England’s ace all-rounder Ben Stokes has been added to the Test squad for the Ashes tour of Australia, the ECB confirmed on Monday (October 25).
Stokes has been given the all-clear to resume training following his second operation on a fractured left index finger, and will depart for Australia with the Test team on November 4.
The 30-year-old is returning to competitive cricket after a hiatus from the game. He had taken a break in July to prioritise his mental wellbeing.
“I had a break to prioritise my mental wellbeing and I got my finger sorted,” said Stokes in a statement.
“I am looking forward to seeing my mates and being on the field with them. I’m ready for Australia.”
Managing Director of England Men’s Cricket, Ashley Giles, said: “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.”
The much-awaited Ashes Test series is slated to get underway on December 8 at the Gabba, Brisbane.
England Test squad for Ashes tour:
Joe Root (c), James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.