Ben Stokes says great to share dressing room with MS Dhoni and Steven Smith
Ben Stokes, who was snapped up for a record sum of Rs 14.5 crore by Rising Pune Supergiants in the 2017 Indian Premier League Auction, says he is looking forward to playing the tournament and is excited to share the dressing room with the likes of Steven Smith and MS Dhoni in the upcoming edition.ipl 2017 Updated: Mar 27, 2017 17:52 IST
Ben Stokes stole the show in the 2017 Indian Premier League auction as he was snapped up for a record sum of Rs 14.5 crore by Rising Pune Supergiants. This sum made Stokes the most expensive international buy in the history of the Indian Premier League while it made him the second most expensive player to be purchased behind Yuvraj Singh, who was once snapped up for Rs 16 crore by Royal Challengers Bangalore.
It has been a phenomenal rise for Stokes, who has impressed with his aggressive batting and attacking bowling. In the recent series against India, he was the only player from the England team to impress with both bat and ball in all formats. This price confirmed Stokes’ potential and he will now be part of the team that features players like former India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Australian skipper Steven Smith and South African captain Faf du Plessis.
Welcome to Pune @benstokes38 first round is on you!— Steve Smith (@stevesmith49) February 20, 2017
In a Facebook Live conducted on Monday evening on his official page, Stokes said that the 2017 IPL will be a different experience. “I am looking forward to playing with MS Dhoni and Steven Smith. It will be great to share the dressing room with both these players. Dhoni is one of the greatest in the world while I have had some heated moments with Smith. However, he is an amazing player,” Stokes said.
When asked about the record sum paid by RPS, Stokes said that whatever happened in the auction was a bonus and it was a great feeling to be back in Pune. “Pune is one of my favorite grounds. I had a great time during the ODI series against India and I am looking forward to coming back at this venue,” the England all-rounder said.
‘Will play most of the IPL’
Heading into the auction, there were some concerns whether teams would pursue players from England as they may have to leave the tournament early in order to prepare for the Champions Trophy which will be held in June. However, Stokes stated that he will not miss many games in the IPL.
“I might miss only the last group game. I will play most of it. I will probably play the full season. I am looking forward to playing plenty of T20 cricket, something we don’t get to do as England players,” Stokes stated.
High praise for IPL
The England players had a field day in the 2017 IPL Auction. Besides Stokes, Tymal Mills was snapped up by Royal Challengers Bangalore for Rs 12 crore while Chris Woakes was picked up by Kolkata Knight Riders for Rs 4.2 crore. The likes of Jason Roy and Chris Jordan also went to Gujarat Lions and Sunrisers Hyderabad respectively while limited-overs skipper Eoin Morgan went to Kings XI Punjab for Rs 2 crore.
Stokes said that the England players loved being part of the IPL. “Both Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler have had nothing but high praise for the tournament. Hopefully, you will see more England players in the future in this tournament,” Stokes stated.
First Published: Feb 21, 2017 09:08 IST