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Rising Pune Supergiants, Gujarat Lions keen on roping in Ben Stokes

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

The newcomers of the Indian Premier League (IPL), the Rising Pune Supergiants and Gujarat Lions, are keen on putting up an improved show in the upcoming edition of the tournament. Last year, the MS Dhoni-led RPS had managed to avoid the wooden spoon and had finished at the penultimate position in the league standing.

The Gujarat Lions had a much-improved show and had made it to the playoffs. While their future in the tournament remains uncertain, they are at least assured of one more season in the popular league. Both franchises are therefore keen on making the most of the opportunity.

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As per the quotes in Scooptimes, the management of both the teams have shown interest in roping in English all-rounder Ben Stokes. Stokes can be a value addition to any team that he plays for. Needless to say, his brash and brutal batting can be a threatening prospect for the opposition. While both teams said they would like to have him, they also added a clause. They were very clear about the availability of the English players. Both franchises believe that the English players can fit the bill only if they are available for the entire tournament.

“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,” quoted Gujarat Lions CEO Harvinder Singh.

Also read- India slip to number 4 in ICC ODI rankings

At the same time, the Rising Pune Supergiants CEO Raghu Iyer has also reflected, “If English players (and Ben Stokes is certainly one) make themselves available for the entirety of the tournament, they are bound to create a flutter or two.”

This is the first time that many English players will get into the auction pool of the IPL. Ben Stokes, Alex Hales, Jason Roy, Joe Root, Chris Jordan and Tymal Mills have all expressed their desire to feature in the coveted league.

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