The 2020 edition of the much-awaited Indian Premier League (IPL) will commence from September 19 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). With less than a week remaining for the tournament to begin, Rajasthan Royals (RR) is yet not sure about the availability of their talismanic all-rounder, Ben Stokes.
Stokes earlier pulled out of the last two Tests of three-match series against Pakistan. He even missed the subsequent limited-overs series against ‘Men in Green’ and Australia as well.
The swashbuckling all-rounder is currently in his native country, New Zealand, to be with his ailing father.
Now, Andrew McDonald, RR’s head coach, has opened up on the whole saga and said that even he doesn’t know the whereabouts of Stokes as of now.
“First and foremost, thoughts with the Stokes family. It’s a difficult scenario, so we’re giving him as much time as he needs, and connecting with him as best we can,” McDonald told ESPNCricinfo during an interview.
“So yeah, we’re not sure where Stokesy’s at right now, but once it has played out, then we can make our decisions from there. But I don’t want to second-guess what will happen with him just yet,” he added.
McDonald speaks on Steve Smith’s injury
McDonald further talked about the Royals’ skipper Steve Smith, who endured a head injury during the ongoing ODI series against England.
“Steve Smith is a bit more clear-cut, I think. He needs a little bit of time, it was a short turnaround between game one and two where the concussion happened, so I’d imagine there were some lingering side effects,” he added.
“We’ve added some depth in terms of our left-hand batting, in particular in [Anuj] Rawat and [Yashashvi] Jaiswal among the home-grown players, so we think we’ve got some options there. The way we set up at the auction, we feel we can structure our side up to three or four different ways,” he added,” concluded McDonald.