Despite the COVID-19 lockdown in India, England all-rounder Ben Stokes has said that IPL 2020 is going to be the next competitive cricket that he will play.
Stokes was set to play for Rajasthan Royals in the 13th edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) before the BCCI decided to postpone the tournament from March 29 to April 15 earlier this month. But following the announcement of nationwide 21-day lockdown by the Indian government on March 24, the cancellation of cash-rich event looks inevitable.
"At the moment my next competitive cricket is going to be in the IPL," Stokes told BBC.
The ace all-rounder was roped in by Royals in IPL auction 2018 for a huge sum of Rs 12.5 Crore.
He is the second English player after Kolkata Knight Rider pacer Tom Banton to confirm his availability for IPL 2020.
"That hasn't changed yet so I have to think I will be playing on April 20.
"I have to get my head round that I am playing even though in the back of my mind I know I am probably not. I have to build up and get myself physically in a position that if it does happen I am good to go.
"I cannot take three weeks off and expect the body to be ready for April 20 because it doesn't work like that. It might happen and if it does I don't want to be behind.
"There will be a lot of advice given to us and if it was an option to go we will have to take the sensible one."
Meanwhile, the BCCI has decided to "wait and watch" how the current situation amid Coronavirus crisis evolves and will accordingly take action regarding the upcoming season of IPL.
"See IPL is already postponed till April 15 and we are watching the situation very closely. We will see how the situation develops and will take a decision accordingly. Currently, we are not thinking about all those things. Let these things settle down and then only we can start working on it. So, till April 15, we will wait and watch," a BCCI source told ANI on Wednesday (March 25).