As the Chennai Super Kings players arrive in the city for pre-IPL training, Kasi Viswanathan, the team’s CEO, has claimed that Ben Stokes will be ready for the entire season.
CSK showed a lot of faith in Stokes by paying Rs. 16.25 crores for him in the latest mini-auction, but there are concerns that England’s test captain may not be able to play the entire season, March 31-May 28, because He’ll have to get back to work before the single test against Ireland at Lords this summer.
That’s how we interpret it (that Stokes will play the full season). Before the auction, the BCCI guaranteed us that the English players will be available for the entire IPL, Viswanathan told Cricbuzz. There has been no information obtained that contradicts the BCCI communication.
Stokes has declared that he will be ready and available to play the test against Ireland commencing June 1, but if CSK advance in the IPL, a compromise will be required.
England’s test coach, Brendon McCullum, feels Stokes’ involvement in the IPL will not jeopardise his preparation for the Ashes. The Chennai infrastructure is fantastic in terms of looking after its players, and they have a very good medical team, he was cited by ESPNCricinfo as saying. I don’t have any reservations. And I have a feeling the Ashes is the story the skipper has been waiting to write, so he’ll be gracious.
Meanwhile, with New Zealand pacer Kyle Jamieson sidelined due to injury, CSK will review their fast bowling alternatives ahead of the new season. Viswanathan added that his replacement will be decided soon.
Except for two key players, Shardul Thakur and Ruturaj Gaikwad, who are still at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru, the majority of the team has gathered in Chennai for a preparatory camp as CSK look to correct course after finishing joint-last in the competition’s points table last year.