'Lucknow Super Giants will definitely go for Ben Stokes': R Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin came up with an interesting prediction for the forthcoming IPL 2023 mini auction to be held later in December. The premier Indian off-spinner has foresaw Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) going after England allrounder Ben Stokes at the bidding war.
Ashwin believes LSG "will definitely" bid for Stokes and try to avail his services next summer as they look to beef up their allround options for the next summer. LSG have retained Marcus Stoinis after letting go Jason Holder in the fast-bowling allrounder's role but may also look to bring in Stokes to widen up their options.
Ending months of speculations, Stokes registered his name for the IPL auction at a high-end base prize of INR 2 crores. With a remaining purse of INR 23.35 crores available at their hands, LSG have the opportunity to enter a bidding war for him.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, R Ashwin said he sees the new franchise going wholeheartedly after the England player, who would be a property of interest for multiple other franchises eyeing a fast-bowling allrounder.
Ashwin predicts LSG going for Stokes
"Lucknow Super Giants will definitely go for Ben Stokes. Only if they don’t get him, they will go for other players," Ashwin said, predicting the KL Rahul led LSG side to approach Stokes as an exciting option at the mini-auction coming up.
Stokes was a marquee pick the last time he entered an IPL auction back in 2018 when inaugural champions Rajasthan Royals (RR) made a jaw-dropping bid of INR 12.5 crores in an association that lasted three campaigns.
The cricketer didn't play the last two editions of the cash-rich T20 league, missing the 2021 season due to a knee injury, before skipping the last tournament because of workload concerns.
Stokes has played 43 IPL games to his name, with 920 runs and 28 wickets taken in an allrounder's capacity. His IPL stocks may have only risen last month when he helped England win the T20 World Cup 2022 final over Pakistan with a precious half-century in a low-scoring game.