Jos Buttler is overjoyed at the news Ben Stokes has been included in England’s Ashes squad after the talismanic all-rounder declared himself “buzzing” to head to Australia following an extended break.
Stokes was initially unavailable for selection to head Down Under as he prioritised his mental wellbeing and took the time to fully recover from a fracture to his left index finger, which he first sustained six months ago.
A comeback attempt was called off in July but a second surgery to remove two screws and scar tissue took place this month and he has been cleared by his consultant and the England and Wales Cricket Board’s medical team.
Reacting to the news that Stokes will join the Test specialists and supplementary Lions squad in heading to Australia on November 4, Buttler said: “It’s a massive boost for everyone.
“I think first and foremost for Ben to be in the position where he’s happy and healthy both physically and mentally to resume his cricket career is brilliant.
“As a team-mate, as a friend, as fans of cricket, I think everyone is going to be delighted to see Ben Stokes back on the field. It’s a massive boost for England, for the Ashes and for cricket as a whole.”
England have already had to recalibrate their plans to fight fire with fire in Australia as injuries to Jofra Archer and Olly Stone have left Mark Wood as the only pace bowler capable of bowling in excess of 90mph.
The return of Stokes therefore represents a massive fillip for England but Buttler, who will head to Australia after completing his T20 World Cup duties, is adamant he is not thinking about regaining the urn yet.
Buttler added: “It’s great to have a pretty much full-strength side, but I’m fully focused at the moment on the World Cup. It’s next in line but at the moment we need to be fully focused on the World Cup.
“It’s a world tournament we want to perform well in, so I’m not thinking too much about the Ashes right now and I don’t think it’s the right thing to be doing.”