By: Shubham Ghosh
Ace England all-rounder Ben Stokes, who also leads his country’s Test team, is set to take the field for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 and the fans can’t wait to see him in the franchise’s yellow outfit.
Stokes was acquired by the team led by former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni for Rs 16.25 crore (£1.6 million) in the auction held for this year’s edition in Kochi in the southern state of Kerala last December. He has earlier played for Rajasthan Royals and now-defunct Rising Pune Supergiant in the T20 tournament.
Stokes will feature in the inaugural match of the tournament on March 31 when CSK, who have won the title four times, take on defending champions Gujarat Titans led by ace India all-rounder Hardik Pandya at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
Players of the 10 franchises of the tournament are now reaching their respective camps, including Stokes, who on Thursday (230 said he was set to join the rest of his CSK teammates.
“See you soon @chennaiIPL,” the 31-year-old cricketer said in an Instagram post.
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Several fans responded in the comments section of Stokes’ post.
“Stokesy in yellow,” said one fan with a few flame and heart emojis.
“Eagle is coming,” said another.
One fan said that Stokes may not be aware as to how many people in the country are waiting to see him play in India.
Stokes had earlier hinted that he might be unavailable for the IPL’s business end as England return to the Test arena for a match against Ireland before the Ashes which kicks off in June 16.
The IPL concludes on May 28.
Stokes has played the IPL between 2017 and 2021 in which he appeared in 43 games. He scored 920 runs at a strike rate of 134 plus and took 28 wickets at a strike rate of 24.39.
In T20 internationals, too, Stokes has played 43 matches for England, scoring 585 runs and claiming 26 scalps. He played a match-winning knock of 52 not out against Pakistan in the final of the T20 World Cup in Australia last year to help England lift the crown for the second time.
The all-rounder had a knee injury which left him visibly uncomfortable throughout the second Test match of England’s recent series in New Zealand last month. He could not bowl much in the match which the Three Lions dramatically lost by a run.
He said he was in touch with CSK coach Stephen Fleming and spoke to him over his injury, India’s Hindustan Times reported.