In the build-up to the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 mini-auction, it was expected that England’s superstar Ben Stokes would trigger a bidding war and precisely that happened when his name popped up during the bidding event in Kochi on Friday.
Chennai Super Kings (CSK), known for being relatively conservative in terms of spending money at IPL auctions, decided to go full throttle to acquire the services of Stokes. At the beginning, Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and Lucknow Supergiants (LSG) were involved in an intense bidding war for England’s Test skipper, but CSK, who lost out in bringing Sam Curran back to Chennai, entered late and eventually bagged Stokes for INR 16.25 crores.
In the IPL 2023, Stokes will be reunited with MS Dhoni, having teamed up with the former India skipper at the now-defunct Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) in the 2016-17 seasons.
After the completion of an exciting bidding day which saw 80 players being sold at a combined price of INR 167 crore, the Super Kings CEO Kasi Viswanathan revealed Dhoni’s reaction to Stokes’ purchase in the auction.
The CSK CEO said Dhoni was extremely excited and happy about Stokes’ signing. Viswanathan also shared his take regarding the possibility of Stokes taking over the captaincy reigns from Dhoni.
“Very excited to get Stokes, and we were lucky also because he came up at the end. We wanted an all-rounder, and MS was very happy that we got Stokes. Captaincy option is there, but it’s a call MS will take with time,” Viswanathan was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
Chennai Super Kings’ IPL squad:
MS Dhoni (c), Devon Conway, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ambati Rayudu, Subhranshu Senapati, Moeen Ali, Shivam Dube, Rajvardhan Hangargekar, Dwaine Pretorius, Mitchell Santner, Ravindra Jadeja, Tushar Deshpande, Mukesh Chowdhary, Matheesha Pathirana, Simarjeet Singh, Deepak Chahar, Prashant Solanki, Maheesh Theekshana, Bhagath Varma, Ajay Mandal, Kyle Jamieson, Nishant Sindhu, Shaik Rasheed, Ben Stokes, Ajinkya Rahane.