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England’s Ben Stokes may miss the Ashes after finger operation

England all-rounder Ben Stokes could miss the Ashes series in Australia after another operation on his injured finger, England and Wales Cricket The board made the announcement on Thursday. The 30-year-old hasn’t played since July, when it was announced he was taking a break to focus on his mental wellbeing and rest his left index finger.

“Ben Stokes has undergone a second operation on Monday 4 October to address ongoing issues with the finger he suffered in the IPL (Indian Premier League) in April,” the ECB said in a statement.

“Two screws and scar tissue were removed from the index finger of Stokes’ left hand. He will now undergo an intensive period of rehabilitation for the next four weeks under the supervision of the ECB’s medical team.”

The operation puts his participation in England’s five-Test series in Australia in serious doubt, which is set to begin in Brisbane on 8 December.

Concerns over player welfare and Australia’s strict coronavirus restrictions have led to fears the tour may not take place.

The ECB is meeting this week to decide whether the Ashes can go ahead, with reports suggesting positive talks have been held with Cricket Australia.

Stokes burned his reputation as England’s talisman during the 2019 Ashes, when his unbeaten 135 helped England chase down a record fourth-innings target of 359 at Headingley with one wicket remaining.

The all-rounder announced himself in Test cricket in the 2013/14 Ashes, scoring his maiden Test century in tough batting conditions in Perth, but Australia completed a 5–0 whitewash.

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Stokes missed England’s last tour of Australia in 2017/18 after being involved in a brawl outside the Bristol nightclub. He was later found not guilty of assault.

Tourists remembered Stokes’ contribution with bat and ball as Australia secured the urn after winning the series 4-0.

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