Cricket

IPL 2020: Ben Stokes continues preparations for tournament despite cancellation threat due to COVID-19

England all-rounder Ben Stokes continues to train for the 13th IPL even though he is aware that the T20 league may become yet another sporting event to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

IPL 2020: Ben Stokes continues preparations for tournament despite cancellation threat due to COVID-19

London: Star England all-rounder Ben Stokes continues to train for the 13th IPL even though he is aware that the T20 league may become yet another sporting event to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

File image of Ben Stokes. Sportzpics

File image of Ben Stokes. Sportzpics

The league was originally scheduled to start on 29 March in Mumbai but it was postponed to 15 April to contain the spread of the coronavirus, which has claimed more than 19,000 lives across the globe.

"At the moment my next competitive cricket is going to be in the IPL," Stokes, who was bought by Rajasthan Royals in the 2018 IPL auction for Rs 12.5 crore, told the BBC.

"That hasn't changed yet so I have to think I will be playing on 20 April."

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had said last week that the county season would not start until at least the end of May, while England's tour of Sri Lanka was also postponed due to the dreaded disease.

The number of positive cases in India has surpassed the 600-mark, while 11 deaths have been reported so far, prompting the government to put the country under lockdown till 14 April to halt the spread of the virus.

Given the current circumstances, a cancellation of this year's IPL looks inevitable.

However, Stokes said he needs to keep working on his fitness to be ready if and when the IPL happens.

"I have to get my head round that I am playing even though in the back of my mind I know I am probably not," he said.

"I have to build up and get myself physically in a position that if it does happen I am good to go. I cannot take three weeks off and expect the body to be ready for 20 April because it doesn't work like that. It might happen and if it does I don't want to be behind.

"There will be a lot of advice given to us and if it was an option to go we will have to take the sensible one."

Updated Date: March 26, 2020 11:06:54 IST

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