Cumbrian cricket hero Ben Stokes feels England have got their swagger back as they look to recover the Ashes against Australia.

The newly-reinstated vice-captain is hungry to wrap up a stunning summer for the sport in England by adding an Ashes win to the World Cup victory the nation is still savouring.

The five-match series is set to get under way at Edgbaston on Thursday, with England looking to regain the Ashes and avenge the 4-0 defeat they suffered at the hands of Australia in the 2017–18 series.

Stokes was absent for that collapse due to the disciplinary process after a late-night brawl in Bristol in September 2017 which sparked a highly-publicised court case.

The 28-year-old was found not guilty of affray last August and, back in the fold for this year’s series, he is keen to help his team-mates exact revenge on their old rivals.

“You have to be confident,” Stokes said, speaking on his return to Cockermouth Cricket Club where his glittering career started.

“How it went last time in Australia isn’t how we want to go down as a Test team.

“We’re very hungry and determined to get those Ashes back.

“Our attack is very suited to English conditions and is probably the best in the world at exploiting those conditions as well.

“It’s going to be a great series; we know that Australia are a very tough team and Australia v England always brings the best out of players.

“It’s not going to be easy – we know it’s going to be a tough six weeks – but we’re very confident.”

The added significance of this year’s series, coming on home soil weeks after the glorious World Cup win, is not lost on Stokes either and he is focused on finishing what they started by seeing off the Baggy Greens.

He said: “Before the summer started we knew what we had ahead of us; we had a World Cup and an Ashes in England.

“It’s the biggest summer that English cricket is probably ever going to have.

“We’ve managed to achieve half of what we wanted to do by winning the World Cup but now the other half is to win those Ashes.”

The drama and emotion of the World Cup final at Lord’s on July 14, when the former Cockermouth schoolboy put in a man-of-the-match performance to drag his team to victory against New Zealand, has not sapped Stokes’ hunger to succeed in the Ashes.

“They don’t come around that often and it’s obviously the biggest series between any two Test nations,” he said.

“With the rivalry and history that the Ashes has you’d be silly if you couldn’t get up for it.

“Playing in both formats you’ve got to swipe success and failure underneath the carpet and it’s sort of a similar thing here.

“We’ve won the World Cup and now we’ve got the Ashes to focus on so you’ve just got to do that.

“Everything is focused on the Ashes and we know we’ve got a very hard six weeks coming up.”

Stokes was stripped of the Test side’s vice-captaincy after that incident in Bristol but his exoneration in August cleared the way for him to be reinstated on Saturday morning ahead of this year’s series.

The all-rounder admitted it is a great source of pride for him to take on those duties once more.

“Being part of the senior leadership group I suppose if you want to call it that is good, being given that recognition,” he said.

“To be vice-captain is something that I take very seriously.

“I’m very good friends with Joe [Root, England’s Test captain], not just on the field but off it; we spent our teenage years playing against and with each other.

“We’re very good friends and I’m looking forward to helping him through his career as a player and a captain.”