Ben Stokes is finally returning in the Ashes 2021, and Aussie superstar Steve Smith has expressed his delight on the same.
The Ashes 2021 is set to start in December, where two of the most traditional rivals will battle for the urn. England received a massive boost when Ben Stokes announced that he will be back playing for England in the Ashes.
Ben Stokes has not played a single game since July due to a finger injury and mental health issues. He recently had a second operation on his injured finger. Although, he has started light training in England. The gun all-rounder, whose Headingley heroics are still fresh, was not a part of England’s 17 men initial Ashes squad. However, he announced his shocking return recently.
“I had a break to prioritise my mental wellbeing and I got my finger sorted,” said Stokes.
“I am looking forward to seeing my mates and being on the field with them. I’m ready for Australia.”
— Test Match Special (@bbctms) October 25, 2021
Steve Smith on Ben Stokes return
Australian batsman Steve Smith has expressed his pleasure on the return of Ben Stokes. He says that he is “glad personally” about Stokes’s return. According to Smith, the arrival of Ben will make the series interesting.
“I think any team’s more dangerous when you’ve got someone like Ben Stokes playing,” Smith said.
“It certainly adds a lot to their depth, but like I said we’re excited and I’m glad personally that he’s able to be back playing some cricket.”
“It makes for a really good series.”
Most Ashes runs this century:
Steve Smith: 2,800 @ 65.11
Alastair Cook: 2,493 @ 40.90
Michael Clarke: 2,241 @ 40.74
Ricky Ponting: 2,188 @ 46.55
Kevin Pietersen: 2,158 @ 44.95
Steve Smith, in a league of his own. pic.twitter.com/1A9YIDZ8jx
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) October 8, 2021
In recent times, quite a few players have taken a break from cricket due to mental health issues. Glenn Maxwell took a break in 2019, whereas Pucovski also stepped out last year.
Steve Smith has praised the English cricket board for supporting Ben Stokes in his tough time.
“I think we’ve seen it a lot more now, the acceptance of people when they’re not doing well mentally,” Smith said.
“Credit to Ben for being able to make that decision and step away for a bit and make sure he’s right to go out and play and live his life.
“For him to be able to make the decision to step away, and from the acceptance from the ECB and everyone involved, I think that’s really important for people going forward.”
The arrival of Ben Stokes will certainly make the Ashes 2021 a lot more interesting.