Ben Stokes confirms participation in IPL 2023 despite knee issues
In what can be called a major relief for Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Ben Stokes has confirmed his participation in the 2023 Indian Premier League (IPL). Notably, the England Test skipper was struggling with a knee injury during the recently-concluded two-match Test series versus New Zealand, which ended in a 1-1 draw. He could bowl only two overs in the second Test. Here's more.
Why does this story matter?
- Stokes is one of the finest all-rounders going around with a proven track record in the IPL.
- CSK bought him for a record sum of Rs. 16.25 crore in the IPL 2023 mini-auction.
- With the Ashes taking place in June-July this year, many reckoned the all-rounder might skip IPL due to his knee injury.
- However, the veteran has now confirmed his participation.
What did Stokes say?
Stokes revealed that he has been discussing his workload with Chennai Super Kings head coach Stephen Fleming. "I am going to the IPL. I have had conversations with 'Flem' and he's fully aware of the situation with my body. It's a week-by-week case at the moment," Stokes said after the 2nd Test in Wellington.
Stokes determined to 'turn-up' for the Ashes
Stokes admitted that the knee injury has been holding him back. He, however, is determined to regain full fitness before the Ashes. "I've got a four-month period now to get it better before the Ashes because I want to be turning up for the first Test in Birmingham able to fulfill my role properly," the 31-year-old further said.
Stokes has an impeccable record as Test captain
Stokes has led England to 10 wins in 12 Tests after replacing Joe Root as England's Test skipper last year. Only South Africa and New Zealand have been able to defeat the Brits once apiece in this period. No other team has even six Test wins in this period. Notably, six of England's wins have come at home while four have been recorded overseas.
How has Stokes fared in IPL?
Stokes has garnered 920 runs in 43 IPL games, striking at a healthy rate of 134.50. The tally includes two fifties and as many centuries. The right-arm pacer has scalped 28 wickets at an economy rate of 8.55. He played for the Rajasthan Royals (RR) from 2018-21. Prior to that, he served the now-defunct Rising Pune Supergiant as they reached the final in 2017.
Stokes to miss latter stages of IPL
While IPL 2023 will conclude on May 28, England's one-off Test against Ireland will start on June 1. Stokes, hence, will skip the latter stages of IPL. "I'll be making sure that I give myself enough time to get back and play that [Ireland] game." "I'll probably get round the individuals and ask them what they want to be ready for the Ashes."