All rounder Ben Stokes' father dies after battle with brain cancer

Last Modified Wednesday, 9 December 2020 (12:31 IST)
Christchurch:Former New Zealand rugby player and father of England cricketer Ben Stokes, Ged, passed away after a prolonged battle with brain cancer. He was 65. Stokes was diagnosed with the illness in January.
The news of his passing away was confirmed by his former club Workington Town, for which Ged had played for in 1982-83 season before returning as their coach in 2003.
 
"It is with great sadness that we learn our former player and coach Ged Stokes has passed away," the club wrote in a tribute on Twitter. Ged is written into the rich fabric of Town history and will be greatly missed.
 
"Our thoughts are with Deb, Ben and James. Ged still has many, many friends here in West Cumbria and we send our thoughts to them too," it added.
 
Ged was admitted to hospital for the first time in Johannesburg last year ahead of England's Boxing Day Test with South Africa.
 
It was said at the time that he had suffered a brain bleed which required surgery, and the cancer diagnosis was made on his return to New Zealand.  
 
In August, the England allrounder had pulled out of the Test series against Pakistan. He flew back to Christchurch after the first Test to be with his father. 
 
Speaking at the time, Ben said: "Speaking at the time, Ben said: "I didn't sleep for a week and my head wasn't really in it."Leaving [the team] was the right choice from a mental point of view."
 
He even missed the first couple of weeks of the Indian Premier League 2020 in UAE before joining the Rajasthan Royals set up in October.Stokes then played the three T20Is in South Africa before returning home last week ahead of the postponed ODIs.
 
"My dad was very strong on the responsibilities I have. He told me I have a duty to do the job that I do and I have a duty as a husband and father as well.
 
"We gave it all a lot of thought and talked it over at length, and we came to a decision that now sees me back focusing on the game," Stokes said about his father in a recent interview.(UNI) 
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