England’s premier all-rounder Ben Stokes will miss the remainder of the Test series against Pakistan for family reasons, the country’s cricket board announced on Sunday.

The England and Wales Cricket Board said in a statement that Stokes will leave the United Kingdown later this week and travel to New Zealand. That will see him England’s two Test matches against Pakistanin in Southampton starting on Thursday 13 August and Friday 21 August.

Watch: From Pakistan’s impressive start to England’s sensational run-chase, highlights of first Test

“The England and Wales Cricket Board, along with the Stokes family, requests that all media respects the family’s privacy at this time,” the statement added.

Stokes was born in Christchurch, New Zealand and his family lives in the country to date.

He had played in all four of England’s Test matches this summer, and even captained the country in the curtain-raiser against West Indies. He was the man of the match in the second Test against West Indies, after putting in an inspiring all-round performance.

In the first Test against Pakistan, Stokes struggled with the bat but picked up two wickets in the second innings despite not being fully fit to bowl.

On a thrilling fourth day, Chris Woakes hit an unbeaten 84 as England came from behind to beat Pakistan by three wickets in the first Test at Old Trafford on Saturday.

England were struggling in pursuit of a victory target of 277 after collapsing to 117-5 on the fourth day.

But man-of-the-match Woakes, who had helped drag England back into this contest with 2/11 in just five overs late Friday, and fellow World Cup winner Jos Buttler turned the tide with a stand of 139.

Also read: The inspirational story behind Ben Stokes’s folded finger celebration

Although born in Christchurch on the South Island of New Zealand, Stokes came to England as a 12-year-old when his father Ged got a job coaching the Workington rugby league club and grew up in the nearby West Cumbrian town of Cockermouth.

Ged and his wife Deb, Stokes’s mother, have since returned to New Zealand.

After impressing in youth cricket, Ben Stokes, now aged 29, made his name in the first-class game with Durham.

At international level, he established himself as a leading all-rounder, starring against his native New Zealand during England’s dramatic Super Over win in last year’s World Cup final at Lord’s.

A quad injury has seen paceman Stokes largely deployed as a specialist batsman in recent matches.

He did not bowl at all during England’s series-clinching win over the West Indies at Old Trafford last month and sent down just four overs, albeit for a return of 2/11, in the Pakistan opener at the Manchester ground.

His absence from the remainder of the three-match Pakistan series could lead to a Test recall for top-order batsman Zak Crawley, who was left out to balance the side when England felt they needed to play another bowler because of Stokes’s fitness problems.

(With AFP inputs)