Ben Stokes is reportedly going to skip the IPL mega auction.© BCCI/IPL
The world’s best all-rounder Ben Stokes has opted out of this year’s Indian Premier League to manage his workload and stay mentally fresh for England’s next home season, according to reports in British media. Stokes had a disappointing Ashes after scoring just 236 runs and taking just four wickets in England’s 0-4 thrashing at the hands of Australia. With many England stalwarts, including former skipper David Gower, having already begun their annual critique of the cash-rich T20 competition, it is clear that Stokes, who could have once again racked up bug dollars, has decided to stay away.
“Stokes will sit out this year’s tournament, which will feature 10 teams for the first time and will be preceded by a mega auction with plenty of seats to fill,” reported London’s Evening Standard.
“Stokes has had a tumultuous time in recent years, with the death of his father Ged 13 months ago prior to a long break in 2021 to prioritize his mental health and repair a badly broken finger at the IPL,” it wrote. .
Stokes was part of the Rajasthan Royals squad during the 2021 edition and broke his finger during the postponed first leg and was banned from the tournament. When the tournament resumed in September after a COVID-19-induced hiatus, Stokes did not return.
“Sitting represents a significant financial sacrifice, but should also give him some time to mentally refresh between England’s tour of the Caribbean in March and the international summer in June,” the paper reported.
Among the sought-after English players, only Moeen Ali (who withdrew from Tests) and Jos Buttler were retained by their franchises, Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan respectively.
Last summer, the ECB allowed English players, who were at the IPL, to sit out early season tests against New Zealand, something that has sparked much criticism as the rotation policy in place many believed hurt the team’s composition.
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