Ben Stokes’ father Ged Stokes, a New Zealand rugby international, has died after battling brain cancer, it was announced on Wednesday.
Stokes, who played rugby in England in the 1980s and returned to coach, was diagnosed with the disease in January.
New Zealand-born Ben Stokes missed most of England’s Summer Test series in Pakistan after returning to Christchurch to be with his father.
However, he played in all three Twenty20 games on England’s tour of South Africa. He was rested for the one-day internationals scrapped due to coronavirus concerns.
The cricket world immediately rallied around the game’s best all-rounder.
“All of our thoughts are with Ben Stokes and his family after his father’s death,” tweeted England Cricket.
“We are very sad about the death of Ged Stokes,” tweeted the English Barmy Army. “Our thoughts go out to the whole family.”
Stokes’ IPL franchise, the Rajasthan Royals, added, “RIP Ged Stokes. One of the biggest characters in our special cricket family. We are with you Ben. Strength for you and your family. “
His England county team wrote: “Durham Cricket would like to send our thoughts to Ben Stokes and his family after the sad news of the death of his father, Ged Stokes.”
Cricket analyst Simon Hughes: “What sad news about Ged Stokes. It was a tower of strength for Ben Stokes and his family. He is a great loss to the sports world. “
Stokes had paid tribute to his father while he was in the hospital celebrating his ninth century of testing in Port Elizabeth by greeting him with a folded middle finger.
For many years, Stokes has made the gesture of referring to his father, who had part of his middle finger amputated to overcome persistent dislocations.
There was also a lot of emotion from the rugby league community.
The Rugby Football League said on Twitter: “We are sad to hear that Ged Stokes has passed away.
“Ged was a New Zealand international who became a good servant of the British game with his work in rugby league across Cumbria.
“The RFL extends its condolences to the Stokes family. Rest in peace, Ged. “
Workington Rugby League Club said in a statement: “It is with great sadness that we learn that our former player and coach Ged Stokes has passed away.
“Ged is written in the material of the city’s history and is unfortunately missing.”
Whitehaven also said they were “deeply saddened” by the death of a figure who was “an important part of the Cumbrian Rugby League”.
– With AFP, The Sun.