Ashes 2021-22: Ben Stokes trains with England teammates for the first time after long break

Ashes 2021-22: Ben Stokes trains with England teammates for the first time after long break

England's Test squad needed the Ben Stokes boost ahead of the Ashes.

Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes. (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images for Cricket Australia)

Ben Stokes has joined his England teammates for the first time in six months. The all-rounder had earlier arrived in Australia along with half of the England squad for the Ashes 2021-22 which is set to begin on December 8 at the Gabba in Brisbane. His presence in the squad gives the England team just a little sniff and indeed increases their chances of regaining the Ashes. 

The Durham all-rounder had taken a break from the game in order to deal with his mental health issues and also look after a nasty finger injury that had caused issues for him earlier this year. He had to return from the Indian Premier League with an injury and just somehow managed to get fit when called upon to lead the England ODI team in a series where his country’s first-choice players had to be sidelined due to a COVID threat. 

He subsequently appeared for Northern Superchargers in the inaugural edition of the Hundred. However, he pulled out of the five-match Test series against India at home and also the second leg of IPL and the T20 World Cup. He was not named in the Ashes squad initially but later confirmed his availability much to the joy of all English supporters. 

England seniors to face England Lions in a couple of practice matches

Stokes had previously missed the Ashes in Australia four years ago due to his infamous bar feud in Bristol. His last Test appearance in Australia was way back in his debut Ashes in 2013-14. He has touched down in Queensland along with skipper Joe Root and the players who are not in the T20 World Cup squad. 

Stokes trained with his teammates at the Metricon Stadium in Gold Coast. The tourists will now wait for the players like Jos Butler, Johnny Bairstow, Dawid Malan, Chris Woakes, and Mark Wood to arrive from Dubai. The England team was knocked out of the T20 World Cup 2021 by New Zealand in the semi-final on Wednesday. 

All the players travel straight to Australia without taking a break in their home country. According to the reports on News18, England will play a couple of friendly red-ball matches against the England Lions (England A) team which is also in Australia at this moment. The matches are meant to get the team prepared for the Ashes. Australia holds the Ashes crown now having won the last home series 4-0 and later defended the away series 2-2 in 2019.