England pacer James Anderson
England pacer James Anderson

James Anderson praises team environment as Ben Stokes leaves series for family issue

ANI | Updated: Aug 10, 2020 20:58 IST

Manchester [UK], Aug 10 (ANI): England pacer James Anderson has lauded the team environment after all-rounder Ben Stokes left the ongoing series with Pakistan midway to spend time with his family in New Zealand.
On Sunday, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced that Stokes will miss the remainder of the Test series against Pakistan due to family reasons.
He will miss England's two Test matches against Pakistan at the Ageas Bowl, starting on August 13 and 21.
"I do think cricket is more empathetic now, yes. It has definitely changed for the better. We quite often take this game very seriously - I have done this week - and it is quite a big deal for some people," ESPNcricinfo quoted Anderson as saying.
"But there is nothing more important than family. It is something that certainly Joe and Chris have brought in under their leadership: family comes first. And this group of players rally round each other and help if there is anything that needs help. Ben is going through that so it is our job to try to rally round and support him the best we can and hope that things turn out okay," he added.
The 38-year-old, however, admitted that it is a "big blow" for England but he is confident of players that the team have.
"It's a big blow for us because he's a big part of our team on the field and off it. But obviously family comes first and we will all support him as best we can. We're confident with the guys we have here. Whoever comes in we're sure will be fantastic," the speedster said.
Anderson further heaped praises on wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler as he played a 75-run knock in team's successful pursuit to 277-run in the first Test at Old Trafford.
England gained a 1-0 lead in the three-match Test series against Pakistan after they secured a three-wicket win in the first match.
"He's brilliant for our team and the environment. We absolutely love him in this team. We've seen how amazingly calm he is under pressure in white-ball cricket chasing down a score. He showed that in abundance on Sunday. The way he batted with Chris Woakes was absolutely phenomenal. I don't think there's anyone better in our team at chasing down a target," Anderson said.
"We all know how hard he works at his game. The way he works, he will keep getting better and better; certainly on the keeping side of things. Hopefully that innings will do his confidence wonders. We want Jos in our team performing at his best," he added. (ANI)