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“Case Of Looking At Schedules”: Ben Stokes On Him Playing In IPL In Future


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England Test captain Ben Stokes is one of the most sought-after players in world cricket. Everyone knows what he can do on his day, and that is the main reason, he has attracted high bids whenever he has put himself in the IPL auction. However, Stokes decided to give the IPL 2022 a miss to look after his workload and give his best to England. Last year, the left-handed batter had played just one game in the tournament for Rajasthan Royals before being injured, and then later in 2021, he took a break from cricket to look after his mental well-being.

Stokes has now admitted that his decision to play in overseas leagues would be based on the international cricket schedule as Test cricket is at the forefront of his mind.

“As England cricketers, our schedule is jam-packed and we seem to be playing all year around. I think our summer is everybody’s winter and when our winter comes along, it is everybody’s summer. So, people are either coming here to play or we are touring to play cricket. It is a case of looking at schedules, looking ahead at what we have got coming up. But as I have made it very clear, that Test cricket is at the forefront of my mind and all of my time decisions will be based around Test matches. Now being the captain, I have the responsibility to do that,” said Stokes during a select media call organised by Prime Video, who will be streaming Stokes’ documentary ‘Ben Stokes: Phoenix From The Ashes’ from August 26.

“So yeah, my commitment outside of any international cricket will be based around our schedule and what international cricket we have got coming up but you know, I have played in the IPL for four years. I have loved it every time I have been there. It is an amazing competition to be part of, not just for the spectacle of the IPL but the opportunity to work along with the best players in the world, and some of the best coaches. It is just an amazing experience to be involved in but as I said, there is a schedule to be looked at around the window of the IPL,” he added.

Stokes had taken the charge of England Test team earlier this year. Along with head coach Brendon McCullum, England have redefined how they want to play their Test cricket, and the word ‘Bazball’ has now become the talk of the town. However, both Stokes and McCullum have said that they are not very fond of the term. Under Stokes and McCullum, England have won four Tests, and lost one.

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“It has been fantastic. One of the main jobs for me and Baz is to now ensure that Bazball is not said as what our cricket is. Whoever came up with that term, just to let him know, me and Brendon don’t like it. But it has been an incredible start for me and Baz, we won our first four games, but the most pleasing thing for me is how we have gone about our cricket and the mindset. We could have lost all four those of games, but if we had lost all four games, we still would be thinking very positively about the way we played because we know people turned up to watch us play,” said Stokes.

“People who came to see us play would have enjoyed every day of those matches and that is something I have tried to bring in, to take away the pressures of international cricket. When you think about pressure, you sort of forget that at the end of the day, we are sort of in the entertainment business. People are coming to watch us play because we are at the top level of our sport. And sport is entertainment. Go out there and entertain people for five days for every session that you have in the day. If we play good cricket, we are giving ourselves a good chance of winning, if we play poorly, we are going to lose. It is pretty simple but just go out there, enjoy, and have fun,” he signed off.

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