English all-rounder, Ben Stokes, who plays for the Rajasthan Royals, has been ruled out of the Indian Premier League this season after breaking a finger in their first game of the season against the Punjab Kings. Stokes broke the index finger on his left hand after diving to catch a ball. He resumed playing until he was dismissed by a three-ball duck. A statement from the Royals said; “Ben Stokes has been ruled out of the IPL following a broken finger in last night’s game. He will stay with the Royals and support the rest of the group in the upcoming matches.”
For Stokes, the injury could have a lot of implications. Although a further x-ray and diagnosis would be needed, the injury could prevent him from joining the England squad that would play a Test against New Zealand, starting from June 2. The ECB released a statement following Stokes’ injury; “We are aware 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.”
Speaking to The Mirror, Stokes said, “I’m devastated. To suffer a broken finger in the very first game is just devastating.” This is not the first time Stokes would be missing the action in a season. Last year, he missed six games as he travelled to New Zealand to be with his father who was ill.
The Royals are deeply affected by the Stokes’ situation. Their bowler and fellow Englishman, Jofra Archer, has also been out of action following a hand injury. Although he has started some training, it is not certain that he would be allowed to join his team again this season. This is particularly devastating for the Royals who had planned for a better season, at least to finish better than they did last season when they finished at eighth position. The Royals have revealed that they were considering options from their overseas backup to replace Stokes.