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Ben Stokes set to undergo surgery in shock bid to save his CAREER with England captain hardly able to bowl in Ashes

, Ben Stokes set to undergo surgery in shock bid to save his CAREER with England captain hardly able to bowl in Ashes

BEN STOKES is ready to have surgery to save his all-rounder career as he targets an Ashes triumph Down Under.

Captain Stokes will use a six-month gap in the Test schedule to sort out the left-knee issue that means he can hardly bowl.

Ben Stokes has revealed he will undergo surgery after the Ashes

, Ben Stokes set to undergo surgery in shock bid to save his CAREER with England captain hardly able to bowl in AshesHe is determined to fix the issues with his left knee

And he confirmed he will not reverse his retirement from 50-over cricket and make himself available for the World Cup in India, which begins in October.

England play no red-ball cricket between the end of this Ashes series and a five-Test trip to India, starting in January 2024.

Stokes, 32, said: “The knee is something I want to get sorted.

“In the past, when I’ve seen specialists, there’s been cricket on and we’ve tried to manage it and crack on.

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“But this break is a good time to have some serious conversations with medics about how I can bowl without worrying about my knee.

“It’s important for me to be an all-rounder. I’ve done it since I was a kid and wanting to be involved in the game.

“It’s been a frustrating couple of years not being able to have the same impact and play the same role that I did for the previous ten years.

“I want to get it sorted although I keep forgetting I’m ageing every day!”

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When England next tour Australia in 2025-26, it will be more than ten years since they last won an Ashes series in 2015.

Even if they win today’s Fifth Test at The Oval, the best England can manage this summer is 2-2.

Stokes is dreaming of an England victory Down Under in 2½ years’ time — with him as captain — although it could depend on the outcome if he goes under the knife.

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He added: “The Ashes is the big one and it would be nice to say I’ve won it twice.”

Stokes’ opposite number Pat Cummins has given a straight bat to calls from some Aussies for him to quit as captain.

Despite Australia leading the series 2-1, Cummins’ tactics have come under criticism.

, Ben Stokes set to undergo surgery in shock bid to save his CAREER with England captain hardly able to bowl in Ashes
Stokes’ knee injury has limited him to just batting recently

But he insisted: “Everyone has opinions. But they aren’t facts, they’re opinions.

“It wasn’t our best week at Old Trafford, especially on day two when England scored so quickly. That’s my fault, no one else’s.

“It’s tough. The wicket is flat and the batters are playing well. Runs are being scored at a different pace to anything in Test cricket before.”

While former Australia players Ricky Ponting and Justin Langer have defended Cumins, ex-batsman Mark Waugh has gone on the attack.

Waugh, 58, said: “I think Pat has struggled in nearly every Test match. We’ve got a bit lucky leading this series 2-1.

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“I think Pat looked tired and frazzled. Is he the right man for the long-term captaincy?

“Because when it’s tough, I don’t think he is.”

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