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England World Cup and Ashes hero Ben Stokes ruled out of IPL after injuring hand in opening match


England star Ben Stokes injured his hand during Rajasthan’s defeat to Punjab Kings (Picture: Getty)

England all-rounder Ben Stokes has been ruled out of the rest of the 2021 Indian Premier League after breaking his finger.

Stokes injured himself while fielding during Rajasthan Royals’ opening match of the tournament against Punjab Kings on Monday.

Diving forward to take a catch from long on, Stokes appeared to land awkwardly and was clearly in discomfort, grimacing as he rose to his feet and began to celebrate with his team-mates.

Stokes played on but did not bowl after the incident and then made a three-ball duck opening the innings as Rajasthan fell narrowly short of Punjab’s 222.

Rajasthan confirmed on Tuesday that the injury setback has put an end to Stokes’ IPL campaign in a cruel blow to the England star and the franchise.

They said in a statement: ‘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.’

Rajasthan are already coping with the absence of England fast bowler Jofra Archer, who recently required surgery on his hand for an injury he sustained earlier in the year.

Archer was one of the stars of IPL 2020 but will miss a number of matches this season after only recently been given the green light to return to training.

A statement from the ECB said: ‘England and Sussex bowler Jofra Archer has been given the all-clear by his hand consultant to resume training after his right hand continues to heal following his operation on Monday 29 March.

Rajasthan Royals are already having to cope with the absence of Jofra Archer (Picture: Getty)

‘He will return to light training this week, working closely with the Sussex and England men’s medical teams. It is hoped that he will be able to up his intensity with his bowling from next week.

‘A further update on his elbow injury will be provided once he has returned to bowling to assess the effectiveness of his recent injection. No decision has been made as yet on when Archer is due to return to playing.’

Rajasthan Royals, who finished bottom of the last Indian Premier League, are bidding to win only their second title and first since 2008.

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