Ben Stokes in England squad for the Ashes after declaring himself fit

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England star Ben Stokes is in the Ashes squad after declaring himself ready to play competitive cricket again.

The all-rounder was initially unavailable when the team was named, having spent three months on indefinite hiatus to allow a finger injury to heal as well as prioritise his mental health.

"I had a break to prioritise my mental wellbeing and I got my finger sorted," Stokes said.

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

Stokes will head to Australia with the rest of the team on 4 November.

The 30-year-old had a second surgery on his left index finger earlier this month and video of him back in the nets fuelled speculation of his return, which was confirmed on Monday morning.

Stokes skipped the summer Test series against India and is also not a part of the ongoing T20 World Cup.

The cricketer became a sporting hero for many after his double heroics in 2019.

He played the pivotal role in England's World Cup final win against New Zealand, hitting two sixes in the final over, alongside Jos Buttler, before the dramatic Super Over saw the home side edge victory.

Stokes followed it up a few months later with an astonishing innings in the third Ashes Test at Headingley.

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England were bowled out for 67 in their first innings, but Stokes' unbeaten 135 in the second gave the home side the win and completed their highest-ever run chase in a Test.

The series ended 2-2, meaning Australia retained the Ashes, but Stokes and co will be looking to reclaim the famous urn when they head Down Under.

The first Test begins on 8 December in Brisbane, before heading to Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney.

Perth will host a fifth match decider, if needed, on 14 January.

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