According to PTI reports, all-rounder Ben Stokes is likely to miss a massive chunk of the competition from the first week for the Rajasthan Royals. The reports also added that the franchise might not call up the English cricketer even in case of urgency in the playing XI early in the season.
Just after the win over Pakistan in the first Test, Ben Stokes was off to New Zealand for ‘undisclosed’ personal reasons. However, the all-rounder later confirmed after touching down in New Zealand, that he is there to look after his father, Ged Stokes who was diagnosed with brain cancer. Since then, the all-rounder has missed all the matches for the Three Lions, with no date on his return.
While it hasn’t caused concern for the national team, it certainly would have had an effect on Rajasthan Royals’ planning for this season. The Royals have banked on their all-rounder last year and was most certainly hoping to bank on him this season as well. However, as PTI reports have confirmed, the all-rounder might very well miss from the first half of the tournament for the Royals.
“As per quarantine rules in New Zealand, Ben has just completed his 14-day isolation period after reaching New Zealand. Now he will be meeting his father and obviously he would like to spend some quiet time with his family in this time of crisis,” a source privy to developments in the franchise told PTI on conditions of anonymity, reported Hindustan Times.
While the IPL is slated to start on September 19, the English all-rounder is still in New Zealand, with his dad. Even if the all-rounder does return immediately to the Middle East for the Royals camp, he would have to undergo a mandatory quarantine period before being available for selection.
“It is only logical that if he has just completed his quarantine, he would not be available for the first part of the IPL and that is completely understandable. The franchise will not even call Ben as this is not priority at the moment. Let him spend quality family time and any discussions on his availability can happen only after that,” the source added.