Ben Stokes is excited for the upcoming Ashes tour and can’t wait to get back on the field. Stokes was away from the sport from mid-April when he broke his finger during an IPL match. Post that, he took a sabbatical to focus on his mental health. Earlier this week, it was announced by the ECB that Stokes has recovered and will travel to Australia with the Ashes-bound squad.
“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,” wrote Stokes in his column for mirror.co.uk.
“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.”
“I probably didn’t realise just how much of an issue the finger was causing me until I got it sorted the second time around.”
Stokes also revealed how talking about one’s feelings help.
“I was in a real dark place and having some difficult thoughts. I was always one of those people who wouldn’t talk about how they are feeling and just keep it internal and crack on,” wrote the all-rounder.
“I now realise talking is such a powerful thing and it has completely changed me. Talking to my wife, talking to close friends like Rooty, it has really helped as too the professionals I have worked with.”
The 30-year-old said that he was eager to hold a bat as soon as the finger was healed. He admitted that Australia is one of the toughest places to tour and that he is ready for it.
“As soon as I could, I was moving it the day after in physio and then I picked up a bat four days later. I couldn’t wait to get into the nets.”
“Once I was hitting balls without any pain and without thinking about the position my finger was in I thought...I’m back,” he added.
“I do realise Australia is one of the toughest places to tour, but also one of the greatest places to tour. It is a special event in cricket and I want to help our team as best I can.”
“I know what it is going to be like, especially the crowds, I’ve experienced it before and I say bring it on,” Stokes concluded.