Monty Panesar has expressed his concerns if Ben Stokes, who is attending to his ailing father, will be turning up for Rajasthan Royals in this edition of Indian Premier League. However, he added that if Stokes manages to return, it would be a massive boost for the Steve Smith-led franchise.
After playing the first Test against Pakistan in Manchester from August 5-9, Ben Stokes left the England bubble to travel New Zealand to attend his ailing father who was undergoing treatment for cancer. It came as a huge blow for the English side but they were extremely supportive of the all-rounder who didn’t partake in the subsequent Test series, T20Is against Pakistan as well as a three-match ODI and T20I series against Australia henceforth.
Rajasthan Royals, who were banking on him to deliver in the Indian Premier League, are yet to confirm if the all-rounder will join them in the Indian Premier League anytime soon but Panesar certainly doesn’t believe so.
"With Ben Stokes, the situation is that his father is not in a good space. For that reason, he will probably be in New Zealand and I doubt he will be coming to the IPL," Panesar told Timesofindia.com.
However, the former English spinner is optimistic that his influence on the side will be massive if he joins the squad. Currently, RR are without the services of Jos Buttler, who had to undergo a six-day Quarantine as he came with his family in a separate flight.
"He is a huge influence player, one of the key players with all-round abilities, dubbed the 'Superman of cricket'. I think his presence in the IPL will be massive. The team that looks the most dangerous (and can) win from different situations, I would probably say it's the Rajasthan Royals," said Panesar.