England Test captain Ben Stokes will return to England soon from the upcoming IPL to prepare for the Test series against Ireland and the Ashes. Stokes was bought by Chennai Super Kings for a record Rs 16.25 crore in the mini-auction held in December.
The final of the IPL is to be played on 28 May. England’s team will play a Test match against Ireland from June 1 and after that, they have to play the Ashes series against Australia from June 16. Regarding playing in this series, Stokes said, yes I will definitely play. I will make sure I get enough time for both the series.”
How many England players do it like him remains to be seen. There are currently 8 Test players scheduled to play in the IPL, six of whom are on full-time contracts. Players like Joe Root, Mark Wood, Johnny Bairstow, Liam Livingston, Joffra Archer, and Sam Karan are included in this list. At the same time, Harry Brook was bought by Hyderabad with a big bid.
The ECB can set a date for the return of these players. Stokes said he would discuss what he needed to do to be ready for the Ashes, leaving options open to some players if they choose to skip the Ireland Test.
Stokes said, “I would probably talk to every player and ask them what they need to be ready for the Ashes because those five games are obviously the big games of the summer and you have to think about what the players are doing.” What if something happens in the Ireland match and we lose someone in the Ashes? These are some of the things where you have to consider the options that a player may want from that week. Obviously against Ireland, The Ashes series is bigger than that match.”