Mike Hussey has revealed that England’s Test captain, Ben Stokes, received a cortisone injection in his problematic left knee before the Ashes, and as a result, he will only be playing as a batsman in the Indian Premier League.
The Chennai Super Kings signed Stokes for an impressive fee of $1.96 million in December. However, Stokes was not completely fit during England’s recent tour of New Zealand, and he bowled just two overs in the second Test in Wellington, which they lost by a single run.
In response, the 31-year-old said, “I’m not going to lie, it’s incredibly frustrating knowing something has been holding me back from performing as I’d like to.”
The medical personnel of England and Wales Cricket Board have been collaborating closely with their Chennai counterparts to regulate Stokes’ workload before the five-Test Ashes series against Australia, scheduled to start in June in England.
The Chennai Super Kings’ batting coach, Hussey, who had worked with Stokes during England’s triumphant Twenty20 World Cup campaign in November, has confirmed that Stokes will be taken care of during the forthcoming edition of the T20 extravaganza, which starts on Friday (31).
“The physios from Chennai and the ECB are working pretty closely together,” former Australia batsman Hussey, 47, said.
“He (Stokes) is ready to go as a batsman from the start, the bowling might be wait and see. I know he had his first very light bowl this week since he had his injections in his knee.
“My understanding is he won’t be bowling much at all in the first few games of the tournament, or it might be a few weeks, I’m not 100 percent sure. But hopefully we’ll get him bowling at some stage in the tournament.”
Though Hussey joked about Stokes bowling a lot in the Ashes, he clarified that he wants him to be fit and playing his best cricket. He also mentioned Stokes’ importance for the team in the upcoming match in Chennai.
(With inputs from AFP)