Chennai Super Kings likely to release Ben Stokes ahead of IPL Auction

With the five-match India-England Test series and the T20 World Cup on either side of the IPL, it will be very difficult for Stokes to stay in India for almost half of 2024.

Ben Stokes has played only two matches for Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2023. Sportzpics

Ben Stokes is likely to seek a release from Indian Premier League (IPL) champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) keeping in mind the hectic English red ball schedule ahead of him.

Stokes, who came out of ODI retirement to take part in the ICC World Cup, is set to undergo surgery to deal with a nagging knee problem and will hope to regain fitness in time to lead England in their five-Test series in against India in early 2024.

CSK, who won their fifth title this year after beating Gujarat Titans in the final, are reluctant to part with Stokes as the England Test captain made just two appearances last season and is unlikely to bowl anytime soon early. ​​​​The Super Kings acquired Stokes for a whopping Rs 16.25 crore in the previous player auction.

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England will play five Tests in India with the final match scheduled to take place from March 7 to 11. Next year’s IPL is likely to take place from the last week of March to the end of May.

“Given that the T20 World Cup is being held in the West Indies and the United States from June 4 to June 30, the busy schedule could mean that it will be very difficult for Stokes to stay in India for better part of the first five months of the year. year,” an IPL source privy to matters told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

Given the number of hectic events, Stokes is unlikely to play a full IPL anyway.

The IPL 2024 auction is scheduled for December 19 in Dubai and the ten teams will have to submit their retained and released lists of players by November 26.

In the event that Stokes gets the release, CSK will have Rs 16.25 crores free for the auction and could go big for Rachin Ravindra, a spin bowler, or pace bowler Azmatullah Omarzai of Afghanistan.

KKR are likely to release Lockie Ferguson

New Zealand pacer Lockie Ferguson is likely to be dropped by Kolkata Knight Riders, given his history of frequent failures, according to Cricbuzz.

Ferguson was bought by Gujarat Titans in 2022 for Rs 10 crore but was later traded to KKR this year.

With inputs from PTI

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