File photo of England cricketer Ben Stokes© BCCI
Set to go under the knife to address his nagging knee injury, England Test captain Ben Stokes is likely to seek release from IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings, keeping in mind his country’s packed calendar in red-ball cricket. It is also understood that Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led franchise wouldn’t mind giving him release considering there could be remote chances of him bowling in all CSK games. The 32-year-old, who was picked by CSK for a whopping Rs 16.25 crore in the last mini-auction, could participate in only two games in 2023 after suffering a toe injury. He played purely as a batter for England in the ongoing ODI World Cup. Stokes is set to undergo surgery to address his knee as he aims to regain fitness for the upcoming Test series against India, beginning January 24.
England will play five Tests in India with the final match scheduled to be held from March 7 to 11. Next year’s IPL is likely to be held from last week of March till end of May.
“Considering that the T20 World Cup is slated in the West Indies and the United States from June 4 to June 30, the hectic itinerary could mean that Stokes will find it very difficult to stay in India for better part of the first five months of the year,” an IPL source in the know of things told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
Given the hectic line-up of events, Stokes in any case was unlikely to play full IPL.
IPL 2024 auction is scheduled for December 19 in Dubai and the ten teams will have to submit the lists of players they are retaining and releasing by November 26.
In case Stokes gets the release, CSK will have Rs 16.25 crores freed for the auction and they could go whole hog for either spin bowling all-rounder Rachin Ravindra or pace bowling all-rounder Azmatullah Omarzai of Afghanistan.
Lockie Ferguson likely to be released by KKR ========================== New Zealand pacer Lockie Ferguson is also likely to be released by Kolkata Knight Riders, given his history of frequent breakdowns, according to Cricbuzz.
Ferguson was bought by Gujarat Titans in 2022 for Rs 10 crore but was later traded to KKR this year. PTI ATK KHS KHS
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