Ben Stokes is happy just to be part of England’s Ashes squad, but is thrilled by the prospect of making his Test debut versus Australia.
Although the 22-year-old Durham all-rounder recognises he may not play in the five-Test series, he is spurred on by the prospect of doing so.
Stokes is flying out to Australia with the rest of the Test party, bar Kevin Pietersen who will join up with the squad on Sunday having attended a friend’s funeral.
Stokes told ecb.co.uk: “To say you’ve made your Test debut in an Ashes Test match, I don’t think there’ll be a better format to be doing it.
“Every Test match is just as important as the other one, but it’s Ashes cricket and it’s the pinnacle of what many English and Australians want to do as a cricketer.”
Since being named in the Ashes squad, Stokes has been crowned Young Player of the Year for 2013 by the Professional Cricketers’ Association.
That accolade was in part for his 615 runs and 42 wickets as Durham won LV= County Championship Division One.
Should he face Australia, in the Ashes or the limited-overs internationals that follow, he will do so having already made his mark against them by taking 5-61 in September’s one-day international at the Ageas Bowl.
“It’s really exciting, looking ahead, thinking about what could happen,” Stokes enthused.
“There’s a chance to be playing Test cricket, a chance to be playing Ashes cricket in front of a lot of people.
“I’ve said before, if the chance doesn’t come, I’ll be more than happy to step off the plane without a game under my belt even though still being part of a hopefully successful Ashes tour.”