CSK set to part with star all-rounder, KKR to release talisman speedster
Chennai Super Kings are poised to release their star England all-rounder, a decision driven by concerns about his likely unavailability for IPL 2024. Despite acquiring the England all-rounder for Rs 16.25 crore in the last mini-auction in Kochi, he featured in only two games during the season.
Ben Stokes is slated to undergo surgery on his left knee, with a recovery period of approximately two months. However, the CSK management re unwilling to risk his availability for the league scheduled for March-May 2024 and has made the reluctant decision to release him.
Reports indicate that discussions have taken place between CSK and Stokes, who expressed his intention to focus on the IPL after the World Cup. Despite the conclusion of England's World Cup campaign, direct contact between CSK officials and Stokes has yet to occur. Talks with his manager have also failed to provide clarity on his availability for the upcoming season.
According to Cricbuzz CSK official stated, "We would not consider releasing Stokes if he could be available because he is a big match player, and we hold him in the highest regard. But if he can't make it to the season, we will have blocked Rs 16 crore with which we could acquire some quality players."
KKR contemplating the release of pacer due to injury history
In another potential move, there are considerations for the release of Lockie Ferguson. Initially acquired by Gujarat Titans for Rs 10 crore in 2022, he was later traded to Kolkata Knight Riders in 2023. Due to his injury history, the KKR management is reportedly contemplating his release.
Speculation has also emerged about a trade between Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore involving Shardul Thakur and Harshal Patel. However, it has been confirmed that no such trade will materialize.
Intense discussions over high-profile trades among the franchises have been reported, with information expected to be available by November 19, the deadline for completing trades. Franchises must announce their lists of retentions and releases by November 26, with the auction scheduled to take place at the Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai on December 19, 2023.