Joe Root and Jos Buttler react as Ben Stokes is added to England’s Ashes squad

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Ben Stokes has been added to England’s squad for the Ashes (Picture: Getty)

England stars Joe Root and Jos Buttler have welcomed Ben Stokes back into the fold after the all-rounder was added to the touring party ahead of this winter’s Ashes series in Australia.

Back in July, Stokes, 30, announced he would be taking an indefinite break from all forms of cricket with a view to resting his injured finger and to protect his mental health.

Stokes had remained tight-lipped over a potential return date but the Durham man has been sharing videos of him batting and bowling in the nets on Instagram, raising hopes of an imminent comeback.

And though the 2019 World Cup hero was left out of England’s initial 17-man squad for the Ashes, he declared himself ‘ready for Australia’ and back in contention for a possible starring role this morning.

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

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

Buttler and Root have welcomed Stokes back with messages of support (Picture: Getty)

In August, England captain Root urged Stokes use his time away to ‘put himself first’ in order to ‘get himself back to being Ben Stokes again’.

Reacting to Stokes’ return, Root tweeted: ‘One of the greats as a cricketer and an even better bloke.

‘Welcome back my friend.’

Speaking to The Mirror, Buttler said Stokes’ return provided a huge boost for England both on and off the field ahead of their trip to Australia.

‘It is absolutely fantastic news,’ the England wicket-keeper-batsman said.

‘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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