England all-rounder Stokes has been announced as fit for the upcoming England squad after taking a break in July to rest his injured finger and prioritize his mental wellbeing.
Former England assistant coach Paul Farbrace has said that the presence of Ben Stokes in this winter’s Ashes series will ‘galvanize’ the tourists in Australia.
Farbrace said, “He just brings so much. I think it has really tipped it into being a fantastic series and I’m excited about it.”
Stokes was given the all-clear signal by his consultant and the England and Wales Cricket Board following a second operation on a fractured finger.
The 30-year-old broke his left index finger while playing in the India Premier League for Rajasthan Royals in April and was left out of England’s T20 World Cup squad, but has recovered after having a second operation on it in early October to remove two screws and scar tissue.
Warwickshire’s director of cricket Farbrace said that Stokes would provide England with “balance” as they seek to regain the Ashes.
He said, “Every time England have picked a team in the summer, they have tried to balance a team without Ben Stokes. We were so fortunate when I was involved with England, that a lot of the time, he was available. [England captain] Joe Root and [coach] Chris Silverwood will be delighted to have him back in the dressing room.”
‘Hugely brave decision’
Farbrace said that both the player and the team have benefitted from Stokes’ decision to withdraw from England’s Five-Test home series against India this summer.
He said, “He has made a hugely brave decision personally and he has dealt with it. The England team has allowed him time and space and the fact he is now back in the group, I think it really will galvanize this team.”
The assistant coach added, “The way he is as a person, he brings a lot of confidence and calmness. We saw how calm he was with Jofra [Archer] before the super over in the World Cup final, and he does that day in, day out.”
Stokes was England’s leading run-scorer in the 2019 series between the teams, with 441 runs at an average of 55.12, including an unforgettable unbeaten century that helped secure a memorable win in the third Test at Headingley.
The Durham all-rounder will travel to Australia alongside the Test specialists and the supplementary Lions group on 4 November.
The five-Test Ashes series is due to begin on 8 December and end on 18 January. England has named their strong squad for the Ashes tour of Australia
England squad for Ashes tour
Joe Root (capt), James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler (wk), Zak Crawley, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.
8-12 Dec 1st Test, Brisbane (00:00 GMT)
16-20 Dec: 2nd Test, Adelaide (d/n) (04:00 GMT)
26-30Dec: 3rd Test, Melbourne (23:30 GMT, 25-29 Dec)
5-9Jan: 4th Test, Sydney (23:30 GMT, 4-8 Jan)
14-18 Jan: 5th Test, Perth (02:30 GMT)