IPL

Stokes to miss remainder of IPL with broken finger

By Sports Desk April 13, 2021

Rajasthan Royals and England all-rounder Ben Stokes will miss the remainder of the Indian Premier League after breaking his finger.

Stokes did the damage when he ran in from the boundary to claim a low catch and dismiss Punjab Kings batsman Chris Gayle in the Royals' first game of the tournament, which they lost by four runs on Monday.

The Royals on Tuesday revealed that Stokes will play no further part in the competition.

A statement from the franchise said: "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.

"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."

The England and Wales Cricket Board said it will confirm the next steps for Stokes after he is assessed over the coming days.

There was positive news on Stokes' England and Royals team-mate Jofra Archer earlier in the day, with the paceman given the all-clear by his hand consultant to resume training.

Archer, who underwent surgery last month, was given the go-ahead to return to light training this week, working closely with the Sussex and England men's medical teams.

An update on his elbow injury will be provided once he has resumed bowling and it is not yet clear when he will be available to play again.

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    England vice-captain Stokes made an ahead-of-schedule return from a finger injury to lead a reserve squad to a 3-0 ODI series win over earlier this month after a coronavirus outbreak saw the initial party stood down en masse.

    It was the latest demonstration of the particular challenges these times bring for elite cricketers, with all-rounder Stokes an all-format player who has spent large chunks of the past year in bio-secure bubbles on home soil and away in Sri Lanka and India.

    The T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates precedes a December-January Ashes series in Australia and Stokes, who featured in the inaugural Hundred for the Northern Superchargers has elected to take a step back ahead the forthcoming five-match home Test series against India.

    A statement from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said the 30-year-old would "prioritise his mental wellbeing and rest his left index finger", with managing director of England men's cricket Ashley Giles acknowledging "the ongoing pandemic has acutely compounded" the pressures of top-level cricket.

    Speaking to Sky Sports, former Sri Lanka captain Sangakkara suggested such occurrences were likely to become more commonplace the longer sport has to coexist with the global health crisis.

    "It all adds up. A lot of time away from home, a lot of time in bubbles, restrictions in terms of freedom of movement, a lot of protocols in place. Then the added pressure of performing at such an intensely high level in the public eye," he said.

    "It's very difficult to pinpoint what could be different. Individuals deal with things differently and, over time, you can reach a point where you need a breather and a break.

    "He needs support and good people around him and hopefully he's back as soon as possible.

    "In the news, we've had a host of athletes who've spoken about mental well-being, the effects of COVID and the pressure around it."

    Kevin Pietersen, the former England batsman, also gave the star his best wishes, noting the pain Stokes endured when his father died in December last year after a battle with cancer.

    "I hope he's okay. He's a fabulous cricketer, one of the best in the world at the moment," Pietersen told Sky Sports.

    “He obviously lost his dad, there are a lot of things that have happened to Ben Stokes in the last couple of years.

    "I don't want to comment too much on it because we don't know what the issue is. All I know is I want him to be okay."

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    The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday revealed Stokes has decided to take an indefinite break from all cricket with immediate effect.

    Stokes has been captaining the Northern Superchargers in the inaugural Hundred competition but he will not be in the England side to face India when a five-match series starts next week.

    Craig Overton will replace the vice-captain in the squad to take on Virat Kohli's side.

    Managing director of England men's Cricket Ashley Giles, said: "Ben has shown tremendous courage to open up about his feelings and wellbeing.
     
    "Our primary focus has always been and will continue to be the mental health and welfare of all of our people. The demands on our athletes to prepare and play elite sport are relentless in a typical environment, but the ongoing pandemic has acutely compounded this.

    "Spending significant amounts of time away from family, with minimal freedoms, is extremely challenging. The cumulative effect of operating almost continuously in these environments over the last 16 months has had a major impact on everyone's wellbeing.
     
    "Ben will be given as long as he needs, and we look forward to seeing him playing cricket for England in the future."
     

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