Ben Stokes has been added to England’s Ashes squad, saying “I’m ready for Australia”.
The all-round star has been left out of the original travel group to Australia, but the England and Wales Cricket Council (ECB) have confirmed that he will now play in all five test rounds, which begin on December 8.
The 30-year-old has received the green light from his consultant and the ECB’s medical team following a second operation on his fractured left index finger.
He had taken an extended hiatus from cricket at the end of July to prioritize his mental well-being and recover from his injury, but is now set to return – giving England an almighty boost as they seeks to retrieve the Down Under urn.
“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.
He will leave for Australia with the test specialists and the Lions on November 4.
England Men’s Cricket General Manager Ashley Giles added: “After a very successful finger surgery and several conversations over the past few weeks between Ben and me, our medical staff and his management team, Ben called me. to tell me he was ready. to return to cricket and was excited about the prospect of playing an important role in the Ashes series.
“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.
“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.”
England team for the Ashes tour
Joe Root (Yorkshire) Captain
James Anderson (Lancashire)
Jonathan Bairstow (Yorkshire)
Dom Bess (Yorkshire)
Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire)
Rory Burns (Surrey)
Jos Buttler (Lancashire)
Zak Crawley (Kent)
Haseeb Hameed (Nottinghamshire)
Dan Lawrence (Essex)
Jack Leach (Somerset)
Dawid Malan (Yorkshire)
Craig Overton (Somerset)
Ollie Pope (Surrey)
Ollie Robinson (Sussex)
Ben Stokes (Durham)
Chris Woakes (Warwickshire)
Mark Wood (Durham)
His addition to the test squad won’t come as a huge surprise to the Australian squad as they already expected Stokes to be on the tour.
“I expect him to come,” Nathan Lyon told Cricket.com.au.
“I hope he is. You want to play against the best players in the world.
“Stokesy is the best all-rounder in the world. He’s an X factor, a game changer, and you want to play against those kinds of players.