LONDON (AP) — Chennai Super Kings shelled out more than 17 crore on Ben Stokes for the 16th season of the Indian Premier League. However, he didn’t play much due to fitness issues. Despite recovering in the later part of the tournament, Stokes was benched due to team combination.
He left the sub-continent country before the conclusion of the Indian Premier League 2023. Although Chennai won the 5th title, they didn’t had a happy outing with England’s Test captain.
Dhoni’s team would have been more clinical had Stokes was fully fit. His absence from matches proved beneficial for England as he is ready to bat and bowl in the upcoming international matches, including the all important Ashes 2023.
England captain Ben Stokes eased concerns about his ability to bowl in the upcoming Ashes series because of long-standing knee issues and said Wednesday he is planning to play every test this summer.
“Unless I can’t walk, I’ll be on the field,” Stokes said with a smile the day before England begins its one-off test against Ireland, which serves as a warmup for the five-match Ashes series against Australia.
After having knee issues during the tour of New Zealand in February, Stokes played only twice for Chennai Super Kings in the recently-finished Indian Premier League, sending down just one over for 18 runs.
However, the 31-year-old Stokes said his knee is much better than it was in New Zealand and he will take his place in the England team as an allrounder against Ireland at Lord’s and then Australia.
“What I have done is I have got myself in a position where I’m not able to look back and regret or say I’ve not given myself the best opportunity to play a full role with the ball this summer,” Stokes said.
“I’ve worked incredibly hard with the medical team in Chennai, liaising with the ECB guys. I have got myself into a place where I feel like back at 2019, 2020 space in terms of my own body and fitness and everything like that.”
Pushed about the exact nature of his knee problem, Stokes said: “We know what it is and it’s about managing it.”
“It’s managing it with workload,” he added, “and working it with the med team just to get through it.”
England has already named its team for the Ireland test, with seamer Josh Tongue making his debut while fast bowlers James Anderson and Ollie Robinson are rested.
Ireland has lost all six of its matches since gaining test status in 2017. That includes a defeat against England at Lord’s in 2019.
Captain Andrew Balbirnie has said beating England would be “the biggest moment in Irish cricket history.”