James Anderson feels health is important more than anything else.
Talismanic England all-rounder Ben Stokes announced that he won’t be part of the five-match Test series against India due to mental health issues. Although he has not clearly stated that when he wishes to make a return but many experts and critics lauded the decision of Stokes in prioritizing mental health at this point.
England Test skipper Joe Root fully supported the decision of his teammate and spoke about supporting him in getting through this. Now veteran pacer James Anderson has backed Stokes and offered to help him in whatever capacity possible. The England all-rounder was last seen leading the side in the ODI series against Pakistan.
Stokes was not available for the selection in the Pakistan series, but had to be recalled due to England’s squad members testing COVID-19 positive. While announcing his decision to take a break from the game due to mental health, Stokes also said about addressing his index finger, which gave him persistent trouble during the ODI series against Pakistan.
Speaking in a pre-match press conference, Joe Root spoke about how all of the England players are backing Stokes in these tough times. ‘I just want my friend to be okay. He’s one of my closest friends in the game,’ the England skipper told BBC Sport.
‘He has my full support and, he has the whole team’s full support on that. It’s important he takes as long as he needs. This is an opportunity to be with his family and give himself the opportunity to feel like the best version of Ben Stokes.’
James Anderson in full support of Ben Stokes
Anderson too echoed similar sentiments and stated that Stokes should prioritize his health at this point. ‘I thought Joe was amazing with how he spoke and, the emotion he showed really speaks for the rest of the team,’ England’s all-time leading wicket-taker told Sky Sports.
Anderson further opined that how health is more important than anything else and how Stokes showed courage to step aside from the game. ‘We just want Ben to be okay, we want him to get the help that he needs and comes back strong because he’s such a fantastic player for us.
‘The most important thing, he’s good mates with most of the guys here in the team, so we’re just concerned for his health more than anything and hope he’s alright.’