Ben Stokes returns home after the clash between CSK and DC© BCCI/Sportzpics
Struggling with fitness issues, England Test captain Ben Stokes will return home after Chennai Super Kings final IPL league match to give himself enough time to prepare for next month’s Ashes. The 31-year-old, who was bought by CSK for Rs 16.25 crore during the IPL auction in December 2022, only appeared in the first two matches for CSK, scoring 7 and 8 and conceding 18 runs in his only over with the ball.
With the Ashes series between England and Australia kicking off with the opening test on June 16, Stokes will “return to the UK after their final group game against Delhi Capitals on Saturday afternoon,” according to a report in ESPNcricinfo.
As part of their preparation, England will also play a test against Ireland on June 1 at Lord’s and Stokes, who has a long-running knee problem, had expressed a desire to “give myself enough time to come back and play that game.” and “fulfill my role as fourth sailor” during the Ashes.
After the 3 April game, Stokes initially did not play a game for CSK due to a toe injury.
On 22 April, CSK head coach Stephen Fleming had said that Stokes has “had an injury setback and will be out for a week”. The star all-rounder was available for selection again last week, but did not appear in the playing XI for CSK.
While CSK sits nicely in second place in the IPL standings, Fleming said after their loss to Kolkata Knight Riders on Sunday that bowling remains “a bit of a challenge” for Stokes at the moment and he’s there as “batting cover”.
With only one game left in the league stage against Delhi Capitals on Saturday, CSK are not expected to “chop and change” their squad.
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