Joe Root Excited On The Return Of Ben Stokes To England's Ashes 2021/22 Squad
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Joe Root Excited On The Return Of Ben Stokes To England’s Ashes 2021/22 Squad

Joe Root
Joe Root Photograph: Sri Lanka Cricket

Joe Root, England skipper, has welcomed all-rounder Ben Stokes’s return to the Ashes squad, saying that it’s the most exciting thing for him to see star all-rounder’s return to cricket after a break.

Ben Stokes had taken an indefinite break from cricket in July to focus on his mental health and recover from a finger injury. He was not included in England’s initial squad for the Ashes 2021-22 series.

Ben Stokes, Joe Root ECB Twitter
Ben Stokes, Joe Root ECB Twitter

Joe Root Excited As Ben Stokes Ready To Play Cricket Again In The Ashes 2021/22

However, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) later announced that Ben Stokes would be available for the series, which is due to start on December 8.

“I’d got an inkling. I’d had some good conversations with Ben over the period while he’s not been playing. It was just such a joy to hear him speak, you could almost hear his smile, if that makes sense, on the phone. You could tell he was so much happier within himself.

“Just the fact he feels he’s in a place where he’s ready to play cricket again is the most exciting thing,” Joe Root said.

Ben Stokes, England all-rounder
Ben Stokes, England all-rounder (Photo | AP)

The England captain also praised Ben Stokes’s honesty, adding that they made it very clear to him that he has to be in the right space to go and play.

“We made it very clear to Ben, it’s got to be right for you. You have to be in the right space to go and play, physically and mentally. One thing about Ben, he’s very honest, he won’t shirk any difficult conversations and he’s been true to that through the whole thing.

“We have been through a lot on and off the field. To see him now back in a place where he is able to enjoy his cricket again and feel more himself, that’s the best part of the whole thing. It’s just really exciting,” Joe Root added.

Ben Stokes had decided not to participate in the England-India Test series, the second half of IPL 2021 at UAE, and the T20I World Cup to prioritize his mental well-being over cricket. He, however, would return for Ashes.

Ben Stokes Last Featured For England In ODI Series Against Pakistan

Unfortunately, Ben Stokes broke his hand, taking a catch for Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League 2021, and a repeat X-ray and CT scan revealed that he has a fracture of his left index finger. Ben Stokes recently underwent a second surgery on his broken finger.

Eoin Morgan and Ben Stokes -Getty
Eoin Morgan and Ben Stokes -Getty

Ben Stokes last played for England in the ODI series against Pakistan in July, when he returned to captain the team at short notice after Eoin Morgan and the rest of the squad were forced into isolation by a number of Covid-19 positives. He batted twice and bowled a handful of overs, as England won the series 3-0, but only played twice in the Hundred thereafter before stepping away from the game indefinitely.

Ben Stokes averages 37.05 in 71 Tests, where he amassed 4631 runs with 10 tons and has also taken 163 scalps averaging 31.38 with the ball in hand.

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