Ben Stokes is set to return to cricket and feature in the second half of IPL 2020, after spending the last month in New Zealand with his ailing father.
Stokes, one of the biggest overseas names in the Rajasthan Royals squad, became unavailable for the first half of the IPL in the UAE, after his sudden departure from England during the Test series against Pakistan in August, to be with his father, who was diagnosed with brain cancer in January.
Stokes has reportedly left for the UAE, saying, “Goodbye’s [sic] never get easier” on an Instagram post. Stokes is expected to link up with the Royals squad after a period of isolation. According to a report in ANI, Stokes will arrive in UAE on the night of October 3.
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Stokes will have to undergo seven days of isolation before he can join the rest of the squad. The Royals are currently placed fifth out of eight teams in the IPL points table.
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The 29-year-old all-rounder has been practising in the Sydenham Cricket Club in New Zealand, from where he posted videos of himself bowling in the nets.
After his isolation period is complete, Stokes could be available for seven games for the Royals in the league stages ahead of the playoffs. Royals’ fixture against Delhi Capitals on October 14 could be his first game for the side this year.