England Test captain Ben Stokes is not jeopardising his team’s Ashes preparations one bit by playing for Chennai Super Kings in the cash-rich IPL where he would be playing without pressures of captaincy.
Stokes’ left knee requires constant management but he will have to turn up for CSK in this year’s IPL to fulfill his whopping Rs 16.25 crore (USD 2 million) contract.
The IPL will be held from March 31 to May 28, while England’s first Test of the summer against Ireland at Lord’s begins on June 1. “I don’t think he’s jeopardising it. The Chennai set-up is excellent in looking after their players and they’ve a very good medical team and he will be well looked after,” McCullum was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
“The skipper has a strong mind and he knows how to get right for the big moments. His life is that, right? So I don’t have any concerns.” Stokes was only able to bowl two overs in the Test against New Zealand and he also struggled to bat with freedom as England lost the match by just one run.
“In fact, I look forward to watching him play in it and see, without captaincy as well, the opportunity to play cricket without worrying about everybody else, knowing when he comes back into the fold and leads us into the Ashes campaign he’ll have the bit between his teeth and I think we’ll be alright.
“He sees the big picture in everything, so I’ve no concerns that the skipper will be totally looked after. And I also believe that the Ashes is the script that the skipper is waiting to write, so he’ll be sweet.”