Wellington : England’s Test captain Ben Stokes has dropped hints on leaving IPL 2023 early to prepare well for the Test against Ireland as well as the Men’s Ashes in what will be a bumper 2023 home summer.
Stokes — who played at now-defunct Rising Pune Supergiant in 2017 and for Rajasthan Royals, too, from 2018-2021 in the IPL — will join Chennai Super Kings for a signing amount of INR 16.25 crore, the joint-third most expensive player in the IPL 2023 player auction held last year.
IPL 2023 is scheduled to start from March 31 and will end on May 28, while the English home summer begins with the Test against Ireland on June 1, followed by the Ashes starting from June 16.
“Yes, I’ll play (the Test against Ireland). I’ll be making sure that I give myself enough time to get back and play that (Ireland) game,” he was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo ahead of England’s second Test against New Zealand, starting from Friday in Wellington.
Since taking over as England’s Test captain last year, Stokes has led the side to 10 wins in 11 matches. Apart from Stokes, Joe Root, Mark Wood, Jonny Bairstow, Liam Livingstone, Jofra Archer, Sam Curran, and Harry Brook have IPL 2023 deals too.
He added that discussions will happen with IPL-bound players on their preparations for the Ashes, and has left the door open for missing the Ireland Test too.
“I’ll probably get round the individuals and ask them what they want to be ready for the Ashes, because those five games are obviously the big ones of the summer, and you’ve got to think about what lads want.”
“But what if something was to happen in that game (Ireland) and we lose someone for the Ashes … It’s just one of those where you have to weigh up the options of what the individual person actually wants out of that week, versus do we really need to play that one.
Because, obviously, I’m right in saying that series is bigger than that game against Ireland.” Talking about the playing eleven for the second Test at Basin Reserve, Stokes expressed his wish to field an unchanged playing eleven, though there are concerns over Ollie Robinson’s availability after suffering some discomfort below left knee during first Test at Mount Maunganui.
“If we have got a couple of people who are a bit sore, or bowlers who don’t feel like they are hundred per cent right to go, then I will still be picking my best team because I will be picking the XI who are able to play.”
“So it’s the beauty of the squad we’ve got at the moment – if someone doesn’t feel like they’re quite up to performing again after a close turnaround, we’ll still be able to pick the best team judging by the people we’ve got.”
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