What’s the story?
One of the biggest talking points of the 2017 Indian Premier League auctions was the purchase of England all-rounder Ben Stokes for a whopping sum of Rs. 14.5 crores by the Steve Smith-led Rising Pune Supergiants.
The 25-year-old all-rounder was touted to be everybody’s favorite ahead of the auctions and it turned to be a war between several teams on Monday before the Pune franchise roped him into their squad.
Following his selection into the side, the all-rounder conducted a Facebook Live session and to one of the queries put forth by his fans about the duration for which he would play in the eight-team competition, Stokes said he was hopeful of lasting the whole distance, if possible.
“I might miss only the last group game. I will play most of it. I will probably play the full season. I am looking forward to playing plenty of T20 cricket, something we don’t get to do as England players,” he said.
Another query to the all-rounder was on playing in the same team as MS Dhoni and Steve Smith and he praised the former and called the latter, ‘an amazing player.’
“I am looking forward to playing with MS Dhoni and Steven Smith. It will be great to share the dressing room with both these players. Dhoni is one of the greatest in the world while I have had some heated moments with Smith. However, he is an amazing player,” Stokes said.
In case you didn’t know...
Prior to the start of the auction, Stokes was touted as the biggest buy among the 351 players in the list. The all-rounder, who was recently in India with the England squad for a three-match ODI and T20I series, proved to be a key player for his side, even though they lost both the series and it came as no surprise to see him in big demand when his name was revealed during the auction on Monday.
Stokes was one of the four England players(Jason Roy, Tymal Mills, and Chris Woakes being the other three), to fetch buyers at the auction.
Here’s a video of the kind of impact Stokes can make with the bat:
The all-rounder’s admission that he could be available to play for the Rising Pune Supergiants for the entire season may not be true since, in the opening week of May, the England cricket team may need his services as they take on South Africa in a limited-overs series at home.
While there is no doubting that should Pune get to the business end of the competition, they will require Stokes, however, national duty will surely come first for the Durham lad, who has improved by leaps and bounds in the past two years.