Saturday, October 16News That Matters

Cricket: Ben Stokes will MISS Indian Premier League season after suffering broken finger

Ben Stokes gave England an early season injury scare on Tuesday when it was confirmed he had suffered a broken finger that will rule him out of the Indian Premier League.

Stokes sustained the injury during Rajasthan Royals first match of this year’s IPL on Monday when he dived forward to take a tumbling catch off Punjab’s Chris Gayle.

England’s vice-captain grimaced as he celebrated and did not bowl again in the rest of the Punjab innings before receiving treatment on his left index finger in the break.

Ben Stokes has been ruled out of the Indian Premier League after suffering a broken finger while playing for Rajasthan Royals

Ben Stokes has been ruled out of the Indian Premier League after suffering a broken finger while playing for Rajasthan Royals

Ben Stokes has been ruled out of the Indian Premier League after suffering a broken finger while playing for Rajasthan Royals

He was able to open the Royals innings and was out for a three-ball duck in their narrow defeat but the injury was sufficient for Stokes to have an x-ray that, Royals said in a statement, confirmed the break.

Stokes, who has a history of finger and hand injuries, will stay in India for around a week to ‘support’ the Royals but will then return home for treatment.

And, conversely, the blow may even improve his hopes of playing for England in the two-Test series against New Zealand that starts at Lord’s on June 2.

The England star should be fit to face New Zealand in June, with six weeks left to recover

The England star should be fit to face New Zealand in June, with six weeks left to recover

The England star should be fit to face New Zealand in June, with six weeks left to recover

Stokes, who has a history of hand injuries, will stay in India for a week to support the Royals

Stokes, who has a history of hand injuries, will stay in India for a week to support the Royals

Stokes, who has a history of hand injuries, will stay in India for a week to support the Royals

England had given permission to their IPL players to stay for the whole of the two-month long tournament, meaning those who reach the play-offs will not be back in time to face the Kiwis.

But Stokes now has around six weeks to recover and face the land of his birth in a series that was arranged after England decided to let their stars stay in India.

‘Everyone at Rajasthan wishes Ben a speedy recovery,’ said the Royals statement. ‘We are delighted he would like to stay with our group to provide his valued support and input off the field. We will be reviewing potential replacements for the rest of the season.’