Ben Stokes has been an integral part of the Royals for quite a while now. He was their opener in IPL-2020. He opened the first match against the Punjab Kings (PBKS) in the first match and scored a three ball duck. He was all set to be one of the key players for the Royals this season as well. In what comes as a big blow to the Royals, Ben Stokes has been ruled out of the entire tournament. He won’t be taking part in the IPL-2021 due to an unexpected injury. He reportedly suffered a broken hand following their loss to the Punjab Kings on Monday (April 12).
The Durham and English all-rounder sustained the injury when he took a catch to dismiss the Universe Boss Chris Gayle after spilling one chance earlier in the innings. He had dropped KL Rahul early on. He ran in from long on and dived forward to dismiss Gayle, but was seen flinching and struggling in pain as he celebrated the catch with his teammates. Although he did participate in the game and even went to bat. According to The Independent, the RR all-rounder will remain in India for a week and the ECB is already in contact with the Royals to manage the injury.
“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 IPL- 2021 season,” RR said in a statement. “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.”
He will be having an X-Ray in India on Thursday to determine how much damage has been done before the ECB take over the planning of the recovery. Conversations have already begun between the ECB and Royals around managing the injury. Now that Stokes is ruled out of IPL-2021, Rajasthan Royals have to now play either of David Miller or Liam Livingstone. They would most probably have to open the innings with Jos Buttler. However, it is the ECB who would be more worried as they would hope Stokes recovers on time for the five Tests against India as well as the upcoming T20I World Cup which is all set to be played in India later this year.