England and Rajasthan Royals’ star allrounder Ben Stokes has been ruled out of the 2021 season of the Indian Premier League due to a finger injury, the franchise announced on Tuesday.

Stokes suffered the injury while taking a catch to dismiss Chris Gayle in Rajasthan Royals’ opening match of the tournament against Punjab Kings on Monday. The incident happened in the 10th over of the first innings, after which Stokes needed treatment in the dugout but returned to field later. The Englishman, opening the batting, was dismissed for a duck in the first over of the run-chase.

Statement by Rajasthan Royals:

Rajasthan Royals all-rounder Ben Stokes injured a finger on his left hand while fielding during the team’s match against Punjab Kings on 12 April 2021 in Mumbai. 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.

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. 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.

A little while before the statement, the development was reported by the Independent, according to which the star all-rounder will stay in India for a week and will have an X-Ray on Thursday to determine the extent of damage.

Earlier on Tuesday, another of the English stars in the Royals squad Jofra Archer started bowling after he had been cleared to resume light training. The pacer had surgery to remove a fragment of glass from his finger last month. But just how much of a part the Sussex quick will play in this year’s edition of the Indian Premier League remains uncertain.

Archer, 26, suffered the injury when he smashed a fish tank while trying to clean it. He played two Tests and all five Twenty20s during England’s recent tour of India but was ruled out of the one-day series because of a problem with his right elbow.

Both those injuries led to Archer’s absence from the early stages of the IPL, where he is the reigning Most Valuable Player. England, however, hope the multi-format star will be able to up his bowling “intensity” from next week.

“A further update on his elbow injury will be provided once he has returned to bowling to assess the effectiveness of his recent injection. No decision has been made as yet on when Archer is due to return to playing,” the board had said.