England Test captain Ben Stokes is likely to be released by MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings. The star English player, who played just two games in IPL 2023, will reportedly seek a release due to the hectic schedule next year, which also includes a T20 World Cup in June.
Stokes will be going under the knife for his knee injury after the ODI World Cup 2023 and looks to make a return in the Test series against India starting in January 2024. “Considering that the T20 World Cup is slated in the West Indies and the United States from June 4 to June 30, the hectic itinerary could mean that Stokes will find it very difficult to stay in India for the better part of the first five months of the year,” an IPL source said as quoted by PTI.
Meanwhile, a Cricbuzz report adds that Stokes has indicated to focus on IPL only after the T20 World Cup in June. The CSK management would not want to block the money, an official said. “We would not consider releasing Stokes if he could be available because he is a big match player, and we hold him in the highest regard. But if he can’t make it to the season, we will have blocked Rs 16 crore with which we could acquire some quality players,” a CSK official said as quoted by Cricbuzz.
Moreover, New Zealand bowler Lockie Ferguson is also likely to be released from the Kolkata Knight Riders due to his history of frequent injuries. He was picked by Gujarat Titans in IPL 2022 for 10 crore and was later traded to KKR in 2023.
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