England all-rounder Ben Stokes has revealed the reason why he opted out of the upcoming IPL 2022 mega auction. One of the most sought-after players in the Indian Premier League and T20 leagues around the world, Stokes, decided not to enter the upcoming IPL auction.
Stokes, who first played in IPL in 2017 and ended up as the Most Valuable Player of the edition, scoring 316 runs and picking 12 wickets in the season for Rising Pune Supergiants. He was then picked by the Rajasthan Royals in the IPL 2018 auction for INR 12.50 crores. Stokes did well for the franchise in IPL 2019 and had a decent IPL 2020, where he even scored a century as well.
But an injury ended his IPL 2021 early and then he has now decided to opt-out of the IPL 2021 auction after he was not retained by the Rajasthan franchise.
Stokes took a mental health break, missing a huge chunk of cricket in 2021, especially after the death of his father Ged. He returned to action in the Ashes 2021-22, where England was thumped 4-0 and Stokes failed to performed upto the standards he had set for himself.
“It was a bitterly disappointing Ashes campaign Down Under, but we have to learn from it and begin the job of building the team back to where we want to be. It will take time, of course it will. Even the white-ball team took time to get to the point where we could win a World Cup.
And we need to go on a similar journey with the Test team now, with everyone involved 100 percent committed to doing what is necessary to improve and be among the best teams again. I want to work alongside Joe Root, the best man we could have as captain, to get us there. Test cricket is absolutely my number one priority,” Stokes wrote in his Daily Mirror column.
I Thought Long And Hard About Whether To Go To The IPL Or Not: Ben Stokes
Stokes further wrote that England will benefit from him preparing at his best for the upcoming series against New Zealand and South Africa by playing in the County Championship and hence he decided to opt-out of the IPL 2022 and didn’t enter the IPL mega auction.
“It is why I thought long and hard about whether to go to the IPL or not, and felt that this was not about the money but about where my priorities are. It wouldn’t be fair on any team I signed up for if I wasn’t totally focused on things out there.
I think the Test side will benefit more from me playing a number of County Championship matches this summer and getting myself as best prepared as possible for the challenges of New Zealand and South Africa,” he added.
Stokes is one of several multi-format England players not involved in the auction, along with Joe Root, Sam Curran, and Chris Woakes. On the other hand, Jos Buttler was retained by Rajasthan Royals, and the likes of Jonny Bairstow, Dawid Malan, and Mark Wood will be up for sale in Bengaluru.