Ben Stokes throws his hat into the ring, added to England’s Ashes squad

Ben Stokes

Ben Stokes has been added to England’s Ashes squad after declaring himself ready to play competitive cricket again.

The all-rounder was initially unavailable when England named the touring group for Australia, having spent the past three months on an indefinite hiatus to allow a finger injury to heal as well as prioritise his mental health.

However, after having a second surgery on his left index finger earlier this month, Stokes has filmed himself back in the nets batting and bowling, fuelling speculation of an Ashes return, which was confirmed on Monday morning.

“I had a break to prioritise my mental wellbeing and I got my finger sorted,” he said. “I am looking forward to seeing my mates and being on the field with them. I’m ready for Australia.”

Ben Stokes confirmed for Ashes

Managing Director of England Men’s Cricket, Ashley Giles revealed that he had held discussions with Stokes following net sessions last week and confirmed that he would be added to the Ashes group.

“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.

“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 for all of us and, in particular, Chris (Silverwood), Joe (Root) and the rest of the players.

“Having not played for some time, we will move forward cautiously over the next few weeks to ensure he is fully prepared across all facets of his game.

“Ahead of a very busy period of cricket, we continue to remain mindful of the stresses on all our personnel, and our primary focus continues to be the wellbeing of all of our players and support staff.”