England all-rounder Ben Stokes could be sidelined for as long as 12 weeks over a fracture sustained to his left index finger during last Monday’s IPL clash between Punjab Kings and the Rajasthan Royals. This means the star cornerstone player will miss out on England’s upcoming Test series against the Black Caps this June.
The 29-year-old will on Monday undergo surgery in Leeds. This means he faces further unavailability for his national side’s limited-overs series against Pakistan and Sri-Lanka.
Stokes broke his finger while completing a catch that ultimately saw Universe Boss Chris Gail dismissed during Punjab Kings’ season’s opener. Surgery and the likelihood of a Black Caps series miss was confirmed by the England and Wales Cricket board on Friday.
There had in any event already been a chance the all-rounder would have had to sit out for the test series against New Zealand. With the Indian Premier League only due to finish on May 30, the likelihood of a schedule clash between the IPL play-offs and the June series seemed imminent.
Also, that same schedule clash may furthermore spell similar issues for some of New Zealand’s top test players – with unavailability for many more looking likely because of the very-near overlap. The series many look to stand to miss comes right before New Zealand is set to face India in the World Test Championship final beginning June 18.
England is set to play New Zealand during the first half of June, followed by a three-match T20 run against Sri Lanka from June 23-26, and then onwards to an ODI series against the same national side before playing Pakistan across three ODIs from July 8-13.
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