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Ben Stokes reveals how England captain Joe Root reacted when he made himself available for the Ashes


England skipper Joe Root is delighted to have Ben Stokes back in contention for the Ashes (Picture: Getty)

A ‘buzzing’ Ben Stokes has lifted the lid on what Joe Root said when he told the England captain he was back in contention for this winter’s Ashes series.

Stokes announced he would be taking an indefinite break from all forms of the game in July, with the 30-year-old looking to protect his injured finger and his mental health.

The all-rounder had been hinting at a possible comeback with series of short clips showing him batting and bowling in the nets on Instagram and he was officially added to England’s touring party this morning after being left out of the initial 17-man squad.

Despite missing out on England’s recent home Test series versus India and the ongoing T20 World Cup, Stokes is adamant he is ‘ready’ for the trip Down Under.

‘I had a break to prioritise my mental well-being and get my finger sorted,’ the Durham star said in a statement on the ECB’s website.

‘I am looking forward to seeing my mates and being on the field with them. I’m ready for Australia.’

Stokes has undergone surgery on his injured finger (Picture: Getty)

Back in August, Root encouraged Stokes use his time away to ‘put himself first’ and ‘get himself back to being Ben Stokes’.

And in his column for The Mirror, Stokes revealed just how pleased the England skipper was to hear him sounding so well again.

‘I’m buzzing for the Ashes. Just buzzing,’ the 2019 World Cup hero said.

‘To be able to confirm to Joe Root that I would be available to join the tour from the start after my second successful surgery on my finger was a great moment.

‘Rooty’s reaction when I told him was simply: “Oh bloody hell, that’s good.”

‘He said it was great to hear me sounding so well and that is the truth of it.

‘I feel much better about everything from my finger to my mental well-being. I know I can focus once again on playing my best cricket Down Under this winter.’

Root will lead England for this winter’s Ashes series Down Under (Picture: Getty)

Root was quick to welcome Stokes back into the fold with a message of support on his official Twitter page.

‘One of the greats as a cricketer and an even better bloke,’ the Yorkshire batsman tweeted.

‘Welcome back my friend.’

Jos Buttler believes Stokes declaring himself ready for the Ashes is ‘incredibly exciting’ for England.

‘It is absolutely fantastic news,’ the England wicket-keeper-batsman told The Mirror.

‘First and foremost, as a friend and teammate, I’m just delighted that Ben is back in a place where he feels well enough to resume his career.

‘Having him added to the squad is obviously incredibly exciting for everyone because he brings so much to the side in all sorts of different ways.

‘He balances the team brilliantly and before his break he had been playing some of the best cricket of his life so we all hope he can get back that form.

‘But it is not just his cricket with bat and ball and in the field. He has such an impact on those around him, he makes us all feel taller stood next to him.

‘He gives other players confidence, he is incredibly loyal to the team and when it comes to competitiveness Ben is not shy of any challenge.’


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