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Ben Stokes returns to England training ahead of South Africa Test with his Dad in ‘stable condition’


Ben Stokes returned to training with his Dad now said to be in a stable condition (Picture: Getty)

Ben Stokes returned to England training ahead of the first Test against South Africa on Boxing Day with his Dad now said to be in a stable condition.

The all-rounder’s father, Ged, was admitted to hospital on Monday and was reported to be ‘critically ill’ having flown to Johannesburg from his home in New Zealand.

Stokes sat out training on Christmas Eve to be with his family but could be in contention to feature at Centurion having taken a full part in a training session at the ground this morning.

An England spokesman said: ‘Ben Stokes’ father, Ged, has shown signs of improvement following his admittance to hospital in Johannesburg on Monday.

‘He remains in intensive care but has responded positively to treatment and is now in a stable condition.

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‘Ben played a full part in practice ahead of the First Test starting on Boxing Day.

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

‘The ECB continues to request that the media and public respect Ben and his family’s privacy at this time.’

Stokes, who earlier this month was named the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, is likely to make a decision on his participation shortly before the toss and skipper Joe Root confirmed he will support his vice-captain, whether he chooses to play or not.

‘It puts things in perspective. We’re here to play good, hard cricket and to win this series but most importantly we want to make sure Ben and his family get all the support they can get,’ he said.

‘I think that’s the most important thing. It’s crucial that comes first. All the players and the squad just want to throw all our support behind him and stress how important it is that everybody respects their privacy at this time.’

A sickness bug, meanwhile, has significantly disrupted England’s preparations with the likes of Chris Woakes, Ollie Pope, Jack Leach, Stuart Broad and Jofra Archer all doubts.

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