Ben Stokes Set To Be Released By CSK Ahead Of IPL 2024 Auction: Report

In a surprising turn of events, sources from the cricketing world have hinted at the potential release of star all-rounder Ben Stokes by Chennai Super Kings (CSK). This strategic decision is rooted in Stokes’ likely unavailability for the IPL 2024 season due to impending knee surgery, shedding light on the calculated moves within the CSK camp, according to Cricbuzz’s sources.

The Stokes Dilemma

Acquired for a whopping Rs 16.25 crore in the last mini-auction, Ben Stokes’ stint with CSK in 2023 was marred by his limited participation, featuring in only two games throughout the season. With surgery looming on his left knee and a recovery period estimated at two months, CSK is faced with the dilemma of risking his availability for the crucial March-May 2024 IPL season.

CSK’s Reluctant Decision

Despite the reluctance to release a player of Stokes’ calibre, CSK’s management is wary of the financial implications. The club has reportedly engaged in discussions with Stokes, emphasizing the need for clarity on his commitment to the IPL post his World Cup responsibilities. However, direct contact is yet to be established, leaving the franchise in a state of uncertainty.

Official Statement from CSK

An official from CSK emphasized, “We would not consider releasing Stokes if he could be available because he is a big match player, and we hold him in the highest regard. But if he can’t make it to the season, we will have blocked Rs 16 crore with which we could acquire some quality players.” This sheds light on the meticulous approach CSK is adopting in its player management strategy.

Lockie Ferguson’s Potential Exit

Adding to the speculations, there are murmurs about Lockie Ferguson’s potential release by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), given his history of injuries. Originally acquired by Gujarat Titans in 2022 and later traded to KKR in 2023, Ferguson’s future with KKR seems uncertain.

Trade Rumors Between Knight Riders and Royal Challengers

While there is speculation about a trade involving Shardul Thakur and Harshal Patel between KKR and Royal Challengers Bangalore, confirmed reports deny any such trade taking place. The dynamics of IPL trades are always intriguing, and this year seems to be no exception.