Kiwi-born cricketing all-rounder Ben Stokes has bid his family goodbye and has boarded a plane to join the rest of his Indian Premier League Rajasthan Royals teammates in the United Arab Emirates.
Stokes’ father, who resides with the rest of his family in Christchurch, was in January this year diagnosed with brain cancer after he started feeling ill whilst on a visit to South Africa. Ged Stokes played a test for New Zealand in 1982 before turning coach.
Ben Stokes was granted compassionate leave in August in order for him to return to his family in Christchurch and spend time with his ill father. The star all-rounder upon his departure for Dubai posted an emotional farewell to his father while sitting with his dad and brother James at the departure lounge at the Christchurch Airport.
Stokes’ last pro-match played was for England during the country’s first test against Pakistan in early August. He has reportedly been working hard at keeping fit for the duration of the away-time spent back home – in preparation of eventually rejoining his squad in the UAE. Upon his arrival in Dubai, he will have to first enter into isolation at a predesignated team-hotel before he will be permitted to join the Rajasthan Royals. Dubai laws and regulations will also require of the cricketer to show a negative test result once out of isolation prior to his linking up with the rest of his IPL teammates.
Stokes anticipates his first game in the UAE to be on October 11 against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
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