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ECB will not interfere in participation of Ben Stokes in IPL 2018

"It's up to Ben to decide if he wants to play in the IPL," an ECB official quoted.

England player Ben Stokes News
England player Ben Stokes. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) Chief Executive, Tom Harrison, has confirmed that the board will not stand in the way of participation of Ben Stokes in the Indian Premier League. The English all-rounder is currently out of the national side owing to his involvement in a brawl in Bristol in September this year.

He is awaiting legal clearances to make a comeback to the national side. Meanwhile, he continues to play domestic cricket for Canterbury in New Zealand. It is worth noting that Ben Stokes has been the hottest property in the IPL ever since the previous edition. He was the most expensive but in the IPL auctions in 2017. Now, ECB noted that they have no issues with Stokes participating in IPL or any other league for that matter.

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“Ben asked for an NOC to play in New Zealand and we were happy to grant one. What he does with his time is up to him. He remains on full pay. It’s up to Ben to decide if he wants to play in the IPL. We could say we don’t want him to go but I imagine that, having given him an NOC to go and play in New Zealand, it would be difficult for us to say we would not apply the same thinking towards playing in other parts of the world,” the ECB official quoted.

On Bristol incident

Tom Harrison further reflected back at the Bristol incident. He cited that the incident has certainly brought a lot of infamy to the game and its reputation. To be in a situation where Ben Stokes is at the moment, is the least wished spot for any cricketer. He called the incident to be a ‘shocking’ day for them. He hopes to regain the trust of the fans that has been hampered by such off-field antics of the popular cricketers of the side.

“What happened in Bristol was a very bad thing for the game and for the reputation of the game. You never want to see the game in that position. What we have to understand is how we respond to that and how we rebuild reputations of the individuals involved and the team,” Harrison mentioned.

“The reality is we’ve built up a lot of trust with the public over the past two or three years with the way in which the team have played and the way in which they were connecting and becoming very accessible. Obviously some of that is impacted by off-the-field things like what happened in Bristol. It was a shocking day for the game. But we will rebuild that trust and we will get back to a situation where the public feel connected to the England team as they have done,” he added further.

The process ahead

Speaking about the processes that lie ahead for the hard hitting all-rounder, the ECB official noted that they will have to see if any criminal charges would be imposed in Stokes. He noted that the board will have to wait until the clearances are made on the legal ground. If there are any severe impositions, then Stokes will make his return to the national setup only after clearing those impositions.

“In respect of Ben’s situation, the CDC process will take place at the end of his criminal proceedings if there should be any. The ECB board’s decision will probably pre-empt anything that comes out of the CDC. From a board decision it is about disrepute and the reputation of the game. The CDC is purely about disrepute and cricket-related charges and it has to wait until after the criminal proceedings have happened,” he remarked.

“If the indications are accurate any likely situation could be six to 12 months away. After that the CDC process will take place and will take note of any sanctions that have already been served,” Harrison affirmed.

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