England all rounder Ben Stokes has revealed that he battled ‘ridiculous pain’ and took painkilling injections while leading England to a fascinating 3-0 win over Pakistan in the ODI series. Playing for Rajasthan Royals, Stokes fractured his finger in IPL 2021 and was ruled out of the remainder of the tournament. He was also not considered for the two-match Test series against New Zealand. The all-rounder returned to action for Durham in the T20 Blast but an unfortunate outbreak of COVID-19 forced the entire England contingent into isolation, with Stokes called back to captain a new-look England
“It was a totally unexpected set of games for me and the truth is I would never have played under normal circumstances due to how much pain I was in with my left index finger,” Stokes wrote in his Daily Mirror column. “The surgery was a success after I had broken it at the IPL, but it was still so painful.
“Sometimes though you just have to grin and bear it, and captaining England is one of those reasons. The finger has healed structurally, but the pain was just ridiculous for where it should be so that is why I have now had an injection to ease it for the rest of the summer.
Having served the quarantine, the England players were back in the T20I squad that will take on Pakistan and Stokes was relieved from his duties. The all-rounder, who will be next be seen in the Hundred, is hopeful that he will attain full fitness before he represents Northern Superchargers in the showpiece event.
“I’ve got a bit of a break now, which should give the steroids time to take effect and allow me to play pain-free in the Hundred and then against India. Hopefully, my finger won’t be a problem by the time the India Test series comes around, because that is a huge series and one we are all desperate to perform well in.”
Earlier, England limited overs captain Eoin Morgan looked concerned by the slow recovery of Stokes. Morgan wants Stokes to fully recover before the marquee five-match Test series against India.
“We gave him every chance to be fit,” he said on Thursday. “He hasn’t played a lot of cricket and he’s had some R and R [rest and relaxation] at home and feels quite fresh. But the finger hasn’t come along as he and the medical team would have liked, so it’s important it’s as good as it can be for the Test matches against India.”