Superstar England all-rounder Ben Stokes has set the wheels in motion of his return to international cricket as he did his first set of “casual” batting training on Thursday, more than a week after he had undergone a second finger operation.
Ben Stokes sustained an injury in his left index finger while fielding for Rajasthan Royals during the IPL in April. He returned home and got operated on it.
He did feature and captained England in the home ODI series against Pakistan when the main squad was ruled out due to a covid-19 outbreak in their camp. He led England to a 3-0 victory but was playing with severe pain in his finger and required a painkilling injection to get through the series.
Doug Campbell, a Leeds-based consultant operated again on the all-rounder’s finger earlier this month, removing the metal screws from the now-healed digit.
He appeared in a couple of games in The Hundred, for Northern Superchargers, before pulling out of the Test series against India. He has since been on an indefinite break to tend to his mental well-being and his finger.
Last month, Ben Stokes was omitted from the T20 World Cup squad; this month, he wasn’t named in the Ashes squad as well.
On Thursday, the 30-year-old took to Instagram to update his fans about his return to the game. He shared a clip of him hitting balls in the nets with England physio Craig de Weymarn.
“It’s casual clothes training on a Thursday… Generally my first ball back and this is what happened,” Ben Stokes captioned the post.
“Then a bit of making sure I don’t break my toe Then eventually hit a nice one Great to be back hitting balls,” he added.
Watch – Ben Stokes Starts ‘Casual’ Batting Practice After Second Finger Operation
Meanwhile, England have announced their 17-man squad to tour Australia for the Ashes. The first Ashes Test is slated for Brisbane from December 8. Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, and Perth are slotted to host the next four Tests, however, that is subject to change.
With still a little less than a couple of months left for the first Test, Ben Stokes may be eyeing a return in the latter part of the series.