Ben Stokes to miss rest of IPL 2021 with broken finger in latest blow for Rajasthan Royals
England all-rounder picked up the injury while fielding in the team's opening game against Punjab Kings
England's Ben Stokes will miss the rest of the Indian Premier League after breaking a finger in Rajasthan Royals' opening match.
The all-rounder picked up the injury while fielding against Punjab Kings in Mumbai on Monday. He then opened the innings but was out for a third-ball duck in his team's four-run defeat.
"Rajasthan Royals all-rounder Ben Stokes injured a finger on his left hand while fielding during the team's match against Punjab Kings on 12 April 2021 in Mumbai," the Royals said in a statement.
"Subsequent investigations revealed that he sustained a broken finger, which will unfortunately rule him out of the remainder of the Indian Premier League 2021 season."
Stokes injured his finger while taking a catch to dismiss Punjab batsman Chris Gayle and left the field to get treatment. He bowled just one over, conceding 12 runs.
The 29-year-old returned to bat and was caught and bowled by pace bowler Mohammed Shami without scoring a run.
Stokes' injury is a major blow for the Royals who are also without fellow Englishman Jofra Archer, last season's Most Valuable Player with 20 wickets in 14 matches.
The Barbados-born fast bowler has been cleared to resume light training following surgery for a freak hand injury but England's cricket board (ECB) did not give a timeline for his return to competitive action.
"Everyone at Rajasthan Royals absolutely admires Ben for being such a huge asset and a valuable member of the Royals family, both on and off the field, and wishes him a speedy recovery," the team said in a statement.
"We are delighted that Ben would like to stay with the group to provide his valued support and inputs off the field. In the meantime, we will be reviewing potential replacement options for the remainder of the season."
Rajasthan, led by India's Sanju Samson, will next play Delhi Capitals in Mumbai on Thursday.
An ECB spokesman said: "We are aware [of Stokes' injury] and he will be assessed over the coming days on the extent of the seriousness of the injury. At that point we will confirm the next steps.
"In addition, ECB medical and our UK hand specialist consultant are both involved."
Updated: April 13, 2021 10:38 PM