Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes (Credits - IPL)

Rajasthan Royals are likely to miss the services of their star allrounder Ben Stokes during the first part of the Indian Premier League (IPL). The thirteenth edition of the tournament is scheduled to get underway on September 19 while Rajasthan Royals will open their account on September 22 against Chennai Super Kings.

Ben Stokes, however, is unlikely to be a part of the match as the England star is currently in New Zealand to be with his ailing father Ged who was recently diagnosed with brain cancer. Ben Stokes left for Christchurch in the middle of the Test series against Pakistan last month to be with his family.

Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes (Credits: IPL)

“As per quarantine rules in New Zealand, Ben has just completed his 14-day isolation period after reaching New Zealand. Now he will be meeting his father and obviously he would like to spend some quiet time with his family in this time of crisis,” the source privy to developments in the franchise told PTI.

“It is only logical that if he has just completed his quarantine, he would not be available for the first part of the IPL and that is completely understandable. The franchise will not even call Ben as this is not priority at the moment. Let him spend quality family time and any discussions on his availability can happen only after that,” the source added.

The report further stated that the Rajasthan Royals will “wait” for Ben Stokes’ call before taking the next step. The franchise will take things forward only if the allrounder confirms his availability. The Royals would definitely love to have him in UAE at the earliest.

Ben Stokes has been playing for the inaugural IPL winners since 2018. After starring for now-defunct Rising Pune Supergiant’s run to the final in 2017, he was signed up by the Royals. So far, he has scored 319 runs and picked up 14 wickets for Royals.

He has been in sensational form since last summer when he powered England to their first-ever World Cup triumph and then helped them draw the Ashes series. Recently, he single-handedly won a Test against West Indies despite not being fully fit with a hundred and fifty in each innings and three wickets.

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