England star Ben Stokes has revealed the worrying moment when he nearly choked on a tablet that had become lodged in his throat.
The 30-year-old all-rounder took an indefinite break from all cricket in July to prioritise his mental well-being and rest a fractured finger.
But the Durham hero has used his newspaper column to say how it was neither of those issues which caused him the greatest concern ahead of the first Ashes Test in Brisbane from December 8-12.
The article does not say exactly when the incident took place but it appears to have been on the current tour of Australia.
“It was actually down to a simple tablet that went down the wrong way, and got stuck in my windpipe causing me to choke horribly before the glands in my face went into overdrive to flush it out,” Stokes wrote in the Daily Mirror.
“Until it actually came out, I thought this might be the end. We’ve all had those moments when something gets stuck in the throat, and usually someone can help you out.
“But I was on my own in my room and I couldn’t breathe as it became lodged and started to dissolve. It felt like my mouth was on fire.”
Stokes added: “Without going into too much detail I have never seen as much saliva as I did on Sunday morning, it was a genuinely frightening experience.”
He said the team doctor had explained how his body had reacted. “I’m glad it did, even though I was a mess,” Stokes said.
He also feared he had suffered a broken arm after being hit by a ball in the nets, but was given the all-clear by England’s medical staff.
Earlier on Sunday, England managing director Ashley Giles said he was hopeful Stokes would be ready to face Australia in the series opener in Brisbane after his return to action was delayed further when a warm-up match against the second-string England Lions was washed out.
“I’m hopeful and I’d always like to be confident, but we’ve got to treat Ben carefully, as we would anyone else who’s been in that position, of not having a lot of cricket under their belts,” said Giles.
“But he’ll be a difficult man to hold back if he’s ready to go,” the former England left-arm spinner added.