By Niharika Raina
London, Aug 23 (Ajit Weekly News) England Test captain Ben Stokes said his participation in next year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) will be purely dependent on how the schedule outside of international cricket will be, while calling the 10-team league “an amazing competition to be a part of.”
Playing for now-defunct Rising Pune Supergiant, Stokes was the IPL’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) in 2017, making 316 runs and picking 12 wickets in as many matches. He was the most expensive player at the 2018 player auction when Rajasthan Royals bought him for INR 12.5 crores. In 31 appearances for Rajasthan, Stokes was able to register just one fifty and picked 16 wickets.
Stokes broke his left finger while dropping a catch in the deep in his lone appearance in IPL 2021 for Rajasthan. The injury went on to keep him out of action, including Stokes taking a break from the game for four-and-a-half months due to mental health reasons.
After coming back to the sport through the 2021-22 Ashes in Australia, Stokes decided against registering for the 2022 IPL mega auction.
“Our schedule as England cricketers is just jam-packed. We seem to be playing all year around. That’s because our summer is everybody else’s winter and when our winter comes around, it is summer for everybody else. People are coming to us and then we are going to the people to play cricket. It’s a case of looking at the schedule, looking ahead to see what we have all got coming up.
“But as I had made very clear that Test match cricket is at the forefront of my mind and all of my decisions will be based around Test matches, obviously with the captaincy duties to do that. My commitment outside of international cricket will be purely based around the schedule and what international cricket we have coming up,” said Stokes in a select virtual media interaction ahead of the release of his documentary ‘Ben Stokes: Phoenix from the Ashes’.
In praise of the IPL and the exposure it provides to cricketers, Stokes remarked, “I have played in the IPL for four years. It’s an amazing competition to be a part of. Not just for the spectacle of the IPL, but for the opportunity to work alongside some of the best players from all over the world and some of the best coaches that we are lucky enough to play with.
“It’s just an amazing experience to be involved in. But as I said, there’s schedule to look at and around the window where the IPL comes across in.”
(Ben Stokes: Phoenix from the Ashes launches on Prime Video on Friday, August 26)
–Ajit Weekly News
News Credits – I A N S