Stokes joins Root in opting out of IPL auction
England all-rounder Ben Stokes has joined Joe Root in opting out of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 mega auction. Both players will rather prepare for the first Test of their home summer against New Zealand by playing in the County Championship. Root had confirmed his unavailability for the auction in the recently concluded fifth Ashes Test in Hobart which England lost.
After the Hobart Test, Root said England need all his energy. "There's a lot that we need to do for this [Test] team, which deserves all of my energy," Root said. "I'll keep sacrificing as much as I can because I care so much about Test cricket in our country and trying to get us to where we want to be," he added.
- The Australia versus England fifth Test saw the visitors lose by 146 runs.
- From 68/0, England collapsed to be dismissed for 124.
- They surrendered the series 4-0 in what was a dismal performance throughout.
- Root has pledged to give his all for England in Tests and Stokes, who had a poor campaign, will also turn towards County Cricket for gaining vitality.
Root had earlier put up his name in the auction back in 2018. However, he went unsold. Having played his last T20I in 2019, Root was likely to be snubbed in the mega auction. In 32 T20Is, Root has scored 893 runs at 35.72. He has hit five fifties. In the 2021-22 Ashes, Root was England's top scorer with 322 runs at 32.20.
As per reports, Stokes will miss the IPL 2022 mega auction. Stokes has faced a lot of difficulties in the recent past. He lost his father, besides missing a chunk of cricket after sitting out with mental health issues. He also broke his index finger during the IPL last season. As per ESPNcricinfo, franchises aren't expecting Stokes to enter the auction.
Stokes, who made himself available for The Ashes, managed 236 runs in 10 innings and took four wickets at 71.50. The all-rounder is expected to be part of the squad for the three-match series against West Indies in the Caribbean in March. Keeping England's schedule for the 2022 summer and 2022-23 in mind for multi-format players, Stokes will want to preserve himself.
England fast bowler Mark Wood had entered the auction but said before the Hobart Test that he was weighing up his option as he withdrew earlier in 2021. The likes of Jonny Bairstow and Ollie Pope are both expected be part. Sam Curran, Liam Livingstone, and Eoin Morgan are expected to be up for sale. Jos Buttler and Moeen Ali have already been retained.
The IPL 2022 mega auction will be held on February 12 and 13. Players are expected to register themselves for the auction by January 20. Two new teams Ahmedabad and Lucknow are still in the process of signing three players ahead of the auction ceremony. The IPL 2022 will be a 10-team affair. Earlier, the existing eight franchises retained their list of players.