Ben Stokes to leave MS Dhoni and co. early to play Test vs Ireland and Ashes with England

England Test captain Ben Stokes will feature in different colors for the 2023 Indian Premier League, moving from Rajasthan Royals to the Chennai Super Kings. The all-rounder was bought by CSK for Rs. 16.25 crore for the upcoming season.

However, the color he is going to prioritize the most this summer is white. Ahead of the second New Zealand-England Test at Basin Reserve, Stokes confirmed that he will leave the IPL season with the four-time winning franchise early to join the England Test squad in the summer.

“Yes, I’ll play,” Stokes said. “I’ll be making sure that I give myself enough time to get back and play that [Ireland] game.”

While the IPL schedule confirmed the final of the 2023 season to be on May 28, England will play a Test match against Ireland at Lord’s Cricket Stadium starting June 1. The home team will then turn their attention to the Ashes Test series starting June 16.

“I’ll probably get round the individuals and ask them what they want to be ready for for the Ashes, because those five games are obviously the big ones of the summer, and you’ve got to think about what lads want. But what if something was to happen in that game [Ireland] and we lose someone for the Ashes…It’s just one of those where you have to weigh up the options of what the individual person actually wants out of that week, versus do we really need to play that one. Because, obviously, I’m right in saying that series is bigger than that game against Ireland,” Stokes said.

The England captain further added, “If we have got a couple of people who are a bit sore, or bowlers who don’t feel like they are 100 percent right to go, then I will still be picking my best team because I will be picking the XI who are able to play. So it’s the beauty of the squad we’ve got at the moment – if someone doesn’t feel like they’re quite up to performing again after a close turnaround, we’ll still be able to pick the best team judging by the people we’ve got.”

Since being defeated by Australia 4-0 in the last Ashes series back in 2021/22, England have enjoyed a successful past eight months under Stokes’ captaincy and under the new head coach Brendon McCullum. They managed to clean sweep New Zealand in a three match series at home followed by a win against India in a one off Test, a 2-0 win in Pakistan and the recent 267 run win against New Zealand in the day-night Test.

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