Ben Stokes will miss the remainder of England’s Test series against Pakistan for family reasons.
He will leave the UK in the coming days and travel to New Zealand, where his family is based.
Stokes will be sorely missed by England, having established himself as their most valuable player and one of the best all-rounders in the world in recent times. England fielded five bowlers in their previous two Test wins due to doubts over Stokes’ bowling fitness, although he took two crucial wickets late on the third day of England’s win over Pakistan, and so will likely replace him with a batsman, with Kent’s Zak Crawley, who played the first two Tests in the summer, next in line.
With Crawley a less established batsman than Stokes, England may also be tempted to play all-rounder Sam Curran instead of one of their specialist quicks, to compensate for the reduced batting pedigree elsewhere.
The nature of the family reasons which have necessitated Stokes’ exit have not been made public, and the ECB and the Stokes family have asked for privacy.