Ben Stokes has returned to the nets for the first time since taking an indefinite break from cricket.

In a sight that will cheer cricket fans everywhere, the Cumbrian all-rounder posted footage on his Instgram account as he received throwdowns.

It saw Stokes take initial steps back into the game after stepping back from cricket three months ago to focus on his mental well-being and injury recovery.

The 30-year-old wrote: "Great to be back hitting balls", in one of three videos which showed him working with England physiotherapist Craig De Weymarn.

Stokes received supportive messages from across cricket when he announced he was taking a temporary step back from the game in late July.

England have consistently said they would not be rushing Stokes back to action, as he received further treatment on a finger injury.

The Cockermouth star was not considered available for selection when England named a 17-man squad for this winter's Ashes series was named.

Signs that he is inching back towards involvement could, though, fuel speculation that Stokes could yet tour.

"It's hugely positive and hugely exciting," said England and Wales Cricket Board performance director Mo Bobat of Stokes' return to the nets.

"Certainly it looks like the extra medical stuff that has happened and the removal of scar tissue and everything else he had done has freed up his finger and it's given him that feeling confidence again back into his fingers.

"Ultimately given what he's experienced and where he's been, it's important that he and we move at the right pace for him. There's certainly no pressure or expectation from us.

"It's a case of us supporting Ben physically and however else we need to support but support him so that he can continue to progress at the rate that he would like to and he feels comfortable."