Ben Stokes hopes for Ashe’s return if he posts training video
‘Great for hitting balls again’: England talisman Ben Stokes hopes to keep fit for the Ashes as he hits for the first time in THREE MONTHS… and his last shot was a lot better than his first!
- Ben Stokes hasn’t played cricket indefinitely since July
- The English star prioritizes his mental health but also broke his finger in April
- After his aborted summer comeback, Stokes reported this week that he was able to properly grip a bat for the first time since April.
- He gave even more good news with videos of him hitting balls in the nets
- Ashes starts on December 8 and England flies to Australia on November 4
England star Ben Stokes has raised hopes he could be a good fit for the Ashes after posting videos of him hitting cricket balls for the first time since July.
Stokes broke his left index finger trying to catch a lofted drive from Chris Gayle in the IPL in April. He returned less than three months later after surgery to captain a young Covid-depleted England squad in their ODI series win over Pakistan in July, but struggled to hit and couldn’t grip the handle properly.
Stokes announced an indefinite hiatus from the game to protect his sanity shortly after that series ended in late July, with his injured finger also playing a part in the decision.
Ben Stokes hit a signature straight drive when he hit for the first time since July
Stokes led England to an ODI series win over Pakistan in July before taking a break
The 30-year-old was not named in England’s Ashes squad last week and captain Joe Root has insisted he won’t return until he’s ready, but Stokes has thrilled England fans with his Instagram posts this week.
The day after England announced their team, Stokes posted a photo of his clenched hand holding his bat, writing: ‘For the first time since breaking I was able to get it on my handle.’
He followed that up on Thursday with three Instagram videos of him hitting balls into the nets. The first was a terrible miscue from the bat’s toe, but after getting his eye in it, Stokes hit a luscious signature straight drive to encourage a return sooner rather than later.
Stokes, who wore a hoody, beanie and sweatpants before taking the hoody off to play in a t-shirt, wrote alongside the post: ‘It’s casual training on a Thursday… Generally my first ball back and this is what happens [laughing face emoji]… Then make sure I don’t break my toe … And then finally a nice hit … Great to hit balls again.’
Stokes’ first shot since July left a lot of room for improvement when it came off the toe
Stokes posted a photo of him gripping a bat for the first time in months
Stokes had a second surgery last week to remove scar tissue from his finger and is unlikely to be fully fit for another month.
England will fly to Australia on November 4 so they can complete their quarantine period before starting preparations for the five-match Ashes series starting December 8 in Brisbane.
The series won’t end in Perth until January 18, meaning players will be away for 11 weeks, but will be allowed to take their families to a luxury hotel after months of negotiations with Cricket Australia.
Some of Stokes’ best moments for England were against Australia, most notably when his 135 not out took a one-wicket win over Headingley in 2019.
The latest update has raised hopes the England all-rounder can get back into action soon, although he has an ‘indefinite break’ from the game to prioritize his mental health