England's players are "desperate" to travel to Australia for the Ashes after the five-match series was conditionally approved by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), says all-rounder Chris Woakes.

The ECB confirmed on Friday that the tour – due to start at The Gabba on December 8 – would go ahead "subject to several critical conditions" being met regarding travel, quarantine and 'bubble' arrangements.

Captain Joe Root and deputy Jos Buttler are among the players that had previously stated they were not ready to commit to the series due to uncertainty over COVID-19 restrictions.

But while still holding some reservations concerning the logistical side of the tour, Woakes is looking forward to travelling to Australia after being named in England's 17-man group on Sunday.

"There is no player that does not want to be part of the Ashes," he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"Behind the scenes there are still things being ironed out between all sorts of levels. I think the players are relatively relaxed and the guys are desperate to go.

"But we want to be under the best sort of conditions possible so we can still live our lives outside of cricket."

 

Woakes, who has made 39 Test appearances for England, is one of five players to have been named in both the Ashes and T20 World Cup squads.

While the focus is largely on the showdown with Australia, Woakes will not let that influence his preparations for the World Cup, which begins later this week.
 
"It's exciting that there is an Ashes series around the corner, but there is a small thing of the World Cup first, so obviously I have my eyes firmly on that," he told reporters.

"We have a T20 World Cup to focus on and prep for and as soon as that is done and dusted our attention will shift. 

"We have no choice – you don't want to get to the end of a World Cup and think 'I wasn’t fully engaged'.

"We have to give this our full attention – what is going on with the Ashes is on the back burner and with the people who are making the decisions, kind of dealing with that on our behalf. You can't get too fixated on that.

"It is important we focus on the here and now. It is a great opportunity to win some silverware for your country. The Ashes stuff will have to be parked."

West Indies head coach Phil Simmons says he is not concerned about the form of his vice-captain Nicholas Pooran as the team prepares to begin the defence of their ICC World T20 title later this month.

The West Indies, the only team to win the T20 title twice – in 2012 and 2016 – has seen their vice-captain struggle for form in the Indian Premier League where he batted in the middle order for the Punjab Kings with little success.

Coming off a fair campaign for the Guyana Amazon Warriors in the 2021 Hero CPL where in 10 innings he scored 263 runs at an average of 32.88 and strike rate of 163.35, Pooran who turned 26 on October 2, has experienced a precipitous dip in form in the IPL.

In 11 innings for the Punjab Kings, Pooran has only managed to score 85 runs at an anaemic average and strike rate of 7.72 and 111.84, respectively, numbers that have even him concerned.

“Definitely not the IPL season I wanted but the opportunity to be tested both mentally and physically was a great experience, one to learn from very fast,” the Trinidadian posted on Instagram this past weekend.

However, Simmons expressed faith in the player’s ability to return to form in time for the world cup in the United Arab Emirates where the West Indies will open their campaign against England on October 23.

“I am not too worried about Nicholas. I think Nicholas has been batting well,” said the head coach during a media session from the UAE on Monday. “In the CPL, he played well, there was a lot of pressure on him there and there is going to be more pressure here but I think he has been working hard enough. He is doing all that he has to do and sometimes it doesn’t come off, but it will come off so I am not worried about him.”

Since the start of the CPL in August, Pooran has had one score of over 50 runs in T20 matches, and that was an unbeaten 75 against the Jamaica Tallawahs on September 10.

 

 

MS Dhoni produced an inspired final over as Chennai Super Kings defeated Delhi Capitals by four wickets in Dubai to book their place in the 2021 Indian Premier League final.

With CSK chasing 13 from the last six balls to snatch victory, the skipper hit three successive boundaries to book his side's place in the showpiece for a ninth time.

The three-time IPL winners arrived in Qualifier 1 at the Dubai International Stadium having lost each of their previous four meetings with the Capitals.

Table-toppers during the league stage, Prithvi Shaw (60) and skipper Rishabh Pant (51) led the way as the Capitals set a target of 172-5.

CSK surrendered top spot in the table after losing each of their final three matches of the regular season.

But despite losing Faf du Plessis for just one run, Ruturaj Gaikwad hit an impressive 70 from 50 balls – surpassing 600 for the season – while Robin Uthappa made further strides with a knock of 63.

It came down to the final over, which began with Moeen Ali caught out by Kagiso Rabada as Tom Curran claimed his third wicket from five deliveries.

But with Dhoni on strike, CSK did not look back; the veteran hitting three consecutive fours to send his side through to Friday's final.

The Capitals' hopes of reaching the showpiece are not over just yet as they return in Qualifier 2 on Wednesday to face the winner of Monday's eliminator between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders.


Dhoni delivers

Following Gaikwad's dismissal, Dhoni entered the action in the 19th over with his side requiring 24 from their final 11 balls.

And the 40-year-old shone on the big stage once again. On strike after Moeen was caught out, he delivered a captain's performance with three successive boundaries sealing victory with two balls remaining. 


600 up for Gaikwad

Gaikwad became only the second player to surpass 600 runs in this season’s IPL after KL Rahul of Punjab Kings.

The 24-year-old’s knock of 70 also makes him just the third CSK player to achieve the feat during a single campaign.

As the 2021 ICC T20 World Cup draws ever closer, some observers are still in disbelief at the squad Cricket West Indies selectors have chosen to defend the title the West Indies won in 2016.

Among them is Sir Vivian Richards, a man considered by many to be the greatest batsman of all time and one of the most destructive.

Richards, who played on the West Indies teams that won the Prudential World Cup in 1975 and 1979, said he still cannot believe that former West Indies captain Jason Holder, was not among the 15-man squad named for the world cup.

Holder, who played well in the recent CPL and took 16 wickets for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL this season, was only named among the four reserve players who will travel with the team to the United Arab Emirates where the West Indies will begin the defence of their title on October 23.

The decision by the selectors doesn’t sit well with the Master Blaster.

“I felt maybe it could have been a misprint and then hearing the news as well you think you were not hearing right at that particular time,” Sir Vivian told the Antigua Observer.

“We may have our issues with Jason when he was in charge as captain of the team, but we can never doubt the individual’s ability and his talent and I just felt sad that someone with such ability couldn’t make a West Indies T20, so that suggests to me that we must be seriously blessed with talented individuals the calibre of Jason Holder.”

Despite his misgivings, Richards urged fans to get behind the team as it goes for a third world title having won the tournament in 2012 and 2016.

West Indies open their defence against England in Dubai.

 

Ben Stokes was not included in the England squad for the Ashes tour of Australia.

The all-rounder was expected to be left out of the 17-man group after having a second operation on his broken index finger.

Stokes, who sustained the injury while playing in the Indian Premier League in April, announced in July he was taking a break from cricket to protect his mental wellbeing and allow his finger to recover.

Sam Curran, who was diagnosed with a stress fracture to his lower back in the past week, was also omitted from head coach Chris Silverwood's squad for the five-match series in Australia, which starts on December 8 in Brisbane.

Fast bowlers Jofra Archer and Olly Stone remain absent as they recover from injuries, but Stuart Broad is selected after suffering a torn calf muscle during England's home Test series with India in July.

Joe Root will be captain and Jos Buttler vice-captain of a side consisting entirely of players previously capped at Test level.

 

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) only confirmed on Friday that the tour would be going ahead amid possible concerns around coronavirus restrictions in Australia.

While "several critical conditions" must still be met for the Ashes to proceed, the ECB said "positive discussions" were ongoing and that "it is hoped matters will be resolved in due course".

Silverwood said he was "delighted that all of our available players have committed to the tour" despite the likes of Root and Buttler previously expressing doubts.

"A tour of Australia is the pinnacle as an England Test cricketer," he said.

"This is why we play and coach to be involved in iconic series like this. More than half of our squad haven't featured in an Ashes tour before, which means we will be fresh and looking to embrace the cricket and the excitement of touring one of the best places in the world.

"I believe we have selected a well-balanced squad with options in all areas and a blend of youth and experience. There is real competition for places and a genuine desire to work hard and compete, aiming to create some history."

England are looking to regain the urn after it was retained by Australia following a 2-2 series draw in 2019.

England squad for the Ashes:

Joe Root (captain), James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler (wicketkeeper), Zak Crawley, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

Srikar Bharat struck a match-winning six off the final delivery as the Royal Challengers Bangalore beat Indian Premier League leaders the Delhi Capitals on Friday.

Chasing a target of 164-5, it looked likely that Virat Kohli's men would fall short until a dramatic final over in Dubai.

With six runs needed off the final ball, Avesh Khan (0-31) bowled a wide to give Bharat one more chance, and his final full toss was powered over the ropes to give the Royal Challengers a seven-wicket win.

The Capitals started in commanding fashion after being put in to bat, Prithvi Shaw (48) and Shikhar Dhawan (43) combining for 88 until the latter was caught at mid-off.

Captain Rishabh Pant fell for just 10 runs shortly after Shaw sliced a shot straight to George Garton, with Shreyas Iyer (18) and Shimron Hetmyer (29) helping to push the target score into tricky territory.

When Devdutt Padikkal went for a golden duck and Kohli followed after posting just four runs, the Royal Challengers' task began to look firmly beyond their means.

That was until the intervention of Glenn Maxwell (51) and man-of-the-match Bharat. An unbeaten 78 off just 52 deliveries, aided by some lacklustre work in the field, kept the improbable in sight even after AB de Villiers' promising knock of 26 was ended before the midway point of the innings.

Maxwell reached his half-century to start the final over before Bharat's heroics sparked wild celebrations.

More Capitals gains for Kohli

The Capitals were on a run of just one defeat in seven IPL matches but came unstuck against arguably their least-favourite opponents.

The Royal Challengers have won 16 of 25 completed matches in the competition against Delhi – against no side have they won more.

It was a frustrating way for the Capitals to head into Sunday's first qualifier with the second-place Chennai Super Kings, while the Royal Challengers will be buoyed ahead of their eliminator with the Kolkata Knight Riders.

Two grand batters

Maxwell's 51, which included eight fours, saw him become the eighth Australian to reach 2,000 runs in the IPL.

Dhawan also surpassed the 2,000-run mark, a feat only achieved previously by three players for the Capitals in the competition.

Mumbai Indians saw their Indian Premier League title defence come to an end on Friday, despite recording an impressive 42-run win over Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Kolkata Knight Riders' emphatic triumph 24 hours earlier had left the two-time reigning champions with a nigh-on impossible task of qualifying, Rohit Sharma's side needing to win by the small matter of 171 runs to squeeze into the top four.

They did keep those exceedingly slim hopes alive with a superb batting display, Ishan Kishan leading the way at the top of the order with a blazing knock of 84 from just 32 deliveries.

Suryakumar Yadav kept the big hits coming in the closing stages too, smashing 82 as Mumbai finished on 235-9, comfortably the highest team score in the competition since the 2021 season resumed.

Already certain to end up bottom of the table, Sunrisers started strongly in their reply but were never truly in contention, captain Manish Pandey's unbeaten 69 the highlight as they finished on 193-8.

The result means the Knight Riders join Royal Challengers Bangalore, Chennai Super Kings and table-topping Delhi Capitals in the play-offs.

Mumbai show promise for the future

There will be no hat-trick of IPL triumphs for the Indians, who will be on the outside looking in when the play-offs begin. Any hopes of a miraculous result disappeared quickly in the second innings, Sunrisers opening duo Jason Roy and Abhishek Sharma made 34 and 33 respectively when Mumbai had needed to bowl them out for just 64.

Sun seemingly setting for Warner

David Warner has struggled for form this season with Hyderabad, averaging just 24.37 at a strike-rate of 107.73 runs per 100 deliveries before losing his place in the team. It seems it could be his last year with the franchise, as he thanked Sunrisers fans for a "great ride" in an Instagram post hinting at his impending departure.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has conditionally approved for The Ashes tour to go ahead in Australia.

England captain Joe Root and his deputy Jos Buttler are among the players who stated they were not ready to commit to the five-match series due to uncertainty over coronavirus restrictions.

Bubble fatigue and quarantine periods for the players' families are issues that have been raised, leading to doubts over whether the five-match Test series – due to start at The Gabba on December 8 – will go ahead.

The ECB on Friday confirmed England will tour Australia, providing "several critical conditions" are met before they board the plane.

"Over recent weeks we have made excellent progress in moving forward on the England men's Ashes Tour," an ECB statement said.

"To facilitate further progress and allow a squad to be selected, The ECB Board has met today and given its approval for the tour to go ahead.

"This decision is subject to several critical conditions being met before we travel.

"We look forward to the ongoing assistance from Cricket Australia in resolving these matters in the coming days."

Australia captain Tim Paine earlier stated he expects England to bring a "really strong" side to Australia, with only "one or two" players opting out of the tour.

"I'm hearing a lot of their players will commit," the wicketkeeper told SEN Radio.

"There might be one or two that don't, but I think we'll see a really strong England side come out here."

Australia's prime minister Scott Morrison last month warned England will not benefit from any "special deals" regarding quarantine rules when they arrive in the country.

Paine says he has spoken to the prime minister as Australia wait for confirmation that England will make the long journey to try to regain the urn.

"He was keen to find out what the sticking points might be from a player's perspective," said Paine of his conversations with Morrison.

"I shared a few text messages with him. He loves his cricket."

Sarfraz Ahmed, Haider Ali and Fakhar Zaman have been included in a revised Pakistan squad for the T20 World Cup.

The 34-year-old Sarfraz replaces Azam Khan for the upcoming tournament two years after he was sacked as captain.

Haider takes Mohammad Hasnain's spot, while fellow batter Fakhar comes into the 15-man squad at the expense of Khushdil Shah.

The selectors opted to tinker with the initial squad they named after keeping a close eye on performances in the National T20 Cup.

Sohaib Maqsood has retained his place after there were doubts over his participation due to a back injury.

The batter underwent an MRI scan this week but has been cleared to travel for the tournament in the United Arab Emirates and Oman.

Pakistan start their quest for T20 glory with a mouthwatering Group 2 clash against fierce rivals India at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on October 24.

 

Pakistan squad:

Babar Azam (captain) Shadab Khan, Asif Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim, Sarfraz Ahmed, Shaheen Afridi, Sohaib Maqsood.

Champions Dwayne Bravo and Chris Gayle and will be looking to make it “seventh heaven” when they turn out in the #MenInMaroon for the marquee ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.

The legendary duo has played all six tournaments since its inception in 2007 in South Africa and will want to have maximum impact as we enter the seventh edition in the United Arab Emirates and Oman.

They later played in 2009 in England, 2010 at home in the Caribbean, 2012 in Sri Lanka, 2014 in Bangladesh and the last edition in 2016 in India. Gayle is the undisputed king of T20 cricket and the Universe Boss has dominated this format everywhere he has set foot on the planet. Bravo is not far behind with his expert bowling and is a sharp thinker and tactician.

Back in 2012, Gayle adopted The Gangnam style as the unofficial theme song for the team and fans joined the global street party. For Bravo, it was an extra-special moment in time as the epic performance came on the night of his birthday. He had the pleasure of taking the catch to seal the sensational result. To savour the memory, he kept the ball and still has it at home.

“It was my 29th birthday and was a very special moment. It was the first time we won the T20 World Cup and as players, we wanted to prove to the world, we were the best, as individuals and as a team,” Bravo said.

“To do it on my birthday was special and something I could never forget. I still have that ball at home … was a dream come true. A lot of people didn’t give us and chance and picked four teams and didn’t have West Indies among their top four. To win on that night against Sri Lanka on their home turf was a great end to the tournament and we proved ourselves as a team.”

Bravo and Gayle have also had some other great moments in T20 World Cups. None better than at Eden Gardens in Kolkata in 2016 when West Indies celebrated that famous victory over England with Bravo leading the merriment with his song “Champion”.

Gayle is the only man to hit two centuries in the T20 World Cup. In his very first outing against South Africa back in September 2007, he set ablaze the Wanderers in Johannesburg with a sizzling 117 off just 57 balls. It was just the start kind of start that world cricket needed and set the trend for more of his power-packing pyrotechnic displays.

With a sense of occasion, and with an estimated global viewing audience of over 500 million fixed eyes fixed to the Wankhede Stadium, Gayle set the tone for the tournament. It was magical and memorable as he muscled 11 mammoth sixes and lit up the Mumbai night sky to score 100 not out off just 48 balls.

Bravo recalled the moments.

 “I remember I had a launch event in Mumbai and had my teammates and friends. We had a good start to the tournament, and we formed a great unit. Chris made a hundred and started the dance and everyone was inspired and motivated … it became the anthem, and we did the dance and kept on winning,” the allrounder said.

”We won the final the song was the most played. It was a special moment for West Indian people around the world. Everywhere we went there were celebrations. We want to do it again this time around.”

England players will no longer be awarded separate red and white ball contracts under a new structure that was revealed on Friday.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced the first 20 players who have been awarded a single contract for 2021-22.

A change of structure was introduced following consultation between the ECB, Team England Player Partnership (TEPP) and the Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA).

The ECB stated that it was "designed to meet England's future needs in what has become a fluid and dynamic landscape."

Spinner Jack Leach, batsman Dawid Malan and seamer Ollie Robinson receive central contracts for the first time.

Dom Sibley has lost his central contract after the opener was dropped during the home Test series against India.

All-rounder Liam Livingstone is awarded an increment contract along with seamer Tom Curran, who is among the players to have a white-ball contract for 2020-21.

Dom Bess and Chris Jordan have also been given increment contracts, while Saqib Mahmood, Craig Overton and Olly Stone earned pace bowling development contracts.

Managing director of men's England Cricket, Ashley Giles, said: "I would like to thank TEPP and the players for all their constructive input through the process of developing this new system, which I believe is the fairest and most transparent way of rewarding players across all formats.

"We have worked well to get to this stage and the refinements made will take into account the amount of cricket we will be playing across formats over the next period of the ICC Future Tours Programme.

"Since the inception of central contracts in 2002, the system has facilitated improved preparation, performance and professionalism of the England team and has ensured that players are well rewarded for representing their country at the elite level.

"The international game continues to evolve, and we have to be mindful that we have to lead the way in player performance across cricket's ever-changing landscape. Our objective remains the same to develop world-class players in all three formats as we strive to become the most respected team in the world.

"I would like to congratulate all the players offered agreements for the coming year, particularly newcomers Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, and Ollie Robinson. Receiving your first central contract is a great moment in any player's career. They will all play a pivotal role in England's fortunes over the next 12 months."

 

England men's central contracts:

Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Eoin Morgan, Ollie Pope, Adil Rashid, Ollie Robinson, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

England increment contracts:

Dom Bess, Tom Curran, Chris Jordan, Liam Livingstone.

England pace bowling development contracts:

Saqib Mahmood, Craig Overton, Olly Stone.

Tim Paine expects England to bring a "really strong" team side to Australia for the Ashes with only "one or two" players opting out of the tour.

Captain Joe Root and his deputy Jos Buttler are among the England players who stated they were not ready to commit to the five-match series due to uncertainty over coronavirus restrictions.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is expected to confirm the tour will go ahead following a meeting on Friday, a day after chairman Ian Watmore stepped down.

Australia skipper Paine insisted the Ashes will be starting at The Gabba on December 8 regardless of whether Root decides to travel.

Paine on Friday revealed he has been informed that England will not be hugely depleted.

"I'm hearing a lot of their players will commit," the wicketkeeper told SEN Radio.

"There might be one or two that don't, but I think we'll see a really strong England side come out here."

Australia's prime minister Scott Morrison last month warned England will not benefit from any "special deals" regarding quarantine rules when they arrive in the country.

Paine says he has spoken to the prime minister as Australia wait for confirmation that England will make the long journey to try to regain the urn.

"He was keen to find out what the sticking points might be from a player's perspective," said Paine of his conversations with Morrison.

"I shared a few text messages with him. He loves his cricket."

Kolkata Knight Riders thrashed Rajasthan Royals by 86 runs to close in on a place in the Indian Premier League play-offs.

Shubman Gill's 56 helped Kolkata to a commanding total of 171-4 in Sharjah, where the Royals succumbed to a chastening defeat.

Shivam Mavi took four wickets, with Lockie Ferguson claiming three scalps as the Royals capitulated to 85 all out in the 17th over.

Kolkata look certain to finish in the top four, while their beaten opponents' already slim hopes went up in smoke.

Gill and Venkatesh Iyer (38) laid a solid foundation for KKR with a 79-run opening partnership, with the remainder of the order contributing double-figure scores.

By contrast, only two Royals batsmen hit double figures as Rahul Tewatia's fine 44 went unrewarded.

Mavi magic

With the Royals losing Yashasvi Jaiswal in the first over and slumping to 13-4 after only 22 deliveries, the writing was on the wall early on in their reply.

Mavi did much of the damage with the ball, his 4-21 restricting the Royals to their lowest total in this IPL season.

KKR almost there

The only team who can prevent the Knight Riders extending their campaign are reigning champions Mumbai Indians.

But the Indians, who play Sunrisers Hyderabad on Friday, must bat first and win by a record 171 runs in order to claim fourth spot on net run rate.

KL Rahul produced a masterclass as Punjab Kings cruised to a six-wicket Indian Premier League win over Chennai Super Kings to keep their faint play-off hopes alive.

Punjab's net run rate ensured even a huge win would be highly unlikely to give them a chance of sneaking into the play-offs, with Kolkata Knight Riders in pole position for the final spot.

The Kings were theoretically still in the hunt, though, as this match ended, after moving up to fifth place by hammering second-placed Super Kings at the Dubai International Stadium, chasing down their target of 135 with seven overs to spare.

Faf du Plessis made 76 from 55 balls as CSK posted 134-6, Chris Jordan the pick of the bowlers with 2-20 and Arshdeep Singh taking 2-35.

That total was nowhere near enough as Punjab captain Rahul, the leading run-scorer in the tournament, smashed an unbeaten 98 from just 42 deliveries in a stunning knock.

The India opening batsman became the Kings' highest run-scorer in the history of the franchise, showing incredible timing and power to move his side up to fifth place.

KKR faced Rajasthan Royals later in the day knowing their fate was in their hands, with Mumbai Indians only having an outside chance of qualifying ahead of their last league game against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Friday.

 

Du Plessis one-man show

Du Plessis stepped up as his team-mates failed with the bat, Ravindra Jadeja the second-highest scorer in the CSK innings with 15 not out.

The Super Kings were reeling on 61-5 from 12 overs when MS Dhoni was bowled by Ravi Bishnoi after the returning Jordan and Arshdeep took two wickets apiece.

Former South Africa captain Du Plessis almost carried his bat, eventually falling in the last over from Mohammed Shami after hitting two sixes and eight fours.

Rahul runs riot

It has been an outstanding IPL for Rahul, who holds the orange cap with a competition-high 626 runs from 13 innings at an average of 62.60.

Rahul raced to a half-century in only 25 balls and finished just short of a deserved hundred, clearing the rope eight times and hitting seven fours.

He launched Shardul Thakur, who took 3-28, for six to seal an emphatic win after the bowling of Deepak Chahar and Dwayne Bravo in particular had been taken apart.

England all-rounder Ben Stokes is highly unlikely to feature in The Ashes squad in December after having a second operation on his broken left index finger.

Stokes sustained the injury while playing in the Indian Premier League in April but returned to action with Durham in June.

The 30-year-old also played through the pain barrier in July to captain a second-string ODI side to a series whitewash over visiting Pakistan after an initial coronavirus outbreak ruled out the majority of the regular squad.

However, before the India Test series later that month, Stokes announced he would take a break from cricket to protect his mental wellbeing and to allow his finger to fully recover.

On Thursday, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) provided another update on the all-rounder's injury progress.

"England all-rounder Ben Stokes has undergone a second operation on Monday 4th October to address ongoing issues with the finger that he injured in the IPL in April," the statement said.

"Stokes had two screws and scar tissue removed from the index finger of his 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."

 

Stokes is already set to miss the T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates and Oman, which starts on October 17, but the operation puts further doubt on his return in time for The Ashes.

His presence with the touring party in Australia – who will host England if agreements on coronavirus-related bubble issues can be agreed – was already doubtful but the operation makes the likelihood of an appearance even slimmer.

The all-rounder will be sorely missed by Chris Silverwood's tourists if so, with Stokes averaging 38.37 against Australia, whom he scored 135 not out against in one of cricket's most famous knocks at Headingley in 2019.

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