England Test captain Ben Stokes has stated that he is open to missing the latter stages of the Indian Premier League, if need be, in order to play the one-off Test against Ireland starting June 1.
The IPL final is scheduled to be played on May 28, four days prior to the Test match against Ireland. The Test will provide England Test cricketers important match practice ahead of the five-match Ashes series.
“I’ll be making sure I give myself enough time to get back and play the Ireland game,” said Stokes.
Last year, Stokes was snapped up by Chennai Super Kings for INR 16.25 crore (£1.6m) in December’s auction and is set to participate in the lucrative league after missing the last season in its entirety.
The Ashes begins on June 16 in Edgbaston. The likes of Jofra Archer, Mark Wood, Sam Curran, Harry Brooks and Jonny Bairstow will all be participating in the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League, and Stokes said that he will discuss with his teammates the best way to prepare for the high-profile Test series.
“Those five games are obviously the big one of the summer and you’ve got to think about what lads want,” added Stokes. “What you also have to think about is if something was to happen in the Ireland game and we lose someone for the Ashes.
“It’s just one of those where you have to weigh up the options of what the individual person actually wants out of that week against the need to play in that game.”
Ben Stokes is unlikely to be available for the IPL final having confirmed he will play in England's first Test of the home season | ✍️ @GeorgeDobell1https://t.co/ekhwHeVtG1
— The Cricketer (@TheCricketerMag) February 22, 2023