Ashes 2021-22

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) confirmed on October 25 that Ben Stokes had been added to England’s Ashes team. After a successful surgery on a fractured left index finger, Stokes, who took an indefinite absence from cricket to focus on his mental health, has been allowed by his consultant and the ECB medical staff to begin training.

Stokes has not played cricket since July, when he was active for Northern Superchargers in the first edition of The Hundred, when he withdrew from the five-match Pataudi Trophy against India. He sustained the finger injury while trying a low catch against Punjab Kings in the first half of the 2021 Indian Premier League, and was subsequently ruled out of the tournament.

Stokes made a brief comeback earlier this year, leading a Covid-19-affected England team to a 3-0 victory in a home ODI series against Pakistan, but he has remained inactive since then, and was also left out of England’s T20 World Cup squad.

Stokes was reported in an ECB release as saying, “I took a pause to prioritise my mental welfare and I got my finger straightened. I’m excited to see my teammates and play with them on the field.”

“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. After 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,” said Ashley Giles, Managing Director of England men’s cricket. ”

“Ben has proven how essential he is to the England team on numerous occasions, and his availability for the Ashes series is fantastic news for all of us, particularly Chris (Silverwood), Joe (Root), and the rest of the players.”

“Ahead of a very busy season of cricket, we continue to be sensitive of the stresses on all of our employees, and our major emphasis remains on the wellness of all of our players and support staff,” the statement reads.

“Because he hasn’t played in a while, we’ll proceed with caution over the next several weeks to ensure he is properly prepared in all aspects of his game. We continue to be sensitive to the demands on all of our personnel as we approach a very busy season of cricket, and our primary emphasis remains the wellness of all of our players and support staff,” Giles added.

The Ashes will begin on December 8 at the Gabba in Brisbane.