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Ben Stokes could skip this year's IPL: report

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New Delhi, Jan 17 (IANS) England all-rounder Ben Stokes could skip this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) and follow skipper Joe Root in helping his side recover from the Ashes debacle.

As per a Daily Mail report, Root opted not to put his name forward for next month’s ‘mega auction’, saying after England’s Ashes defeat that ‘there’s a lot that we need to do for this team, which deserves all of my energy’.

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Root has never played in the world’s richest T20 league and he was unlikely to have been picked up by an IPL franchise in any case. But Stokes has played 43 matches in the tournament, first for Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) in 2017 and since then for Rajasthan Royals.

“It is understood Stokes — Root’s vice-captain — may decide to throw his energies into helping England’s Test team recover from the trauma of their 4-0 Ashes defeat, having himself spent time last year out of the game to look after his mental wellbeing and injured finger,” it said.

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IPL 2022, likely to take place in April, has been expanded to 74 matches because of the inclusion of new franchises from Ahmedabad and Lucknow.

“Since England’s 3-Test series in the Caribbean is due to end on March 28, his participation in the IPL would mean virtual non-stop cricket from late February through to the spring of 2023, with fixtures cancelled during the pandemic squeezed into a busy winter later this year.”

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–IANS

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