The thirteenth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is less than a week away but Rajasthan Royals still don’t have clarity on Ben Stokes’ availability. The England star is currently in New Zealand to be with his father who was recently diagnosed with brain cancer.
He left for Christchurch in the middle of the Test series against Pakistan last month to be with his family. Previous reports suggested that the allrounder would miss the first part of IPL 2020 and that the franchise would “wait” for his call before taking the next step. The report stated that the Royals would take things forward only if the allrounder confirms his availability.
But it looks like Ben Stokes has not made things clear so far. Royals head coach Andrew McDonald admitted that there’s not much clarity over the England star’s availability but the franchise is giving him as much time as he wants in this tough time.
“First and foremost, thoughts with the Stokes family. It’s a difficult scenario, so we are giving him as much time as he needs, and connecting with him as best as we can. So yes, we aren’t sure where Stokesy’s at right now, but once it has played out, then we can make our own decision from there,” McDonald said.
The Royals would definitely love to have Ben Stokes for IPL 2020. He 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.