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Ben Stokes looks to build ‘strong squad’ capable of regaining Ashes down under

England’s red-ball captain Ben Stokes has made his intentions clear that he wants to build a “strong enough squad” that could “not just compete with Australia” but beat them in the 2025-26 Ashes down under.

The flamboyant allrounder wants England’s Test squad to take every step in the right direction and be battle-hardened to win back the biggest silverware in the history of England and Australia’s cricketing rivalry.

“I’m not going to lie: I want us to be able to take a squad out there that I know is going to go at Australia,” Stokes said ahead of the Lord’s Test against West Indies. “I’ll be nearly four years as captain when we go out there. I want to be able to go out there knowing we’ve done everything possibly right over these 18 months, to go out there with a strong enough squad to not just compete with Australia, but to beat them.”

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