Rajasthan Royals’ key player Ben Stokes has been ruled out of IPL 2021 with a finger injury.
The franchise has confirmed the news on Tuesday that the allrounder, Ben Stokes wouldn’t be featured in the entire Indian Premier League (IPL) as he has sustained an injury in his hand when he caught Chris Gayle in Rajasthan Royals’ first game against Punjab Kings on Monday.
Stokes had earlier dropped Punjab captain KL Rahul in the deep in the same match. But this time, he ran in from long-on to grab the catch of Chris Gayle and took a stunning low catch off Riyan Parag’s bowling. He also bowled one over in the game and got out for a duck in the chase as Rajasthan lost the game by four runs despite Sanju Samson’s swashbuckling 119.
“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. 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,” Rajasthan Royals said in a statement.
“We are delighted that Ben would like to stay with the group” – RR on Ben Stokes
“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. 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,” it further stated.
However, this is certainly a massive blow for Rajasthan, who are already not getting the services of the injured Jofra Archer for the initial part of the league. Although, Archer is recovering well from his hand injury and is back at the nets, which is definitely a good sign for them.
However, Ben Stokes will stay in India and have an x-ray on Thursday as well. The ECB and RR franchise are in talks to determine the extent of his injury before planning the recovery as well.
On the other hand, The ECB had allowed English players to participate in the entire IPL, even if the players missed a Test series against New Zealand. Since England have a busy schedule ahead, with plenty of Tests apart from the much-awaited T20 World Cup in India, Ben Stokes needs to be fit as soon as possible, considering he is a key player for England.
Meanwile, Archer has hit the nets, albeit slowly but his first step towards his return post surgery will give a sigh of relief after the absence of Ben Stokes.
“… Archer has been given the all-clear by his hand consultant to resume training after his right hand continues to heal following his operation,” ECB said in a statement.
“He will return to light training this week, working closely with the Sussex and England men’s medical teams. It’s hoped that he will be able to up his intensity with his bowling from next week. No decision has been made as yet on when Archer is due to return to playing,” it further added.