England all-rounder Ben Stokes on Tuesday said he wasn't sure if he would have walked out onto a field ever again following the indefinite break from cricket he took earlier this year.
Taking to Instagram, Stokes penned an emotional note for his late father on the eve of the first Ashes Test. His father, Ged Stokes had passed away after a year-long battle with brain cancer at the age of 65 last December.
"I wasn't sure if I would ever walk out onto a field ever again a few months ago, I find it amazing that when I do walk out tomorrow I'll be remembering you exactly 1 year on since you left us....You are gonna be with me this whole week," Stokes wrote.
The all-rounder had opted for the break to prioritise his mental well-being and to rest his left index finger, which wasn't fully healed since his return to competitive cricket in August.
The all-rounder was named in England squad for the Ashes and is ready to take the field on Wednesday in the opening match.
"Ready for the big one," Stokes tweeted on the eve of the first Test.
Meanwhile, England on Tuesday named a 12-strong squad for the first Ashes Test starting at The Gabba in Brisbane on Wednesday.
"The final XI will be confirmed at the toss," stated an official ECB release.
England Men's Squad for first Ashes Test: Joe Root (c), Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Haseeb Hameed, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.