Former India opener Aakash Chopra feels that Chennai Super Kings were not going to retain Ben Stokes even if he was going to play in IPL 2024. England Test skipper Ben Stokes opted out of IPL 2024 as he is set to undergo knee surgery and rehab himself for the forthcoming Test series against India in January.
Chennai Super Kings accepted his decision and released Ben Stokes from the squad. In the previous auction, CSK picked Stokes for Rs. 16.25 crores to make him one of the most expensive players in the auction. However, due to his knee issues, Stokes could only play 2 matches for CSK last season.
CSK Wasn’t Going To Retain Ben Stokes- Aakash Chopra
While speaking on his YouTube channel, cricket commentator Aakash Chopra said that CSK was not going to retain Ben Stokes even if he was available. He also added that no team would’ve bought him for 16.25 crore during the IPL 2024 auction.
“Ben Stokes has said that he won’t play in the IPL. Were Chennai going to retain him? That’s a big question. In my opinion, they weren’t going to do so. Would any other team have bought him for 16.25 crores? My two cents – it was not going to happen,” said Chopra.
Aakash Chopra also added that CSK has a lot of funds available after Stokes’ ouster and Ambati Rayudu’s exit due to retirement.
“So he did the right thing. I don’t know if it’s strategic or anything. Why should we comment on it? The truth is that 16.25 crore rupees are suddenly freed there. Ambati Rayudu has retired. So you have 20 crore rupees and you will get five crores in any case when the purse is increased,” Aakash Chopra further added.
CSK Releases 9 Players From Squad
Meanwhile, Chennai Super Kings has released 9 players ahead of the IPL 2024 auction. They are Ben Stokes, Dwaine Pretorius, K. Bhagath Varma, Subhranshu Senapati, Ambati Rayudu, Kyle Jamieson, Akash Singh, and Sisanda Magala.
As a result, CSK will have more than Rs. 30 crores of funds left in its kitty. The salary purse will be increased by Rs. 5 crores. Hence, CSK can grab some big players during the mini-auction. IPL 2024 auction will take place on December 19 in Dubai. Till December 12, teams can trade players between them.
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