Ben Stokes out for up to 12 weeks


Ben Stokes will miss England’s Test series against New Zealand as he requires surgery on a broken finger that will rule the all-rounder out for up to three months.

Stokes broke his hand taking a catch for Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League on Monday and a repeat X-ray and CT scan on Thursday revealed that he has a fracture of his left index finger.

A specialist hand surgeon told Stokes that he would require surgery and the 29 year-old will now fly home from India and have surgery in Leeds on Monday.

Originally, it had been thought that Stokes might only be ruled out for six weeks, and therefore still be in contention to play the first Test against New Zealand, which is at Lord’s on June 2.

Instead, Stokes will now miss both NZ Tests, as well as the three Twenty20 internationals and three one-day internationals against Sri Lanka.

He is also likely to miss the three ODIs and three T20Is against Pakistan, which conclude on July 20.

Stokes would have been rested for some of these matches anyway, with England conscious of the need to manage the workload of their multi-format players, but he may have appeared in the T20Is as preparation for the T20 World Cup in India in October.

Stokes now faces a race to be Test-match fit for this summer’s series opener against India, which begins at Trent Bridge on August 4.

England play five Tests against India, but, with the Hundred launching on July 21, Stokes could now go into that series without any first-class cricket in five months, going back to England’s 3-1 defeat in India last winter.—AP

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