Iconic New Zealand-born all rounder Ben Stokes will be joining England for the upcoming Ashes Tour, after all. His readiness after an extended break and surgery to his index finger is considered a major boost for the touring side’s chances.
Part of the reason for Stokes’ time away had been for him to prioritise his mental health. Stokes said this week now that his health issues are behind him, he’s very much looking forward to re-joining the squad.
Stokes previously fuelled speculation about a possible Ashes return when he posted a video of himself bowling and betting in the nets on social media. He made the decision official after he received the go-ahead from the England and Wales Board’s medical team.
Stokes led the run-scoring way for England in the 2019 Ashes series when he posted 441 runs at an average of 55.12 to the scoreboard.
The New Zealander’s return will be welcome news for England after both Jofra Archer and Olly Stone were confirmed out for the count because of injury. But while undoubtedly welcome tidings, England MD of men’s cricket Ashley Giles said this week that gradual steps will now have to be taken to ensure the 30-year-old is 100% ready to compete on the international stage.
Giles said while the country now heads into a very busy period of cricket, the main focus will remain on the stresses and well-being of players and support staff.
The first Ashes Test between England and Australia is set to commence on December 8.
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