Ben Stokes' father Ged has been admitted to a hospital in Johannesburg after suffering a serious illness.
As a result, the star all-rounder was forced to miss England's last full-scale practice ahead of the Boxing Day Test to be with his severely unwell father.
Ged, a former New Zealand rugby player, was rushed to the hospital on Monday and is confirmed to be in a critical condition by the media release from England's cricket board.
"Ben Stokes’s father, Ged, was admitted to hospital on Monday in Johannesburg after suffering a serious illness. He remains in a critical condition," the ECB said in a statement.
"The England and Wales Cricket Board, with the support of Ben and his family, request that the media and public respect Ben and his family’s privacy at this time."
It remains to be seen whether Stokes, an integral member of England's Test side, will be available for the first game against South Africa.
The southpaw, who shone during the international summer with his performances in the World Cup and the Ashes, is currently at his father's bedside.