Watch: Ben Stokes goes bang-bang with monstrous sixes in first CSK practice session ahead of IPL 2023
Stokes, who was acquired for INR 16.25 crore at the mini auction last December by CSK, served ominous warning with his impressive training session.
England all-rounder Ben Stokes on Friday began his preparations for the 2023 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) as he joined the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) camp at the Chepuak Stadium to have his first ever practice session with the franchise. And Stokes, who was acquired for INR 16.25 crore at the mini auction last December by CSK, served ominous warning with his impressive training session.
Stokes arrived in Chennai early on Friday morning and began his practice session in the evening. It was an open-net session on the centre pitch, as understood from the clips that circulated through all the social media websites, where Stokes was seen hitting two monstrous sixes - one of a right-arm pacer straight over and high over the bowler's head and the other of a throwdown which was dispatched over long off fence.
Chennai Super Kings shared a video of those sixes on their Instagram handle with the caption: "Ben Den #SuperForce."
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Stokes had opted out of IPL 2022 and hence did not register himself for the auction as he sought to prioritise Test cricket and England's Ashes debacle. In 2021, he had missed the first half of the IPL season owing to a finger injury he had incurred in one of the matches. He later opted out of the UAE leg of the tournament owing to his break from cricket with mental health reasons.
Stokes also indicated that he is likely to miss matches in the later stages of IPL 2023 season as he would want to return to England for the one-off Test match against Ireland before the start of the Ashes.
"Yes, I'll play," Stokes had told reporters after England's win against New Zealand in the first Test when asked if he will play the Ireland Test. "I'll be making sure that I give myself enough time to get back and play that (Ireland) game."
Chennai Super Kings had begun their training for the 16th season of the IPL weeks back with the likes of captain MS Dhoni part of the camp. With the likes of Stokes joining and the likely return of Deepak Chahar, CSK would aim to bounce back from the horrendous 2022 season, where they had finished ninth in the table with four wins in 14 matches, and add a fifth title to their trophy cabinet.