Ben Stokes should be playing in the IPL, says Kevin Pietersen

Ahead of the play-offs, the Rising Pune Supergiant all-rounder has been asked to return by the England and Wales Cricket Board for a training camp in Spain.

Kevin Pietersen... “The last week of IPL is a huge occasion.”   -  Getty Images

Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen has blasted the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for calling back all-rounder Ben Stokes from the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL).

Stokes and wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler were both allowed to miss England’s three-match ODI series against Ireland but have been recalled by the ECB to join a training camp in Spain. This means Stokes and Buttler will miss the play-off match between Mumbai Indians and the Rising Pune Supergiant as well as the tournament final.

“I think it’s pathetic. An absolute shambles,” quoted Pietersen as saying of ECB’s decision. “Stokes should be playing in the semi-final, and the final. The last week of the IPL is a huge occasion.”

The two have been recalled for a training camp in Spain ahead of the ODI series against South Africa and the subsequent Champions Trophy. “What are they going to Spain for? To field a couple of balls?” said Pietersen. “He should be playing in the IPL. Just speak to him, speak to Jos Buttler, they’ll talk about how much it has helped their development being out there,” he added. Stokes grabbed eyeballs in the 2017 IPL auction held on February 20 in Bengaluru as he was snapped up for a record sum of Rs 14.5 crores by Rising Pune Supergiant.

The 25-year-old did justice to his selection as he starred with both ball and bat, scoring over 300 runs - including a sensational century - and taking 12 wickets.

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