Ben Stokes is all set to make his Indian Premier League return after getting the backing of his family.
Stokes has been on compassionate leave in New Zealand since August so he can be with his father Ged, who has been diagnosed with brain cancer.
He missed England’s last two Test matches against Pakistan and the white-ball series against Australia.
However, he has now joined up with his Rajasthan Royals teammates and is ready for action in IPL 2020.
He is currently self-isolating before he can return to the side. Stokes isn’t available to feature against Delhi Capitals this week but could be ready to face Sunrisers Hyderabad on October 11.
Family Support was Vital
The England all-rounder has said he was only able to return to cricket after getting the blessing of his family.
Writing in his column for the Daily Express, he said: “I was able to get on the plane with my parents' love and blessing after we reached the decision, for me to get back playing, as a family with no external influences.
“My dad was also 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 and then I'll be heading home to Clare and the kids.
“Saying goodbye to my dad, my mum and my brother in Christchurch was tough. It has been a difficult time for us as a family, but we've pulled together and supported each other as best we can.”
Rajasthan Need Stokes Boost
The return of Stokes will be a welcome sight for Rajasthan and skipper Steve Smith.
The Royals have not won in the last three despite a bright start to IPL 2020 when they won the first two games.
Their latest loss came against Mumbai Indians as Jos Buttler’s 70 couldn't prevent them from slipping to a 57-run defeat to the defending champions.
After the loss, Smith said: “Losing early wickets doesn’t help. We haven’t been able to get a good start in the last three games.
“Outside of Jos, we’ve got work to do. I don’t think we need to panic too much. It’s just about implementing our plans and playing good cricket for longer.
“It hasn’t been good the last three games. We need to turn it around and get some momentum going.”