Your mental health matters a lot: Ajinkya Rahane on Ben Stokes decision

Ben Stokes recently announced that he would go on an “indefinite break from cricket“ to nurse his injured left index finger and to focus on his mental well-being.

Indian test team vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane threw his weight behind England star all-rounder Ben Stokes, who has recently announced to go on an “indefinite break from cricket“ citing concerns over mental health and to nurse his injuries. 

This once again brought to the fore the mental toll it takes for players to stay in a bio bubble. Several cricketers including Indian skipper Virat Kohli have echoed about the challenges in playing competitive cricket in a bio secure environment on various occasions.

Rahane was part of a virtual press conference where he spoke about team India’s preparation ahead of the first test against England in Nottingham starting this Wednesday.

He said, “Bio Bubble life is challenging from a player’s point of view ..What Ben Stokes did was his call. We respect his decision. I am sure his England teammates would have respected his decision.”

The 33-year-old batsman underlined the need to understand and take into account a player’s mental state in an environment where there is cutthroat competition and constant pressure to deliver with performance.

”You have to understand a player’s mindset. It’s all about how he (Stokes) is feeling. You have to understand what a player is going through in that difficult moment.  So, we respect his decision,” Rahane said.

He further added, “Because when you play at the highest level, you always want to give your best, more than 100 percent. So, Your mental health matters a lot.”

Rahane concluded by echoing what several players had spoken about the bio bubble, saying, ’’Yes, it is challenging both as a team and player to be in the bubble continuously and to give your best all the time. It takes a lot.’’

On July 30, it was reported that Ben Stokes would go on an “indefinite break from cricket“ to nurse his injured left index finger and to focus on his mental well-being. England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced Craig Overton as a replacement for the star all-rounder.

The England   and Wales Cricket Board( ECB) has announced their support to their talismanic all rounder for his  decision. Stokes’ decision was also backed by the likes of Joe Root , Test Captain and Eoin Morgan , ODI and T-20 skipper .

The Virat Kohli led side would be taking on England in a five match test series starting off with a match in Nottingham on 4th August 2021. 

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