The English cricket team has got a massive shot in the arm as the England Cricket Board recently announced that their star all-rounder Ben Stokes has recovered both physically and mentally and is ready to take on the Aussies down under.
Ben Stokes was always like an ace up the ECB’s sleeve and as soon as the premier all-rounder of the world made himself available, he was included in the Ashes squad to travel to Australia later in the year. Stokes wasn’t originally named in the squad for the Ashes but it seems like he has fully recovered from his finger injury and after a few months out of the game, Stokes seems ready to take on one of the toughest challenges in cricket, win an Ashes series in Australia.
He took some time out when he injured his index finger in the first leg of the 2021 Indian T20 League. He went in for his second surgery and was also giving his mental health priority. However, the England Cricket Board has announced that Stokes has been given the all-clear by medical staff and will leave with the team on November 4 for the five-Test series in Australia.
In an official statement with the ECB, Stokes mentioned that “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.”
Ashley Giles, the managing director of English Men’s cricket said that he had numerous conversations with Ben during his time off and he was assured a comeback by the all-rounder. Speaking to the official website of ECB, Giles mentioned that “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. Time and time again, Ben has demonstrated how important he is to the England team and having him available for the Ashes series is excellent news.”
Stokes had a memorable time in the previous Ashes series back in England in 2019. People would remember his exploits in the Headingley Test forever, where he single-handedly decimated the Aussies and won a match in which looked like a lost cause from the first day. His performance in the series was enough for England to level the series and the team would be hoping for him to replicate that in the coming Ashes series.
This current English side is missing leaders with the bat and this is where Stokes needs to ensure that he stands tall alongside his captain Joe Root. Stokes has played four Tests in Australia previously and has a century that he scored at Perth in 2013. With the ball as well, he has a decent record on those flat Australian tracks. His ability to influence the game with all three skills will be needed if England stands any chance of winning the series down under.
In the previous few weeks, Stokes has been active on social media posting his training routine, and finally being able to fully grip the bat. He has started bowling as well post his surgery which is great news for English cricket and its fans. There’s no doubt that England now have a better chance of being competitive in this Ashes series with Ben Stokes in their squad. It’ll be wonderful to see him back in the international circuit giving it his all to win cricket matches for his nation.