The 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is all set to get underway from April 9, with Mumbai Indians (MI) meeting Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in season opener. Many foreign cricketers have already arrived in India and joined their respective franchises.
While cricket boards themselves see IPL as a great preparatory platform for big international contests, the players are sometimes unfairly criticised for preferring the T20 league over the national team.
Ben Stokes, who was one of the finest players for his side in the recently concluded bilateral series against India, joined the Rajasthan Royals (RR) camp for the upcoming season of IPL.
However, before Stokes could open his hands in the cash-rich league, a user on social media tried to fire some cheap shots at the 29-year-old English all-rounder.
“Chasing a pound note again, once back in an England shirt will be too tired to bowl ,” a Twitter user wrote. In reply, Stokes said: “When have I ever been too tired to bowl in a England shirt pal???
However, Stokes decided to shut down the troll as he came up with a fitting reply. The English all-rounder responded to the senseless claim and wrote:
“When have I ever been to tired to bowl in a England shirt, pal???”
Ahead of his joining in the Royals camp for the 2021 edition of IPL, Stokes gave Sky Sports an interview, where he expressed confidence in the Royals’ chances this campaign, especially looking at the sort of signings the franchise made in the auction.
“Last year was obviously disappointing. Yes, we finished bottom of the table but I think it’s not as simple as that. There were a lot of teams still vying for a play-off place towards the back-end of that competition.
“We ebbed and flowed with our performances throughout the season: we had some great ones followed by some pretty poor performances. But every year is a clean slate and we are really excited about the prospects of what we are able to do on the field this year. We’ve made some great signings in the off-season so the depth and strength we have in the squad is really good and I’m really excited about getting started.”
Towards the end of IPL 2020, Stokes played as an opener for Rajasthan but with the arrival of another pace bowling all-rounder, Chris Morris, it remains to be seen what sort of a role RR give to Stokes.