England's star all-rounder will be out for up to 12 weeks due to a broken finger, the England cricket board confirmed on Friday. Stokes will require surgery now and will be leaving to England on Saturday (April 17).Stokes sustained the injured when he took a catch in the outfield during Rajasthan Royals' opening game of IPL 2021, and had subsequently been ruled out of the tournament. The extent of the injury though, now revealed after the scans, will see him out of action for a considerable part of the English summer. After dropping a chance earlier in the match, Stokes ran in from long on and dived forward to complete the dismissal of Gayle and immediately felt discomfort in his left hand, grimacing as he got up to celebrate with his teammates.
He continued on through the match but did not bowl and was dismissed for a three-ball duck as the Royals fell five runs short of their target of 222. England are set to host New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and India in that order in the upcoming months. Stokes is now set to possibly miss the first two of those assignments entirely given, the duration specified for his recovery. On the personal front, Stokes was recently named, as the leading cricketer in the world for a second consecutive year in the 2021 edition of Wisden Cricketers' Almanack. Stokes amassed 641 Test runs at 58.27 for the calendar year, which was more than anyone else, while his 19 wickets cost just 18.73 runs apiece. The honour comes after Stokes was named leading cricketer in the world in the 2020 edition, having guided England to their maiden World Cup title in 2019 and then producing one of the great Test innings to defeat Australia in the Ashes Test at Headingley. In doing so, Stokes ended a three-year run for India's Virat Kohli in winning the award and became the first English player since Andrew Flintoff in 2005 to be regarded as the best contemporary player in the world.