Will Ben Stokes be available for IPL?

Rajasthan Royals purchased the England cricketer for ₹12.5 crore.

Ben Stokes faces charges over his involvement in a nightclub brawl.   -  AP

As Rajasthan Royals snapped up England all-rounder Ben Stokes for a whopping ₹ 12.5 crore, the cricketing fraternity appeared divided over the franchise’s decision.

The franchise, which returned to the Indian Premier League (IPL) fold after a two-year suspension, went all out to get the England cricketer, a star performer for Rising Pune Supergiant last season. But will he be available for the season?

The answer could come on February 13, when a court hearing is scheduled.

Read: Ben Stokes goes to Rajasthan for ₹ 12.5 crore

The all-rounder, who is facing an array over his involvement in a nightclub brawl, will have to appear in the court to know his fate. However, his legal team has assured the IPL governing council that he will be available for the IPL, which will be held from April 7 to May 27.

‘A very important part’

Even the Rajasthan Royals officials sounded confident over his availability. “As far as we are concerned, the ECB has cleared him for auction; he's legally available, therefore we've bid for him. He's a very important part. We are like a start-up company; we're restarting and pressing the reset button,” Rajasthan Royals chairman and CEO, Ranjit Barthakur, said on Saturday.

 

The England cricketer also took to Twitter to show his excitement. “Buzzing to be representing @rajasthanroyals in this years IPl (IPL) and great to be playing alongside @josbuttler,” he wrote on the social media.

However, Sportstar has learnt that in case Stokes is not available for the auction, the Royals will have the right to find a replacement. However, a final decision would only be taken depending on the situation.

As of now, both Stokes and Royals would be hoping to get off to a good start in the cash-rich league.

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