IPL 2020: Ben Stokes likely to miss first half of the tournament

The man for the big occasion, Stokes recently had single-handedly steered England to the victory in the second Test against West Indies.

Ben Stokes IPL
Ben Stokes IPL. (Photo Source: Twitter)

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Days before the commencement of much-awaited IPL 2020, Rajasthan Royals have been struck with a major blow. The Rajasthan franchise is likely to miss the services of their star all-rounder Ben Stokes during the first half of upcoming IPL season.

Stokes, a key part of England squad, is currently in New Zealand to be with his father Ged who is battling with brain cancer. Stokes had left for Christchurch in the middle of the Test series against Pakistan last month to be with his alining father. Regarded as the world’s best all-rounder at the moment, New Zealand-born Stokes was snapped up by Rajasthan Royals at a hefty price of INR 12.5 crore.

“As per quarantine rules in New Zealand, Ben has just completed his 14-day isolation period after reaching New Zealand. Now he will be meeting his father and obviously he would like to spend some quiet time with his family in this time of crisis,” a source privy to developments in the franchise said, as quoted by Sportstar.

Royals will wait for Ben Stokes to confirm his availability

“It is only logical that if he has just completed his quarantine, he would not be available for the first part of the IPL and that is completely understandable. The franchise will not even call Ben as this is not a priority at the moment. Let him spend quality family time and any discussions on his availability can happen only after that,” the source added.

After many delays, the thirteenth edition of the IPL is set to start in the UAE from September 19th, with the final being locked on November 10th. The BCCI also released the schedule of the tournament on 6th September, revealing the venues and timings of this year’s fixtures. The afternoon matches are set to begin at 3:30 PM IST while the evening games will commence on 7:30 PM IST and the tournament will be played in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi in three different legs.

It is understood that Royals will wait for Stokes to confirm his availability for the second phase of the cash-rich league. Once the cricketer confirms is availability, the franchise will take things forward. A major part of England’s 2019 World Cup-winning squad, Stokes has represented the national side in 67 Tests, 95 ODIs and 26 T20Is. He had also pulled off one of the most enthralling knocks in an Ashes encounter last year.

The man for the big occasion, Stokes recently had single-handedly steered England to the victory in the second Test against West Indies. Despite not being fully fit, Stokes smashed a hundred and fifty in each innings along with scalping three wickets.

“I didn’t sleep for a week and my head wasn’t really in it. Leaving was the right choice from a mental point of view,” Stokes had told the Weekend Herald on Saturday after reaching New Zealand.