England Test skipper Ben Stokes is set to leave the Indian Premier League early to lead his side in the one-off Ireland Test and prepare for the Ashes series.
The IPL final is set to be played on May 28, four days before the one-off Ireland Test at Lord’s on June 1, while the marquee Ashes series against Australia will begin on June 16.
Stokes, who missed the last two editions of the cash-rich league due to various reasons, was bought by four-time champions Chennai Super Kings for a whopping Rs 16.25 crore in the IPL auction in December.
Stokes said he will be back in England to prepare for the busy English summer even if CSK reach the final stages of the IPL.
When asked if he’ll play the Ireland Test, Stokes said “Yes, I’ll play.” “I’ll be making sure that I give myself enough time to get back and play that (Ireland) game,” Stokes said ahead of England’s second Test with New Zealand.
The all-rounder said he will consult the other England Test players competing in the IPL, about what they want to do to prepare for the Ashes.
The likes of Joe Root, Mark Wood, Jonny Bairstow, Liam Livingstone, Jofra Archer, Sam Curran and Harry Brook are set to play the IPL.
“I’ll probably get round the individuals and ask them what they want to be ready for for the Ashes, because those five games are obviously the big ones of the summer, and you’ve got to think about what lads want.
“But what if something was to happen in that game (Ireland) and we lose someone for the Ashes ... It’s just one of those where you have to weigh up the options of what the individual person actually wants out of that week, versus do we really need to play that one.
“Because, obviously, I’m right in saying that series is bigger than that game against Ireland,” he added.
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