England all-rounder Ben Stokes is set to join his team Rajasthan Royals for the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League on Saturday night and will immediately start his COVID-19 related process so that he can hit the ground running at the earliest.
Speaking to ANI, sources in the know of developments in the Indian Premier League confirmed that Stokes will be joining the team after missing the first few games due to his father’s deteriorating health.
“He is coming in tonight and will immediately undergo the COVID-19 related procedures before joining the rest of the unit,” the source said.
The English and Australian players who had come in from the bubble in the UK to Dubai had to quarantine for 36 hours while the general rule suggests a six-day quarantine period for the players along with tests to check on the virus.
Stokes heading to the UAE will be a big boost for the Royals as they have missed his solidarity with bat and ball in the middle. While they have won two of the three games that they have played so far, the middle-order has looked slightly weak in his absence.
The likes of Robin Uthappa and Riyan Parag have not been able to join hands and fill the boots of Stokes. In fact, the all-rounder is also a clever operator with the ball and can definitely add to skipper Steve Smith’s arsenal when it comes to keeping things tight.
Commenting on the side’s balance, Warne had also a few days back pointed that Stokes coming in would make this team one of the most well-balanced team in the competition. “Hopefully, Stokes would play a part this year, he’s a big loss and our thoughts are with him but you know add Ben Stokes to the team that played the other night and it looks a very very good side,” he had told ANI.
While Stokes will have to miss a couple of games as he undergoes quarantine, Smith, and boys will definitely be happy to see him getting ready for action.
Stokes was a part of the series against Pakistan when he came to know of his father’s health and left for New Zealand. “Stokes will leave the UK later this week and travel to New Zealand. He will miss England’s two Test matches against Pakistan at the Ageas Bowl on Thursday 13 August and Friday 21 August,” the ECB had said in a press release on August 9.