England Test skipper Ben Stokes is leaving the Indian Premier League (IPL) early to prepare for a one-off test against Ireland in June. This departure will include preparation for the Ashes series against Australia.
The IPL final will happen on May 28, while the one-off Ireland Test at Lord’s on June 1. As for the marquee Ashes series against Australia, it will begin on June 16.
Details Behind Departure
Reportedly, the Test captain’s departure was no surprise since he has made it clear he will be leading the team in all six matches this summer, starting with Ireland, even if it means missing the knockout stages of the IPL.
Because of the following Ashes, some players with IPL deals, such as Harry Brook, Joe Root, and Jonny Bairstow may miss the clash with Ireland with the ECB’s (England and Wales Cricket Board) blessing.
“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,” Stokes said in Wellington.
He added, “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.”
Ben Stokes was bought by four-time champions Chennai Super Kings for a whopping Rs 16.25 crore in the IPL auction in December. Stokes has already agreed on a departure date with the Chennai Super Kings.
Sources say that it is normal for players, especially those with central contracts, to skip the later stages of the IPL due to the potential impact on the start of England’s international summer.
In the 2022 IPL, Ben Stokes was unavailable due to having suffered a broken finger in his most recent game there for Rajasthan Royals.
England’s Current Status
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) February 22, 2023
Following their 267-run victory in Mount Maunganui, England aims to secure a series whitewash in their two-Test match against New Zealand, which begins in Wellington on Friday.
When asked whether he would participate in the Ireland Test, he confirmed his participation and stated he would find time for the game.
Ahead of the second Test to happen in the Basin Reserve at Wellington, Stokes also confirmed he would ideally like to go in with an unchanged XI. Given the uncertain status of seamers James Anderson, Ollie Robinson, and Stuart Broad, there are chances that Stokes will need to change his plans.
“If we have got a couple of people who are a bit sore, or bowlers who don’t feel like they are 100 percent right to go, then I will still be picking my best team because I will be picking the XI who are able to play,” Stokes said.
So far, 10 of their last 11 Tests while playing a thrilling brand of cricket dubbed ‘Bazball’ per 10 of their last 11 Tests while playing a thrilling brand of cricket dubbed ‘Bazball’ and Stoke’s captaincy.