-19 protocols for the tournament.
“Sitting in a hotel room in quarantine once again after leaving New Zealand is not how I thought I would be arriving at the IPL, but here I am and all things considered, I’m in a good place,” Stokes wrote in a column for British newspaper The Mirror on Tuesday.
“Saying goodbye to my dad, my mum and my brother in Christchurch was tough. It has been a difficult time for us as a family, but we’ve pulled together and supported each other as best we can. And I was able to get on the plane with my parents’ love and blessing after we reached the decision, for me to get back playing, as a family with no external influences,” he added.
In August, Stokes had pulled out of the Pakistan Test series midway in order to be with his family in Christchurch after his father was diagnosed with cancer.
“My dad was very strong on the responsibilities I have. He told me I have a duty to do the job that I do and I have a duty as a husband and father as well,” the England all-rounder said.
“We gave it all a lot of thought and talked it over at length, and we came to a decision that now sees me back focusing on the game,” he added.
The arrival of Stokes will serve as a big boost for the Royals who have been struggling in the tournament. The Steve Smith-led side has been able to win just two matches out of the five they have played so far. They will next take on Delhi Capitals on Friday. IANS