England star all-rounder Ben Stokes will miss the second Test against Pakistan at the Ageas Bowl on Thursday (August 13) and the third Test at the same venue on August 21.
Stokes wants to spend time with his father, Ged, who suffered a severe illness in South Africa during England’s tour last winter.
It is not known at this stage whether Stokes will be available for the three T20I matches vs Pakistan which follow the Test series or three T20Is and three ODIs against Australia, which is scheduled to take place in September.
“The England and Wales Cricket Board, along with the Stokes family, requests that all media respects the family’s privacy at this time,” an ECB statement said.
Stokes has played a vital role for England in the cricket summer so far.
He led the English side in the first Test against West Indies while Joe Root was on paternity leave and then scored 176 and 78 not out – as well as three wickets – in the second Test.
It prompted Root to describe him as “Mr Incredible”.
Stokes leaves with England 1-0 up in the ongoing Test series against Pakistan after Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes guided them to a thrilling victory at the Old Trafford on Saturday.
Back in December, Stokes father, Ged, a former Rugby international, suffered a severe illness. At that time, the Three Lions’ cricketer was in South Africa for a Test series. Even as Stokes kept playing for his country, Ged had his wife Deborah by his side in a Johannesburg hospital. However, Stokes kept alternating his time between the hospital and the Wanderers cricket stadium.
“It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster with everything that’s gone on, to be honest. I hope the old man’s in the hospital watching this with a big smile on his face,” Stokes had said as England won the four-match series 3-1 after going down 0-1.
After the conclusion of the series, Ged was deemed fit and was allowed to travel back to New Zealand where he underwent rehabilitation for seven months.