Another big blow for Rajasthan Royals by an Englishman as their leading all-rounder Ben Stokes has been ruled out of IPL 2021 after suffering through a finger injury in the first match against Punjab Kings, when he ran in from long-on and dived forward to take Chris Gayle’s catch in the tenth over of the Kings’ innings.
Rajasthan Royals were already missing their English bowler Jofra Archer, who is also suffering from hand injury and in rehabilitation in England currently. The news from Ben Stokes will be another heartbreaking update for RR squad after losing the close encounter in their first game.
The Royals said in a statement on Tuesday that after Stokes picked up the injury, “subsequent investigations revealed that he sustained a broken finger, which will unfortunately rule him out of the remainder of the Indian Premier League 2021 season”. Stokes will continue to stay on with the Royals to provide “support and inputs off the field”, while the Royals cast around for a potential replacement signing.
“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,” the Royals statement said.
“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.”
Without either Stokes or Archer, the overseas options for the Royals are limited. Both Jos Buttler and Chris Morris are first-choice picks, and for the other two slots, they have to choose from among Liam Livingstone, David Miller, Mustafizur Rahman and Andrew Tye.