England will not push Ben Stokes to return to Test cricket

Coach Chris Silverwood says decision should be left to Stokes and his family

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - MARCH 20:  England bowler Ben Stokes in action during England nets at Eden Park on March 20, 2018 in Auckland, New Zealand.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

England coach Chris Silverwood has ruled out asking star all-rounder Ben Stokes to cut short his break, even as Joe Root's team struggled in the Lord's Test against India.

The hosts were outclassed by Virat Kohli's team, losing by 151 runs in the final hour of the match despite being favourites to win at the start of day five.

Root had to rely on a half-fit James Anderson to carry the bowling burden and even pacer Mark Wood, who had hurt his shoulder during fielding, continued to bowl on the last day.

Stokes had announced in July that he was taking "an indefinite break from all cricket with immediate effect" to focus on his well-being. Also, England are without a bunch of star names in the bowling department, with Jofra Archer and Chris Woakes unavailable.

But Silverwood said he will wait for Stokes to approach him as and when the all-rounder feels ready to make a comeback.

"No, there is no pushing from my point of view," Silverwood was quoted as saying by AFP. "I don't think you can push with these issues.

"I will wait and there will be an element of waiting for him to come to me to let me know he is ready."

Silverwood said Stokes and his family will get to decide when he is ready to play again.

"There is no time limit on it," Silverwood added.

"I would stress again the important thing is Ben is okay, his family is okay and that he comes back strong and, when he re-enters the frame, he is ready in his mind to come back and perform for England like we know he can.

"I am certainly not pushing him for an answer and I don't think that would be the right thing to do.

"There are people around him supporting him and, when he is ready to come back in, we will welcome him with open arms. Nut until then he will get all the support he needs."

Updated: August 17th 2021, 1:27 PM
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