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Defending champions Rangpur Riders received a huge injury blow ahead of their play-off fixture as their inform English batsman Alex Hales was ruled out of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) with shoulder injury. Rangpur Riders head coach Tom Moody said yesterday the opener is unable to play the rest of the matches of Rangpur after being hurt his shoulder during their last match against Rajshahi Kings in Chittagong. - A home for your website

“We got the news last night and he required going back to London to have some specialist opinion on his left shoulder,” Moody said yesterday.

“He hurt his left shoulder last game during his batting and not in fielding and the English Cricket Board requested that he get some further advice and get and MRI and scan.”

“Unfortunately that’s the end of his tournament with us and obviously he had a significant impact and great value to us,’’ he added. The unexpected injury of Hales can be considered a huge blow for Riders as he played a significant part during the last four win of Riders by scoring 85 not out, 100, 55 and 33 respectively.

Riders were in huge trouble after losing four games from their opening six outings before making a remarkable turnaround by earning four successive win in a row on the back of Hales brilliance.

However when they were left ruing for the absence of Hales, they can heave a huge sigh of relief as injured Shafiul Islam is all set to join the team for the upcoming matches in the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League.

Riders lost one of their most consistent performers with the ball Shafiul at midway against Rajshahi Kings during their last game at the Chittagong phase.

Shafiul hurt his bowling shoulder with his second delivery by felling onto the pitch after completing the delivery that forced him to leave the ground after bowling one more delivery.

Riders however ended their last game with a six-wicket victory over Rajshahi as Mashrafe Bin Mortaza marshaled his troops next to perfection considering Riders despite losing one of their key bowler but the availability of Shafiul remained a spot of bother for the defending champions.

“He will be fine [before the next match],’’Moody said. “He made considerable amount of improvement,’’ he added.

Shafiul had a long list of injury issues that had hampered his international career to great extent.