ECB clears way for Ben Stokes' participation in IPL

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ECB clears way for Ben Stokes' participation in IPL

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SportsCafe Desk


It seems like Ben Stokes will be participating in the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League as England and Wales Cricket Board has almost decided to grant him the NoC. However, he may not play for England before in 2018 if he is charged in connection with events outside a Bristol bar.

Stokes was the first foreign player to have gotten a record price of Rs 14.5 crore from Rising Pune Supergiant franchise and was also instrumental in the team reaching the final of the league. While his England career is in doubt now, after the permission of the board, he will put his name for the auction hoping for another big deal at the auction in Bengaluru on January 27 and 28.

Currently, the 26-year-old has been provisionally named in England's 16-member ODI squad for the Australia series, starting January 14. However, his national participation depends on the judgement that is to be decided by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), to whom his case was forwarded by the Avon & Somerset Police for charging advice.

Late last month, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) granted all-rounder Ben Stokes the No Objection Certificate to represent Canterbury as their overseas player in New Zealand's domestic tournament. Stokes is now looking for another NoC from the board to play in IPL in India.

"I imagine having given him an NoC (no-objection certificate) to play in New Zealand, it will be difficult for us to say on balance that we would not apply the same thinking to playing in other parts of the world," ECB Chief Executive Tom Harrison said on Saturday as quoted by ESPN.

"But the NoC is based on a particular tournament. If we want board backing for a decision such as this, and this has been hugely complicated and board backing for a decision of this magnitude might not be a bad idea, then the implications of it (the game's reputation) is something we have to work out."

"From a board position it is about disrepute and reputation of the game. That is what the board has to protect. The CDC process is about disrepute and cricket related charges which has to wait until after the criminal proceedings have happened. If the indications are accurate we have been told any likely situation could be 6-12 months away."

England team is in Australia for the Ashes where they already lost the series after failing to register a single victory in the first three Tests. The Joe Root-led team will take on a rampaging hosts in the fourth Test of the Ashes starts on December 26 at the MCG.   

"It's a shame this series hasn't gone our way but there's more to play for over the course of the winter. It's also important to remember that in every one of the three games England have been in a position where things could have worked out differently. We just haven't managed to turn the screw in those moments. But we've remained pretty competitive even in Australian conditions.

"We have a plan and we're making progress on that plan. We're in the middle of an Ashes series where England have been very competitive for large parts. What it has shown is that Test cricket is the ultimate form of the game, where those marginal periods of play can turn a game and we haven't been able to do it," Harrison observed.

"We are in a process of delivering cricket across all three formats. They are making huge strides in the white ball game. We are winning 70 per cent or so of white ball matches and in Tests we are finding it is very difficult for us to win overseas. We did win in South Africa but we have found it difficult in Dubai, India and Australia. We have to take a look at that.

"We have to be careful not to overreact half way through an Ashes series. We can all understand there's some frustration and we haven't been able to close those matches out. Now is not the moment to be overreacting. There will be no review. This is not the moment for knee-jerk reactions or rash decisions about what we do from here in respect of performance."

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