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IPL teams wait on Ben Stokes' future

England v Bangladesh - ICC Champions Trophy
Tanya Rudra
Modified 16 Jan 2018, 11:21 IST

What's the story?

Controversial England all-rounder Ben Stokes, who is facing a maximum jail time of three years after being charged with affray in the Bristol street brawl case, could end up losing millions at the Indian Premier League auction this year.

All the eight franchise owners are seeking clarity about Stokes' availability ahead of the IPL auction which will take place in Bengaluru on January 27-28.

"We need a level of certainty in case he is not available after he is bought at the auction," an owner of a franchise told ESPNcricinfo.

"We need to know the degree of control IPL will have on his availability.

"We will seek to understand what happens now: what is the process? What will be happen if there is one eventuality or another?", he added.

In case you didn't know...

Ben Stokes made a bumper IPL debut last year as he was roped in by the finalists Rising Pune Supergiant for a record fee of INR 14.5 crore.

Despite his absence from top-level cricket in the past three months, IPL 2017's Most Valuable Player's influence has not taken a hit as Virender Sehwag believes that Stokes will go for a higher price than Virat Kohli in the upcoming auction.

Stokes starred with both bat and ball in the 10th edition of the T20 tournament. He took 12 wickets and scored a stunning century against Gujarat Lions.


The heart of the matter

In September 2017, hours after England's win against the West Indies in their 3rd ODI at Bristol, Stokes was allegedly involved in a brawl outside a nightclub.

A video surfaced of England’s vice-captain punching two people and the 26-year-old was banned indefinitely by the England and Wales Cricket Board.

What’s next?

Stokes is among 282 overseas players who will be part of this year's auction.

The BCCI confirmed that the player auction for IPL 11 is set for January 27-28 in Bangalore with eight teams bidding for 1,122 players.

England Test captain Joe Root, who opted to play in the T20I tri-series against Australia and New Zealand, is a new IPL entrant this year.

Author’s take

As there is no clarity about Ben Stokes' availability for this year's IPL, it looks highly unlikely for any franchise to bid for the star player despite his capabilities on the field.

Although he was provided with a no-objection certificate to play in the tournament by the ECB, the police charge might jeopardise Stokes' participation in IPL 2018.

Published 16 Jan 2018, 11:15 IST
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