Southampton, Aug 11 (IANS) England fast-bowler Jofra Archer has stated the hosts will miss the services of talismanic all-rounder Ben Stokes after it was announced he won’t be part of the team for the final two Tests against Pakistan due to personal reasons.
England lead the three-Test series 1-0 following their thrilling three-wicket win in Manchester but now will have to play the final two matches in Southampton without Stokes. The second Test is scheduled to be played at Ageas Bowl starting Thursday.
“We now have to complete the job without Ben Stokes. He is someone we would miss even if he was unable to bowl or hit a ball. He has such an impact in the changing room beyond what he does in the middle,” Archer wrote in his column for Daily Mail.
“When I was in quarantine in Manchester, he would come past my hotel room each night after play – as did Joe Root – knock on the door and check on me. He cares about those around him.
“If you are going into battle, Stokes is the person you want right next to you. He would never run away from a challenge, but family is so important and he has to be in New Zealand right now.
“We all understand that, support him and hope things settle quickly and he can come back when he is ready,” he added.
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had earlier announced that Stokes will be flying out to New Zealand and thus will not feature in the remaining two Tests against Pakistan.
“England all-rounder Ben Stokes will miss the remainder of the #raisethebat Test series against Pakistan for family reasons,” the ECB statement said.
“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,” it added.