RR Still Unsure About Stokes’ Availability in IPL: Coach McDonald

Questions on availability of Ben Stokes still remain, as Rajasthan Royals play the waiting game.

2 min read
Ben Stokes left for New Zealand midway during the Pakistan test series, citing personal reasons

The franchise Rajasthan Royals (RR) is still ‘not sure’ about Ben Stokes’ availability for the upcoming season of Indian Premier League (IPL), said RR head coach, Andrew McDonald.

The English all-rounder is currently in New Zealand with his father, who was diagnosed with brain cancer, the reason why he left the England squad midway during the test series against Pakistan.

In an interview with ESPNcricinfo, McDonald said, “ It's a difficult scenario, so we're giving him as much time as he needs, and connecting with him as best we can. So yeah, we're not sure where Stokesy's at right now, but once it has played out, then we can make our decisions from there.”

If indeed he isn’t available for the major part of the tournament, it will be a huge blow to the balance of the Royals side. Ben Stokes with his experience in all the three departments, gives an edge to the RR line-up and hence, the freedom to the management to play an extra bowler or a batsman.

However, all is not gloomy as it seems. As yesterday, Ben Stokes put a picture on his Instagram story, with his bats, giving signs of him being back at some sort of training. The picture sent a cheer across Stokes’ and Royals’ fans, who still want to see one of the best all-rounders in the world to feature in the IPL.

RR Still Unsure About Stokes’ Availability in IPL: Coach McDonald
(Photo Courtesy: Ben Stokes Instagram)

Ben Stokes’ father, Ged, a former New Zealand Rugby National, was admitted to the hospital two days before Christmas last year, after experiencing bleeding in the brain. He was in Johannesburg at that time, with his son. Subsequently, he was diagnosed with cancer when he returned to his home in Christchurch.

During his quarantine period after coming to New Zealand, Stokes told the New Zealand Herald, "I didn't sleep for a week and my head wasn't really in it. "Leaving [the team] was the right choice from a mental point of view."

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