Ben Stokes added to Ashes squad

Ben Stokes
England all-rounder Ben Stokes. File photo: AFP

England all-rounder Ben Stokes has been added to the squad for the upcoming Ashes tour of Australia, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said on Monday.

Stokes had taken an indefinite break from cricket in July to focus on his mental health, while also recovering from a second operation on a broken finger, and was not included in coach Chris Silverwood's initial squad for the series.

However, the ECB said in a statement that the 30-year-old had received the green light to resume training and would leave for Australia on November 4.

"I had a break to prioritise my mental wellbeing and I got my finger sorted," said Stokes, who has played 71 Tests for England.

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

The five-Test Ashes series is due to begin in Brisbane on December 8. Australia retained the Ashes when the teams last met in 2019 in England after a 2-2 series draw.

Stokes last played a Test match in March against India and was not considered for selection for the ongoing Twenty20 World Cup, where England defeated defending champions West Indies in their opening match.

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