Rajasthan Royals have suffered a huge blow as their talisman all-rounder Ben Stokes has been ruled out due to suspected broken arm, according to reports in the Independent. Stokes suffered the injury when he took a running catch at long-on to dismiss Chris Gayle.
The grimace on Stokes’ face was palpable as he celebrated the big wicket in a subdued manner. Earlier, Stokes, who is known for his gun fielding, had dropped a sitter as he had fluffed KL Rahul’s catch when he was only on 15 runs. The Punjab Kings captain went on to score 91 runs and the drop proved to be expensive for Rajasthan Royals, who lost the thrilling contest by only four runs.
Meanwhile, Stokes bowled a solitary over in which he conceded 12 runs but didn’t bowl after he suffered the injury. The left-hander opened the innings with Manan Vohra for Rajasthan Royals but was dismissed for a three-ball duck after he top-edged against Mohammed Shami.
Stokes’ injury is a massive blow to Rajasthan Royals, who rely heavily on the shoulders of their English players. The inaugural champions had earlier lost the services of Jofra Archer, who is not going to be available for at least more than half of the season due to a finger injury.
The 29-year old all-rounder had an X-ray on Tuesday and he will undergo another one in the next two days to determine the extent of the injury.
Earlier, the ECB had given a green signal to its players to take part in the knockout stages of the IPL at the expense of missing the national duty for the Test series against New Zealand, and thus Stokes would have been available for RR if they had qualified for the last four.
Stokes is a massive player for RR but he hasn’t yet lit the IPL stage on fire as he has scored 920 runs in 43 IPL matches whereas he has scalped 28 wickets. RR will play their second match of the season against Delhi Capitals at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai on 15th April.