‘I cannot take three weeks off’ – Ben Stokes keeping himself in shape to be ready if IPL 2020 happens

Star all-rounder Ben Stokes, who is contracted to Rajasthan Royals, is supposed to participate in the Indian Premier League 2020.

Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes. (Photo Source: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Due to the outbreak of coronavirus, a lot of cricket matches have been cancelled all across the globe. England team which was touring Sri Lanka at the moment of the outbreak of COVID-19 had to be called back in the middle of the tour. The team had played two practice matches before they were called back by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB). ECB has suspended any professional cricket until the end of May.

Star all-rounder Ben Stokes, who is contracted to Rajasthan Royals, is supposed to participate in the Indian Premier League 2020. However, with India going into lockdown for 21 days, it is unlikely that the tournament, which was originally going to start on March 29, will be held. Due to the restrictions imposed by the government, the start was shifted to April 15th, it is unlikely that IPL could be even started at the end of April.


‘I don’t want to be behind’: Ben Stokes

Ben Stokes believes that at the moment IPL is the only tournament to look forward to. He had stated he has to keep thinking that it will happen even though in his mind he knows the IPL might get cancelled.

“At the moment my next competitive cricket is going to be in the IPL. That hasn’t changed yet so I have to think I will be playing on April 20. I have to get my head around that I am playing even though in the back of my mind I know I am probably not”, Stokes said to BBC in an interview.

English all-rounder further talked about how it’s important for him to keep himself mentally and physically ready for the IPL if it happens. He stated that it’s difficult to get ready suddenly after three weeks.

“I have to build up and get myself physically in a position that if it does happen I am good to go. I cannot take three weeks off and expect the body to be ready for April 20 because it doesn’t work like that. It might happen and if it does I don’t want to be behind. There will be a lot of advice given to us and if it was an option to go we will have to take the sensible one,” said Stokes as quoted by NDTV Sports.

Speaking about the tour cancellation in Sri Lanka when he conveyed how his team was shocked when the decision came by. The all-rounder then talks about how this is the necessary step as health should be considered ahead of cricket.

“Everyone was shell-shocked for half an hour in the changing room. It was such a weird feeling because we had been there for 10-12 days. We were building up to the first Test and then we were going home,” Stokes said. “But when you put everything together in terms of where the world was with the coronavirus, and what was being said on tour, it was the wrong place to be at that time and everyone’s health is more important than anything else in the world,” he added.