Ben Stokes played for RPS in IPL 2016    BCCI
Ben Stokes played for RPS in IPL 2016 BCCI

The IPL provided a big relief to the franchises ahead of the 2018 auctions when they clarified that a replacement for Ben Stokes would be allowed in the event that the all-rounder is not available for the tournament due to legal proceedings for his alleged involvement in the Bristol street-brawl. However, a replacement would not be sanctioned if the English all-rounder missed only a part of the tournament, reported ESPNCricinfo.

On February 13, Stoke will appear in Bristol Magistrates’ Court to answer the charge of affray that was levelled against him by the UK Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Stokes was arrested in September for being allegedly involved in an altercation at a nightclub in Bristol The punishment will depend upon circumstance. The maximum sentence is three years imprisonment at a Crown Court, but if he is tried at Magistrates Court it’s only six months.

Stokes, in December, played domestic cricket for Canterbury, his province of birth, in New Zealand. He missed the entire Ashes and the ODI series that followed. However, he is amongst the most sought for cricketers in the IPL. At a base price of INR 2 crore, he is a marquee player.

IPL auction 2018: Ravichandran Ashwin, Shikhar Dhawan, Ben Stokes and other included in the marquee list
IPL auction 2018: Ravichandran Ashwin, Shikhar Dhawan, Ben Stokes and other included in the marquee list

In 2016 auctions, he became the highest paid overseas player in the tournament, pocketing INR 14.5 crore from Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS). He did not disappoint and ended up being the most valuable player by scoring 316 runs at a strike rate of 143 and scalping 12 wickets at just over 7. His exploits helped RPS reach final of the tournament but unfortunately he could not be a part of the play-offs due to national commitments.

IPL advisory on Stokes’ participation

“The ECB have confirmed they will issue an NOC for Ben Stokes and advised that the Cricket Discipline Commission (CDC) will wait for the conclusion of all criminal proceedings relating to the charge against Ben before it runs its independent process.

“Ben’s legal advisors have advised that they think it highly unlikely that the criminal proceedings will conclude before the end of IPL 2018. They have advised that they do not expect the criminal proceedings will have any impact on Ben’s availability for IPL 2018.

“Due to the uncertainty regarding court dates and therefore his availability for the IPL 2018 season, BCCI confirms that if he is completely unavailable in advance of the season he may be replaced under section 6.1 (e) of the 2018-20 IPL Player Regulations.

“In the event of his partial unavailability due to the court process then he may not be replaced. Player replacements for partial unavailability during the IPL Season are only allowed in relation to player injuries as prescribed by section 6.1 of the 2018-20 IPL Player Regulations.”

The auctions will be held on January 27 and 28.