Chennai Super Kings are confident that Ben Stokes will be available throughout the season of the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL). As the franchise begins its season-prep camp on Friday (March 3), CEO Kasi Viswanathan said he had no information that conflicted with initial assurances about the full availability of England players.
“That is our understanding. Before the auction, BCCI informed us that England players will be available for the entire IPL,” Viswanathan told Cricbuzz on Thursday. “We have had no information that conflicts with the BCCI statement.”
The CSK official’s claim comes amid reports of Stokes’ injury and in the context of conflicting signals from the player. The England red ball captain had a knee injury that hampered his movements in the just completed Test against New Zealand at the Basin Reserve in Wellington a few days ago and before Test Stokes committed to the England side by announcing that he would consider leaving the IPL ticket early to arrive in time for the England Test against Ireland.
“Yes, I’m going to play. I’m going to make sure I have enough time to come back and play that (Ireland) match,” Stokes said last week, indicating he will be in London just in time for the All – Ireland test. which begins at Lord’s on June 1. The Test is immediately followed by the Ashes, the biggest home cricket match for the England team.
The Test of Ireland is very close for the IPL dates which run from March 31 to May 28 and if the Chennai Super Kings qualify for the final there could be a conflicting schedule if it does not overlap. In that case, all parties including the franchise, the player, the BCCI and the Board of England will have to agree about Stokes, for whom the management of CSK paid Rs 16.25 crore in the auction.
An England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) official has allayed fears over Stokes’ injury and indicated that the England captain will try to negotiate with the franchise so that everyone’s interests are protected. “He will manage with his franchise, but no date has been set for his return from the IPL,” the ECB official said, learning from franchise sources that Stokes had spoken to CSK coach Stephen Fleming during the test series. in New Zealand.
“I’m not worried” – Brendon McCullum is confident IPL 2023 will not affect Ben Stokes’ fitness
England test coach Brendon McCullum has said he has no reason to believe Stokes’ preparation ahead of the Ashes will be hampered by his participation in the IPL. “The line-up in Chennai is excellent for looking after their players and they have a very good medical team and he will be well taken care of,” he told ESPNCricinfo. “I do not worry. And I also believe that Ashes is the script the captain has been waiting to write, so it’s going to be cool.
Meanwhile, CSK will explore their fast bowling options ahead of the new season with New Zealand pacer Kyle Jamieson who they bought for Rs. 1 crore at auction, out due to injury. Viswanathan said a call for his replacement would also be launched soon.
Most of the entire team including Captain MS Dhoni has gathered in Chennai for a prep camp except two key players, Shardul Thakur and Ruturaj Gaikwad, who are still at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru, while CSK is looking for the right course after finishing bottom of the competition points table last year.
Call soon for Kyle Jamieson’s replacement
Meanwhile, CSK will begin their pre-season camp at Chepauk Stadium on Friday in the presence of most of the players, including captain MS Dhoni. Two of the key players, Deepak Chahar and Ruturaj Gaikwad, who is currently with the NCA in Bengaluru, will join the camp a week later.
The camp will also provide the franchise with an opportunity to discuss Kyle Jamieson’s replacement. Viswanathan said he would speak to captain Dhoni and manager Fleming about replacing the New Zealand pacer, who has been ruled out of the season due to injury. Jamieson was bought at auction for Rs 1 crore.