'Ready for Australia', Ben Stokes to return to international cricket
In a major development, Ben Stokes will return to international cricket in the impending Ashes series. The senior player has been on an indefinite break for over four months to prioritize his mental well-being. After the news of his comeback, England have included the star all-rounder in the Ashes squad. Stokes has also received a go-ahead by his consultant and the ECB medical team.
"I had a break to prioritize my mental well-being 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 said on his comeback.
Ashley Giles, England's Managing Director of men's cricket, said, "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."
Stokes last played a competitive game on July 26, when he turned up for Northern Superchargers in the Hundred. Earlier, he was ruled out of the Indian Premier League after suffering a left index finger fracture. Thereafter, Stokes withdrew from the Test squad ahead of England's five-match series against India. He has been on a hiatus ever since.
As per ESPNcricinfo, Stokes has returned to low-level training after undergoing a surgery on his left index finger. He will increase his intensity of training ahead of England's departure to Australia on November 4, for the Ashes. The five-match series kicks off on December 8 at the Gabba. Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, and Perth will host the following four Tests.
England's updated squad for the Ashes: Joe Root (captain), James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood
- England had already taken a hit after their premier fast bowler Jofra Archer was ruled out of the 2021 season due to injury.
- The absence of Ben Stokes further dented their plight in the Test series against India.
- Stokes finished as the leading Test run-scorer of 2020 (641). His exploits with the ball requires no introduction.
- His presence will certainly solidify England's Ashes squad.