Stokes was the costliest player in IPL 2017 © IANS
Stokes was the costliest player in IPL 2017 © IANS

Though Ben Stokes has put himself in the INR 2 crore slab for the IPL 2017 auctions, his availability is still a matter of concern for the franchise owners. Stokes’ all-round performance powered Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) to reach the final in the previous season of IPL. He was picked for a whopping INR 14.5 crore, which was the highest paid amount to any player in the T20 League. His impressive form makes him one of the most in-demand player but being charged with affray post the incident of hitting a stranger outside a pub has created a lot of confusion regarding the Englishman‘s fate.

An anonymous IPL franchise owner told EspnCricinfo, “We need a level of certainty in case he is not available after he is bought at the auction. We need to know the degree of control IPL will have on his availability. We will seek to understand what happens now: what is the process? What will be happen if there is one eventuality or another?”

“If he is not available, will there be a replacement and what would it mean for the franchise? What would availability mean in this case because there are extraneous circumstances?” he added.

“We have to see what stance the ECB takes. The charge has just come out, so it is too early to decide, but we are definitely bothered about the outcome of the trial. We need see the implications. They have said clearly it might go for six months. So assuming the trial extends beyond the IPL, as it is expected to, then there is a lot of uncertainty. Also you never know his mental state, you can’t just come and play with freedom if the trial is in the backdrop,”  director of one of the franchises revealed.

IPL auctions will take place in Bangalore on January 27 and 28.