England all-rounder Ben Stokes is likely to ply his trade in the Indian Premier League (IPL) next season as he has expressed interest in putting up his name for the upcoming mini-auction for the 2023 edition of the tournament.
Notably, Stokes had pulled out of the IPL 2022 season, citing workload management with an aim to give his best for England in Test cricket. In 2021, the 31-year-old featured in just one IPL match for Rajasthan Royals before being injured.
Earlier this year, Stokes called time on his 50-over career, stating that he was not being able to give his 100 percent to the team in ODIs and playing all three formats amid a busy schedule is "unsustainable" for him.
Now, a report published in Cricbuzz suggests that Stokes is showing some interest to feature in IPL 2023 even though the Ashes series immediately follows the cash-rich league next year.
The iconic Ashes series will get underway on June 16 next year while the IPL is likely to end late May or early June. Therefore, franchise owners will keep a close eye on the availability of the English and Australian players for the upcoming season.
Besides Stokes, two other rising all-rounders Sam Curran and Cameron Green are likely to throw their hats at the auction ring. While Curran has already featured in the IPL for multiple teams in the past, he couldn’t take part last season due to injury. On the other hand, Green is likely to be in huge demand at the upcoming auction.
The report also claims that several non-performing teams from last season might release some players ahead of the auction. Punjab Kings have already named a new captain in Shikhar Dhawan and they are likely to take a few tough calls with the min-auction around the corner.
As per the report, PBKS are expected to release Mayank Agarwal (Rs 12 crore), Shahrukh Khan (Rs 9 crore) and Odean Smith (Rs 6 crore) and they will enter the auction with a big purse.
Under Agarwal’s captaincy, Punjab Kings endured a dismal IPL 2022 campaign. They finished the league stage in the sixth position, having won just 7 out of their 14 matches. Mayank also had a terrible time with the bat in the last IPL edition, amassing only 196 runs from 12 innings at an abysmal average of 16.33.
The likes of Shahrukh and Smith also failed to live up to the expectations and were axed from the playing XI after few matches.
(With Cricbuzz inputs)