Ben Stokes: IPL 2023: Ben Stokes to return home after CSK’s final league game

NEW DELHI: Struggling with fitness issues, England Test captain Ben Stokes is set to return home after Chennai Super Kings’ final IPL league match to give himself enough time to prepare for next month’s Ashes.
The 31-year-old, who was bought by CSK for Rs 16.25 crore during the IPL auction in December 2022, participated in just the first two matches for CSK, scoring 7 and 8 and conceded 18 runs in his only over with the ball.

With the Ashes series between England and Australia beginning with the opening Test on June 16, Stokes “will return to the UK after their final group game against Delhi Capitals on Saturday afternoon”, according to a report in ESPNcricinfo.
As part of their preparation, England are also set to play a Test against Ireland at Lord’s on June 1 and Stokes, who has a long-running knee issue, had expressed his desire to “give myself enough time to get back and play that game” and “fulfil my role as fourth seamer” during the Ashes.

Following the April 3 game, Stokes didn’t play any match for CSK initially due to a toe injury.
On April 22, CSK chief coach Stephen Fleming had said that Stokes has “suffered an injury setback and will be out for a week.”

The star all-rounder was available for selection again last week but didn’t feature in the playing XI for CSK.
While CSK are sitting pretty at the second spot in the IPL standings, Fleming said after their loss to Kolkata Knight Riders on Sunday that bowling remains “a bit of a challenge” at the moment for Stokes and he is there as “batting cover”.
With just one more match to go in the league stages against Delhi Capitals on Saturday, CSK are not expected to “chop and change” their playing XI.

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