England all-rounder Ben Stokes has said that he played the three-match One-day International series against Pakistan with "ridiculous pain" in his left index finger after he was called up to lead the replacement side as the entire first squad had to self-isolate due to a number of COVID-19 cases. England won the series 3-0.
Stokes had fractured his left index finger while playing for Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Post-surgery and recovery, he featured in six T20 Blast matches for Durham. Stokes was not scheduled to take part in white-ball matches till seven COVID-19 cases in the regular team forced the entire squad into self-isolation.
"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. 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," wrote Stokes in his column for The Mirror.
Stokes felt that the injection should do its work before the Tests against India. Stokes is set to play for Northern Superchargers in the first few rounds of The Hundred before joining the Test squad.
"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. The plan is still to take some part in the Hundred, although everyone will need to be as careful as possible where COVID is concerned. I know the ECB are working hard on getting that right.
"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," said Stokes.