In a significant development preceding the Indian Premier Legue (IPL) 2024 auction, the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) are expected to let go of England star Ben Stokes. According to a report in Cricbuzz, the decision arose from apprehensions about Stokes’ probable unavailability for the upcoming season of the cash-rich league.
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Ben Stokes’ restricted participation and regrettable injury
Snapped up by CSK for a hefty INR 16.25 crore in the most recent mini-auction in Kochi, Stokes had a marginal impact on the preceding season. The versatile England player featured in just two games, and it has been confirmed that he will undergo surgery on his left knee, requiring nearly a couple of months for recuperation.
Unwillingness to take risks on availability
Despite the player signaling a focus on the IPL post-World Cup, CSK management remains uncertain about his availability for the 2024 season. Allegedly inconclusive discussions with Stokes and the absence of direct contact with the player, even after England’s World Cup campaign concluded, add to the uncertainty.
“We wouldn’t entertain the idea of releasing Stokes if he could be available because he is a significant match player, and we regard him highly. However, if he can’t make it to the season, we will have tied up Rs 16 crore, which we could utilize to acquire some high-caliber players,” said a CSK official.
Other potential releases
In addition to Stokes, speculation surrounds the potential release of New Zealand fast bowler Lockie Ferguson by the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). Originally secured by Gujarat Titans (GT) in 2022 for INR 10 crore, Ferguson was traded to KKR in 2023.
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