Gujarat Lions eye Ben Stokes in the upcoming IPL auction

Gujarat Lions eye Ben Stokes in the upcoming IPL auction

Ben Stokes
England’s Ben Stokes. (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)

25-year-old Ben Stokes is arguably the best seam bowling allrounder’s in the world at the moment. He was one of the few bright spots on England’s horrid tour to India where they lost the series’ in all 3 formats. Ever since the 2013-14 Ashes, he has been a mainstay in the English Test side and has been a useful cricketer in all three formats.

Stokes’ stock in India soared during last year’s World T20 where he was a vital cog in the English team’s redemption and played a crucial part in their journey to the final. Earlier the 25-year-old had expressed his desire to play the IPL saying, “This year’s IPL is a chance, not just for myself, but a few of the other English guys to go ahead and experience what it’s like. Get a different side of T20 cricket, rather than just play in England,”

After being termed a hot favorite of the Royal Challengers Bangalore reports suggest that Gujarat Lions team is eager to pick him in the auction as well. After the injured Dale Steyn was released, a vacancy for a foreign player has opened up in the lineup and adding Ben Stokes to the array of skillful allrounders like Dwayne Bravo, James Faulkner, and Ravindra Jadeja will transform GL into a more formidable unit.

Stokes may well be the ingredient that bolsters GL and gives them the extra steam that eluded them last year in a 3rd place finish. However, the franchise made clear that they will only sign him if he agrees to play the full tournament. England’s schedule clashes with the IPL fixtures as Ireland will be on a tour for the two-match ODI series from May 5.

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The CEO of Gujarat Lions Harvinder Singh was quoted by the media as saying, “If I told you that we are not looking at him as an option, then that certainly will not be the case. He is definitely an option. But I will not tell you whether he fits into our scheme of things or not. Ideally, when you take in a player, you bring him in with the understanding that he will be available for all games.”