England suffer blow as Ben Stokes needs finger surgery which is likely to rule him out of New Zealand and Sri Lanka series

England have suffered a major blow ahead of their summer schedule as Ben Stokes’ finger injury looks set to rule him out of the New Zealand and Sri Lanka series.

The England and Wales Cricket Board has confirmed Stokes will undergo surgery on a fractured left index finger suffered during an IPL match for Rajasthan Royals on Monday.

Stokes knew something was wrong when he took the a diving catch on Monday

Sky Sports

Stokes knew something was wrong when he took the a diving catch on Monday

He has already been ruled out for the IPL season and the 29-year-old is now expected to be sidelined for up to 12 weeks, with England playing two Tests against New Zealand and a limited-overs series against Sri Lanka in that time.

“England all-rounder Ben Stokes will be out for up to 12 weeks after a repeat X-ray and CT scan on Thursday revealed that he has a fracture of his left index finger,” an ECB statement read.

It added: “Stokes, who is currently in India with Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League, will fly home tomorrow. He will have surgery in Leeds on Monday.”

Stokes is already among the all-time greats

Getty Images – Getty

Stokes is already among the all-time greats

Stokes took a superb diving catch in the deep to dismiss West Indies legend Chris Gayle during the Royals’ defeat to Punjab Kings, but grimaced as he rose to his feet.

The England talisman played on through the pain and even went in to bat, registering a three-ball duck.

Stokes is widely considered England’s best player following a number of heroic displays in recent years, namely in the Cricket World Cup final and third Ashes Test in 2019.

England fixtures in next 12 weeks

June 2: New Zealand Test (Lord’s)

June 10: New Zealand Test (Edgbaston)

June 23: Sri Lanka T20 (Cardiff)

June 24: Sri Lanka T20 (Cardiff)

June 26: Sri Lanka T20 (Rose Bowl)

June 29: Sri Lanka ODI (Riverside)

July 1: Sri Lanka ODI (The Oval)

July 4: Sri Lanka ODI (Bristol)

His form in 2021 has been questionable, although he recently produced a sensational knock of 99 in the second ODI against India.

The 29-year-old is one of the biggest draws in India’s flagship T20 competition and the injury represents a huge loss for the Royals, as well as England.

England will hope to have their star man back for the limited-overs series against Pakistan, which begins on July 8 in Cardiff.

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Cricket – talkSPORT

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