Stokes to fly back to England after KKR game

The all-rounder, who was bought by the Rajasthan franchise for a whopping Rs 12.5 crore, will join his national team for the Test series against Pakistan.

Ben Stokes (right) and Jos Buttler celebrate Rajasthan Royals’ win over Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Sunday.   -  PTI

 

The costliest buy of this season’s Indian Premier League, Ben Stokes, will play his last match for Rajasthan Royals after the side’s outing against the Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens on Tuesday.

The England all-rounder, who was bought by the Rajasthan franchise for a whopping Rs 12.5 crore, will be joining the England camp for the Test series against Pakistan. The England and Wales Cricket Board, it is believed, has asked its Test specialists to return to England by May 17.

“Had a great time with Rajasthan Royals. What a bunch of amazing people this franchise has, individually very disappointing but gave everything I had to give, just wasn’t meant to be. Hope we can get across the line tonight and make it through to the playoffs. Would love to see these boys lifting the trophy at the end of the season as all the hard work put in by everyone deserves it,” said Stokes, who had a disappointing outing with the Royals so far. He will fly out from Kolkata after the game.

Despite being the Most Valuable Player, Stokes could only score 185 runs and scalped just five wickets. The Englishman, however, has a chance this evening, to end his campaign on a high.

BUTTLER TO FLY BACK TOO?

The ECB, on Tuesday, named Jos Buttler, another star recruit for Rajasthan Royals, in the Test squad for the series against Pakistan. At the Lord's, England selectors Mick Newell and Angus Fraser, along with head coach, Trevor Bayliss, announced the squad. With the camps starting, chances are high that Buttler too might have to leave the IPL mid-way, leaving the franchise in a spot. However, well-placed sources confirmed to this publication that no decision has been taken yet.