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Cricket elbow problem no problem as Smith welcomes Stokes Ashes shot | WTAQ News Talk | 97.5 FM 1360 AM

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(Reuters) Steve Smith shrugged off concerns that a lingering elbow injury will limit his effectiveness in the Ashes series against England and said he enjoys Ben Stokes’ return to international cricket.

Stokes was added to the England squad for the Ashes on Monday after being initially dropped from the list as he continues to recover from mental health issues that had sidelined him since June.

But Smith welcomed the inclusion of all-rounders for the highly anticipated series, scheduled for December 8 in Brisbane.

It’s great that he’s available now, Smith said.

Every time someone comes back from (mental health) that’s great and we love to compete against the best players so it’s great to see them on the plane.

I think teams are more dangerous when you have someone like Ben Stokes playing.

It certainly adds a lot to their depth, but I was excited and I’m personally happy that he can play some cricket again. It makes for a very good series.

Stokes has also dealt with a finger injury that required surgery that kept him out of the Twenty20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates and Oman.

Smith is currently in the Gulf, competing in the competition despite ongoing problems with his left elbow, but the former Australia captain is confident he will have few fitness issues by the time of the Ashes series.

(My elbow) is in a good place, it feels really good, Smith said.

I’m continuing my strength work and rehab so I feel like I’m doing well and progressing well so I don’t have any real concerns (for the Ashes).

After speculation that England would not send a full squad to Australia for the Ashes due to the country’s strict pandemic regulations, Smith is looking to see a strong side led by captain Joe Root.

It was always their decision whether they wanted to come out or not, but we always want the best players to play in an Ashes series, he said.

That is what matters for an Australian or an English cricketer. For us it is the main tournament in the long format of the game.

Were excited about the summer ahead, looking forward to seeing some crowds back in Australia and hopefully having a really successful summer of cricket.

(Reporting by Michael Church, editing by Christian Radnedge)

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