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‘I’m ready for Australia’: Ben Stokes added to England Ashes squad

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England’s Ashes chances have received a boost, with news that star all-rounder Ben Stokes has been added to the team’s squad for the upcoming Ashes series.

Stokes took time out earlier this year to deal with mental health issues and had a second surgery on his index finger which he broke playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

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.

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“I had a break to prioritise my mental wellbeing and I got my finger sorted,” Stokes said in the ECB statement. 

Stokes is one of England’s most important Test players, with the ability to win matches with both ball and bat.

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In the last Ashes series in England in 2019, Stokes produced an incredible innings of 135 to almost single-handedly win the third Test at Headingley for the home side.

The England squad is scheduled to quarantine on the Gold Coast before the series starts at the Gabba in Brisbane on December 8.

Stokes was among some of the big names missing earlier this month when England announced an initial 17-man squad for the Ashes tour.

Over the last two weeks, Stokes has posted several times on social media to show his return to picking up a cricket bat and beginning to attempt to bowl as he recovered from his latest surgery.

Ashley Giles, England’s managing director of men’s cricket, said he had several conversations with Stokes and was assured he was ready for a comeback.

“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,” Giles said.

ABC/AP

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