IPL 2023 auction: Ben Stokes to play for CSK after 16.25 crores bid
Returning to the bidding war after two years of exile from the Indian Premier League (IPL) was premier England allrounder Ben Stokes. The experienced cricketer registered his name for the IPL 2023 mini-auction held on Friday (December 23) in Kochi in set 2 with a base sum of INR 2 crores.
Stokes is set for his comeback to the IPL after a two-year absence. The player had to leave the IPL 2021 with Rajasthan Royals (RR) after a knee injury right at the start of the season, before workload concerns and mental health challenges meant he ruled himself out of the 2022 edition earlier in the year.
The absence from the IPL, and a sustained dip in his T20I performances threatened to downsize his stocks. But Ben Stokes gave a timely reminder of his quality and prowess with a critical half-century in the final of the T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia at the MCG against Pakistan. The knock helped take England home to the coveted trophy and reinforced the man's skill and abilities under pressure, leaving him well-placed to reenter the bidding war for IPL 2023.
He has had an interesting tryst with the IPL over the years. In 2017, Stokes was picked by the now-disbanded Rising Pune Supergiants at a sum of INR 14.5 crores, making him the then highest bid overseas name in the IPL. Only a year later, with RPSG leaving the stage, the Royals brought the big-name allrounder at a sum of INR 12.50 crores and kept him in their arsenal for another four years.
IPL 2023: Ben Stokes to play for CSK
There have been question marks raised on the player's repayability to those amounts on the field from time to time but Stokes does enjoy a reasonably successful IPL record to his name with 43 matches under his belt.
The left-hand batter and a capable fifth-bowler has scored 920 runs at a strike rate of 134.50, apart from taking 28 wickets at an economy rate of 8.55.
During his last full-fledged IPL season back in 2020, Stokes blasted 285 runs in eight innings at a SR of 142.50, averaging 40.71, his tally featuring a magnificent 107 versus defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) in Abu Dhabi.
It's no wonder that Chennai Super Kings (CSK) were more more than willing to have Ben Stokes part of their squad for the IPL 2023 after making a winning bid of INR 16.25 crores on the English allrounder.