'I couldn't breathe': Ben Stokes suffers 'frightening' ordeal

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Pictured here, Ben Stokes during an England practice session ahead of the Ashes series in Australia.
Ben Stokes has revealed that he almost choked after attempting to take a simple pill. Pic: Getty

England superstar Ben Stokes has made the startling admission that he thought his time was up after revealing details of a "frightening" choking incident in the build-up to the Ashes.

Stokes is busy preparing with the England squad for the first Ashes Test against Australia which gets underway at the Gabba on December 8.

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The allrounder was a late inclusion in England's side, following a lengthy break away from the sport in which he was recovering from a fractured finger and prioritising his mental wellbeing.

Stokes took a break from all forms of the sport from July, but admitted in his latest British newspaper column that it was a different issue altogether that caused him the most distress ahead of the five-Test series against Australia.

The 30-year-old says he was left in "a mess" after almost choking on a "simple tablet that went down the wrong way".

The article does not make clear exactly when the incident took place but it appears to have been on the current tour Down Under.

Seen here, Ben Stokes of England warms up before a tour match in Australia.
England allrounder Ben Stokes says he feared for his life after a recent choking episode. Pic: Getty

"It was actually down to a simple tablet that went down the wrong way, and got stuck in my windpipe causing me to choke horribly before the glands in my face went into overdrive to flush it out," Stokes wrote in The Daily Mirror.

"Until it actually came out, I thought this might be the end. We've all had those moments when something gets stuck in the throat, and usually someone can help you out.

"But I was on my own in my room and I couldn't breathe as it became lodged and started to dissolve... it was a genuinely frightening experience.

"The team doctor came to see me straight away and she explained what had happened with the body reacting the way it did.

"I'm glad it did, even though I was a mess."

England confident Ben Stokes will be fit for start of Ashes

Stokes also feared he had suffered a broken arm after being hit by a ball in the nets, but was given the all clear by the team's physios.

Meanwhile, England managing director Ashley Giles said he was hopeful Stokes would be ready to face Australia at the Gabba next week.

The Durham allrounder's return to action was also further delayed after England's first Ashes warm-up match against England Lions was abandoned due to rain.

"I'm hopeful and I'd always like to be confident, but we've got to treat Ben carefully, as we would anyone else who's been in that position, of not having a lot of cricket under their belts," Giles said.

"But he'll be a difficult man to hold back if he's ready to go."

Despite the disruption caused by coronavirus restrictions and the weather, Giles said England's squad was the best-prepared for an Ashes series that he had been a part of.

England have been whitewashed 4-0, in 2017-18, and 5-0, in 2013/14, in their two previous tours to Australia.

"We just need to make sure we're more ready than the Australians when we hit day one at the Gabba and we all know how important that first Test match is," Giles said.

with AAP

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