‘Decisions Will Be Based Around Test Matches’, Remarks Ben Stokes on His Availability for IPL 2023

England Test captain Ben Stokes’s participation in 2023 Indian Premier League (IPL) highly dependent on England’s international schedule. He said that he has a jam-packed calendar playing for England and his presence in IPL will depend all on his schedule.

“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,” said Stokes.

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While addressing the media ahead of the release of his documentary, ‘Ben Stokes: Phoenix from the Ashes’, he highlighted that after his ODI retirement, his main focus is only on Test cricket.

He said, “…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.”

Stokes, however, praised IPL for giving opportunity and exposure to players but remarked that his presence in IPL will depend totally on his schedule.

Stokes said, “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,” he added.

In 2017, Stokes became IPL’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) while playing for now-defunct Rising Pune Supergiant. He had made 316 runs and picked 12 wickets in as many matches. He was also the most expensive player at the 2018 player auction when Rajasthan Royals bought him for INR 12.5 crores. However, his run with the Royals wasn’t very promising as in 31 appearances for Rajasthan, he was able to register just one fifty and picked 16 wickets.

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In IPL 2021, he played only one match as he was ruled out after he broke his left finger while dropping a catch in the deep. Later, he was also into news for taking a break from the game for four-and-a-half months due to mental health reasons.

However, in 2021-22 he returned to Ashes in Australia, but decided against registering for the 2022 IPL mega auction. It is now to be seen whether he will come back in 2023 IPL or not.

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