England all-rounder Ben Stokes has been added to England squad for the Ashes. Stokes had taken an indefinite break in July from all forms of cricket. He was not selected in the England squad for the Ashes and the 20-20 World Cup. The ace cricketer was also struggling with a finger injury he sustained in the first leg of IPL. Even though he underwent surgery for the same, the finger was still troubling him when he returned to play few games for Durham and England. The injury clubbed with the stern bio-bubble restrictions forced Stokes to take a break from cricket. During his break, Stokes underwent a second surgery for his finger. Both the issues seem to have sorted out now. England Cricket Board (ECB) released a statement of Stokes where the all-rounder confirmed his availability for Ashes.
“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,” he added.
ECB managing Director Ashley Giles revealed that he had a discussion with Stokes and ECB medical team regarding Stokes’ return to cricket and after the clearance of the medical team, the all-rounder was added to the squad. “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,” said Ashley Giles, Managing Director of England men’s cricket.
Stokes addition is a massive plus for England. The southpaw has been a pivotal part of England’s setup across formats as he adds a lot of balance to the side. Stokes availability means that England have almost a full-strength squad for the Ashes, which gets underway on December 8 in Brisbane.
Updated Squad: Joe Root (C), James Anderson, Jonathan 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