The Indian Premier League has assured the franchisees that the team acquiring Ben Stokes will be permitted to seek a replacement if the England all-rounder has to miss the entire IPL 2018 season. Stokes is facing legal proceedings on charges of violent threat. UK Crown Prosecution Service has earlier this week charged Stokes with affray in the court of Bristol Magistrate, where he is expected to appear in his defense on February 13.
However, if Stokes makes himself available for any length of the league, the franchisee will not be allowed to seek a replacement.
Stokes is expected to appear in Bristol Magistrates’ Court on February 13 to answer the charge of affray, which was levelled against him by the UK Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) earlier this week.
Stokes was arrested outside a nightclub in Bristol in September last year following a dead-of-night incident.
Stokes last season has not played much international cricket last, also missing the entire Ashes, since his arrest on September 25. However, his name features among the 16 marquee players named for the two-day mega auction on January 27 and 28 in Bangalore. He was among the 36 players registered for ₹2 crore base price.
The IPL announced the final auction pool of 578 players on Saturday.
Stokes has made his IPL debut for Rising Pune Supergiant last year after the franchisee had acquired him for ₹14.5 crore – highest ever in IPL for an overseas player. He had emerged the Most Valuable Player for the season. He is again expected to be among the players to fetch top value at the auction.
The ECB meanwhile has given NOC to Stokes to participate in the IPL. The English cricket board will only consider an action against Stokes if he were found guilty by the court.