South Africa vs England: All-rounder Ben Stokes returns to practice after father Gerard’s condition improves

Ben Stokes returned to practice with England on Wednesday after the condition of his critically ill father improved, but three others missed out as illness continue to plague the tourists, 24 hours ahead of the first Test against South Africa at Centurion.

Reuters, Dec 25, 2019 14:56:35 IST

Pretoria: Ben Stokes returned to practice with England on Wednesday after the condition of his critically ill father improved, but three others missed out as illness continue to plague the tourists, 24 hours ahead of the first Test against South Africa at Centurion.

Stokes spent Tuesday at the bedside of father Ged, who was hospitalised the day before due to a “serious illness”.

South Africa vs England: All-rounder Ben Stokes returns to practice after father Gerard’s condition improves

File image of Ben Stokes. Reuters

“He remains in intensive care, but has responded positively to treatment and is now in a stable condition,” the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said in a statement.

“The Stokes family wishes to thank everyone for their support and in particular the medical practitioners in South Africa for their care of Ged.”

Christmas morning practice went ahead, however, without Jack Leach, Ollie Pope and Chris Woakes, who are battling the flu bug that has hampered the tourists since their arrival in South Africa 11 days ago.

But an ECB spokesman said none of the trio had been ruled out of the first Test of the four-match series with South Africa, which starts in Centurion near Pretoria on Thursday.

But it will certainly delay England’s team selection for the opening Test.

The flu bug hit England particularly hard soon after their arrival with pacemen Jofra Archer and Stuart Broad missing the two warm-up games and now racing to be fit to play on Thursday.

“It’s quite frustrating,” England skipper Joe Root said on Tuesday. “We have to handle it. We’ll have to wait and see. We’ll make a very late call on our side.”

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Updated Date: Dec 25, 2019 14:56:35 IST






Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 5046 120
2 New Zealand 3241 112
3 South Africa 3177 102
4 England 4593 102
5 Australia 3672 102
6 Sri Lanka 3795 95
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7364 121
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
6 Pakistan 5019 98
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 8366 270
2 Australia 6986 269
3 England 5568 265
4 South Africa 4720 262
5 India 10071 258
6 New Zealand 6056 252