Chennai Super Kings likely to release Ben Stokes ahead of IPL Auction
With the five-match India-England Test series and the T20 World Cup taking place on either side of the IPL, Stokes will find it very difficult to stay in India for nearly half of 2024.
Ben Stokes is likely to seek a release from Indian Premier League (IPL) champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) keeping in mind England’s hectic red-ball schedule that lies ahead of him.
Stokes, who came out of ODI retirement to take part in the ICC World Cup, is set to undergo a surgery to deal with a nagging knee problem and will hope to regain fitness in time to lead England in their five-Test series against India in early 2024.
CSK, who won their fifth title this year after beating Gujarat Titans in the final, wouldn’t mind parting ways with Stokes given the England Test captain had made just two appearances last season and isn’t likely to bowl anytime soon. The Super Kings had secured Stokes for a whopping Rs 16.25 crore in the previous player auction.
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England will play five Tests in India with the final match scheduled to be held from 7 to 11 March. 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 19 December in Dubai and the ten teams will have to submit the lists of players they are retaining and releasing by 26 November.
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.
With inputs from PTI
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