'Can't believe he is playing for CSK': Fans rejoice as Ben Stokes makes his way to India to join MS Dhoni ahead of IPL
England Test captain Ben Stokes has sent the CSK fans into a frenzy by announcing that he is on his way to India now for the IPL.
England's Test captain Ben Stokes is set to don the yellow of the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and fans of the four-time Indian Premier League (IPL) can't contain themselves. Stokes said on Instagram that he is on his way to India to join MS Dhoni's side on Thursday, with the star all-rounder being acquired by CSK for INR 16.25 crore in the auction for the upcoming edition of the IPL.
The tournament starts on March 31 with CSK taking on defending champions Gujarat Titans in the opener at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. The players are now steadily making their way to the respective camps of their franchises and Stokes said Thursday that he is now set to join the rest of his CSK teammates. “See you soon @chennaiIPL,” said Stokes in the post.
A number of fans expressed their happiness in the comments section of Stokes' post. "Stokesy in yellow," said one fan with a few flame and heart emojis. "Eagle is coming," said another. A fan said that Stokes may not be aware as to how many people in the country are waiting to see him play in India. Even he doesn’t know how many people in India waited for this moment Welcome to Den, Ben @stokesy." One fan just couldn't contain themselves, "He's gonna play for CSK, Can't believe!" Meanwhile, India batter Abhinav Mukund gave Stokes some reassurance. “Ur bags will be safe in chennai,” he said with a laughing emoji.
Stokes had earlier hinted that he might not be available for the business end of the 2023 IPL season as England return to action on June 1 for the one-off Test against Ireland before the Ashes, that begins June 16. The IPL ends on May 28.
Stokes had a knee injury that left him in visible discomfort throughout the second match of their series in New Zealand in February; the all-rounder bowled only two overs in the Test and struggled with his knee during his knock in the second innings, as England endured a dramatic 1-run defeat in the match.
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"I am not going to lie, it’s incredibly frustrating knowing something has been holding me back from performing as I’d like to. I have been working hard with the physios and the medics trying to get myself to a place where I can fulfil my role as I have done for the last 10 year," Stokes said.
“I’ve got a four-month period now to get it better before the Ashes because I want to be turning up for the first Test in Birmingham able to fulfil my role properly. I’ll be doing everything I can to give myself the best opportunity not to have to worry about it.”
Stokes had later said that he is in touch with CSK coach Stephen Fleming over the issue. “I am going to the IPL. I have had conversations with ‘Flem’ and he’s fully aware of the situation with my body. It’s a week by week case at the moment,” Stokes had said.