Ben Stokes has been added to England’s Ashes squad after declaring himself fit for action.
It is the news that every England fan will be delighted to hear and will send shivers down the spine of the Aussies ahead of the winter clash.
Stokes’ recovery from his second bout of surgery on his left index finger has been good enough for him to believe he can be back to his best in time for the series that begins on December 8th in Brisbane.
He has also managed to get his mental well-being to a position where he is ready to enter the white hot heat of international competition once more.
Stokes’ presence will hugely improve England’s chances in the series after missing the previous Ashes tour due to the fallout from a late night in Bristol.
Stokes said: “I had a break to prioritise my mental wellbeing and I got my finger sorted.
“I am looking forward to seeing my mates and being on the field with them. I’m ready for Australia.”
Stokes had taken a break from the game since the middle of last summer to look after his mental health following a roller coaster few years.
The passing of his father Ged in December 2020 followed by his finger injury at the IPL in April 2021 were enough for him to realise that he wasn’t in a good place physically and mentally.
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But the time out with his family, the use of professional help, and the ability to now grip his bat properly has had the desired effect on getting him back to the game.
It will be a terrific boost for skipper Joe Root to have his vice captain and talisman back on the field to help take on the Aussies.
If Stokes as well as Jofra Archer had been missing then life might have been a little too straightforward for the Aussies.
But the all rounder’s return will give them plenty more to think about from his supreme skills to his front foot attitude that is a must Down Under.
Managing Director of England Men's Cricket, Ashley Giles, added: "Following a very successful operation on his finger and several conversations over the last few weeks between Ben and I, our medical staff and his management team, Ben called me to say he was ready to return to cricket and was excited about the prospect of playing a significant role in the Ashes series.
"Time and time again, Ben has demonstrated how important he is to the England team and having him available for the Ashes series is excellent news for all of us and, in particular, Chris (Silverwood), Joe (Root) and the rest of the players.
"Having not played for some time, we will move forward cautiously over the next few weeks to ensure he is fully prepared across all facets of his game.
"Ahead of a very busy period of cricket, we continue to remain mindful of the stresses on all our personnel, and our primary focus continues to be the wellbeing of all of our players and support staff."
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