I felt hatred for cricket: Ben Stokes on not being able to see his ailing father while playing IPL

Englishman has opened about up about his mental health and panic attacks following the loss of his father to brain cancer almost two years ago.

Aakash SrivastavaAuthor

Updated - 23 August 2022 06:31 PM

Ben Stokes

England Test   skipper Ben Stokes has been a prominent figure in English cricket. The  top-notch all-rounder has been in the headlines for various reasons lately. Ben Stokes'  decision to quit the 50-over format citing the “unsustainable rigor" of playing  all three formats of the game has already triggered a debate over the relevance  of one-day international cricket amidst the growing proliferation of T20 leagues  around the world.  

In a fresh development, the  Englishman has opened about up about his mental health and panic attacks  following the loss of his father to brain cancer almost two years ago. In his  recent shocking series of revelations, Stokes claimed that he felt deep dissent  towards cricket when he took the break because he had been unable to visit his  dying father as much as he wanted, instead had to participate in IPL.
"The  last time I saw him when I was leaving New Zealand to go to the Indian Premier  League. My father wanted me to go he really loved me playing for Rajasthan  Royals and the people there. But the unfortunate turn of events made me hate  cricket," he said.  

In his latest  interaction with The Telegraph, Stokes further asserted that he felt disserted  and hatred towards the game of cricket which he felt kept him away from  spending time with his father before he breathed his last. "I should have  opened up about it sooner – I just thought ‘cricket, cricket, cricket’. It’s  not a regret … but I’d do things differently,” Stokes added.
He further revealed  that he was really angry at the sport and felt disgusted with himself for not prioritizing  his family over a game. The Englishmen also stressed the importance of  mental strength by admitting that he never thought of going through medication  to help him for the kind of stuff but he is not ashamed or embarrassed to admit  that he needed help at that time.  

"It’s all in  the past. I am back playing the game I love the most. I am not embarrassed or  ashamed to say it because I needed the help at the time,” Stokes said in an  Amazon documentary, which will be released on Friday. He stressed the  importance of opening up about mental health, adding it was not human nature to  pretend to be fine. "I have observed people being nervous about opening up  on mental stress and anxiety but it’s too natural and almost everyone suffers with  it at some stage of their life. It’s perceived as a weakness as you can’t  feel like others are feeling, but it’s not that. You must share it with your  friend and family," he concluded.


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