Injury troubles continue for Ben Stokes as English allrounder limps off with calf injury
Durham all-rounder Ben Stokes will play no further part in the ongoing Test match between England and Pakistan at Old Trafford after he walked off the field while bowling during the afternoon session of play against the visitors.
The 25-year-old who only made his return to the national side with this match after a knee injury ruled him out of the vast majority of the home series against Sri Lanka as well as the Lord's Test against Misbah-ul-Haq's side, will undergo an MRI scan on Tuesday to reveal the exact level of damage. The initial reactions, though, doesn't sound promising.
After delivering the second delivery in his sixth over of the second innings, Stokes pulled up sharply and in spite of immediate medical attention, was unable to complete his over.
Former England spinner Vic Marks, speaking on BBC Test Match Special, said: "This is a worry - he stopped so abruptly. When people go off straight away like he did, you can sense it's serious.”
A torn calf muscle could be mean as many six weeks out for Stokes whose importance to the balance of the English side was all too evident in the first Test where the hosts missed his all-round abilities in the 75-run defeat.
Stokes absence has not made much difference to the match proceedings though as the home side are inching closer and closer to a victory which will see them equalise the four-match Test series 1-1. Off-spinner Moeen Ali, who completed Stokes’ unfinished over, has picked up two wickets along with pace spearhead James Anderson, who is also making a comeback from injury in this match.
Chris Woakes got the biggest breakthrough as he dismissed Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq for 33 and faced with a daunting target of 565 and with half of the Pakistani batting line-up already back in the pavilion, the home crowd have already started celebrating. The Stokes’ injury will remain an unfortunate moment, though.
English cricket fans have taken to micro-blogging website Twitter to express their concerns and show their support for Stokes as he goes through what is really an unfortunate phase in his career.