Ben Stokes: All-rounder taking a break from cricket is a 'wake-up call for us all', says Michael Vaughan

Ben Stokes
Stokes has played in 71 Tests, 101 one-day internationals and 34 Twenty20s for England

Ben Stokes' decision to take an indefinite break from cricket is a "wake-up call for us all", Michael Vaughan said on BBC Radio 5 Live.

On Friday, the England and Wales Cricket Board said Stokes will prioritise his mental wellbeing.

"If Ben is struggling then potentially many others will be too," he said.

The former England captain also suggested this winter's Ashes should not take place in Australia if restrictions are not eased.

"When you see someone like Ben, who we know is mentally tough and has the ability he has to produce under the utmost pressure on the cricketing stage, it's a wake-up call for us all," he said.

Vaughan added that a packed calendar of cricket - along with players having to adhere to strict Covid-19 restrictions in bio-secure bubbles - has been challenging for England players.

"We have to study the last 18 months and realise that these cricketers are being put in circumstances which they are not trained for, like being locked away continuously in a bubble," he said.

"The Test team go back into a bubble today for the first two Tests against India, where they'll be restricted again to a hotel and a cricket ground, and not be able to go out and do normal things.

"There will be many out there thinking they're cricketers and that's what they're paid to do, but it's such a time-consuming sport where your mind is being challenged all the time."

England men's players will meet with the ECB as some consider pulling out of this winter's Ashes if their families are not allowed to travel to Australia.

Australia has some of the strictest Covid-19 protocols in the world and players who take part in the Twenty20 World Cup and the Ashes face the prospect of being away from home for four months.

Vaughan believes The Ashes should not take place "if you're arriving in Australia and half your team aren't going to be there".

"I think we have to be reasonable in continuing to ask them to go back into bio-bubbles," he said.

"Young families and mothers, are they geared to go to and quarantine in Australia in a hotel room for two weeks with young kids? I don't know who's made up for that.

"You get the older players saying 'we went away for four months at a time', but I don't care what happened back in the '70s, '80s, '90s or early 2000s - none of us have ever gone through what these players have gone through these past 18 months."

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