Cricket: England all-rounder Ben Stokes ruled out of Blackcaps series with finger injury

England all-rounder Ben Stokes has been ruled out for three months and the Blackcaps test series with a fractured finger. 

Stokes suffered the injury while playing for Rajasthan Royals in their opening Indian Premier League (IPL) game on Tuesday (NZ time).

The England all-rounder had an X-ray and CT scan on Thursday, which had revealed the extent of the damage, the ECB statement said, adding that he will fly home for surgery in Leeds on Monday.

England's home two-test series against New Zealand begins on June 2, meaning Stokes is extremely unlikely to be fit in time. He is also likely be unavailable for the white ball internationals against Sri Lanka in June.

"It's a big blow but it's not the end of the world because Ben Stokes would have needed resting in this difficult scheduling year anyway," former England skipper Nasser Hussain told Sky Sports on Saturday.

"But Ben Stokes gets very bored very easily and he won't want to be missing any cricket. But there is an Ashes coming up and a World T20 and an iconic series v India, so it's a little bit of rest and getting him fit mentally and physically for a lot of cricket ahead."

Stokes is ranked the second-best all rounder in the world, sustained the injury while attempting to make a catch in the deep off West Indies batsman Chris Gayle in the IPL game against Punjab Kings. 

Blackcaps fans will breathe a sigh of relief after Stokes broke their hearts in the 2019 Cricket World Cup final with a matching winning innings.