en Stokes declared himself ‘ready for Australia’ when he was added to England’s Ashes squad after overcoming a serious finger injury and taking a break to prioritize his sanity.
Stokes will travel to Australia with test specialists from England – the under-five team involved in the ongoing T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates – next Wednesday after recently resuming stick and bowling with medical staff from the ECB.
After undergoing surgery, he returned with Durham to the Vitality Blast in June before being signed on as England’s substitute skipper for a three-game ODI series against Pakistan, following an outbreak of Covid in the main team.
He went on to explain how he faced excruciating pain and, after a few games in the Hundred, took an indefinite break before England’s test run against India. He missed all four matches in that series to look after his mental well-being and deal with the finger injury, which recently required a second operation.
“I took a break to prioritize my mental wellness and settled my finger,” Stokes said.
“I can’t wait to see my teammates and be on the pitch with them. I am ready for Australia.
Ashley Giles, general manager of the England men’s team, was delighted with the news.
“After a very successful finger surgery and several conversations over the past few weeks between Ben and I, our medical staff and his management team, Ben called me to tell me he was ready to return to cricket and was excited. by the prospect of playing. an important role in the Ashes series, ”he said.
“Having not played in a while, we will be moving cautiously over the next few weeks to ensure he is fully prepared in all facets of his game.
“Leading up to a very busy period of cricket, we continue to remain mindful of the stress of all of our staff, and our main focus remains the well-being of all our players and support staff.”
This, needless to say, is a huge boost for England ahead of a visit to a country where they have lost nine of their last 10 tests.
Stokes hasn’t played in Australia since the 2013/14 Whitewash, when he made his debut at 22. He missed the series in 2017/18 while awaiting trial following the incident outside Bristol Mbargo nightclub.
This streak comes at the height of the 30-year-old Stokes, having left an indelible mark on Ashes’ history during the last cross-team streak, with his Headingley heist of 2019.
“Time and time again Ben has shown how important he is to the England team and the fact that he is available for the Ashes series is great news for all of us and, in particular, Chris (Silverwood), Joe (Root) and the rest of the players, ”Giles said.