Rajasthan Royals all-rounder Ben Stokes, who missed the first two weeks of IPL due to family reasons, is on his way to UAE to join the club, the franchise confirmed on Saturday. Stokes, who was bought by 12.5 crore prior to IPL 2018, is expected to be available for the last 7 group games.
In what comes as news that’s music to the ears of Rajasthan Royals fans, the club’s talisman all-rounder Ben Stokes is all set to join the franchise in the upcoming days in his bid to partake in the second half of the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Stokes, who was purchased by the Royals for a staggering sum of 12.5 crore ahead of the 2018 auction, missed the first couple of weeks of the IPL in order to spend time with his father, who was recently diagnosed with brain cancer.
The 29-year-old, as a result, had been in Christchurch since the second week of August, but Royals, in a Tweet they posted earlier today, confirmed that their main man is on his way to UAE from Christchurch in order to participate in the second half of the tournament.
Upon his arrival in the UAE, Stokes will undergo multiple COVID tests, after which he will be put in a six-day quarantine. Once Stokes passes all COVID tests and completes his quarantine, the southpaw will be cleared to join the Rajasthan camp inside the team’s bio-bubble. As things stand, should Stokes’ quarantine start tomorrow (October 4), he might be available to feature in RR’s game versus the Sunrisers on October 11, but it looks more likely that the 29-year-old will play his first match of IPL 2020 versus Delhi Capitals on October 14.
The news of Stokes returning to the RR camp was also confirmed by the team’s skipper Smith, who, ahead of the RCB encounter, admitted at the toss that the southpaw’s return will be a big boost to the side.
“Ben (Stokes) is a quality player, adds to our squad once he's arrives,” Smith said ahead of RR’s clash versus RCB.