Ben Stokes is back: All-rounder's return to Ashes squad is huge boost for England
Ben Stokes has been added to the England Test squad for the Ashes tour of Australia.
Stokes, who has been given the all-clear by his consultant and the ECB medical team to resume training following his second operation on a fractured left index finger, will depart with the Test specialists and the Lions on 4 November.
The 30-year-old is ready to return to competitive cricket following his break from the game at the end of July to prioritise his mental wellbeing.
“I had a break to prioritise my mental wellbeing and I got my finger sorted,” said Stokes. “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, added: "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."
England Men's Test Squad - Ashes Tour of Australia 2021-22:
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)
England's Ashes tour of Australia 2021-22 Itinerary (subject to change):
Test specialists and Lions depart.
1st Test, Australia v England, Gabba, Brisbane
2nd Test, Australia v England (D/N), Adelaide Oval, Adelaide
3rd Test, Australia v England, MCG, Melbourne
4th Test, Australia v England, SCG, Sydney
5th Test, Australia v England, Optus Stadium, Perth