Contrary to recent media reports that claimed that Ben Stokes could soon join Rajasthan Royals squad in the first week of October, former England spinner Monty Panesar says he has his doubts over all-rounder's participation in the ongoing India Premier League (IPL) 2020.
In a conversation with The Times of India, Panesar said that the situation of Ben Stokes' father is not good and it is for this reason he will probably be in New Zealand.
Stokes is currently in Christchurch, New Zealand, to attend to his ailing father, who was diagnosed with brain cancer. The cricketer left the England team during the Test series against Pakistan last month and is yet to join his IPL franchise.
Panesar called Stokes the "Superman” of cricket and said he is a huge influence, and one of the key players with all-round abilities. “I think his (Stokes) presence in the IPL will be massive," he said.
The spinner added that among the eight teams that are there in the IPL, Rajasthan Royals is the most dangerous one and have the ability to turn a game around.
Panesar also stressed that even though IPL is always going to have spinners, seamers too will have a bit of role to play this time around. This is due to the nature of the pitch, which skids on a little bit. He said there's “more pace in there and it kind of moves a little bit as well.”
Ben Stokes is the star buy for Rajasthan Royals who spent Rs 12.5 crore to sign him in 2018 IPL auctions. However, even without Stokes, Rajasthan Royals defeated Chennai Super Kings (CSK) by 16 runs in their opening match.
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While RCB will look to start afresh, CSK got a confidence-boosting 20-run win against defending champions Mumbai Indians on Sunday night.
Gaikwad batted through the innings to lift Chennai Super Kings from a precarious 7/3 to 156 for six as the IPL-14 resumed in the UAE after the first phase in India was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic in May.
IPL matches will be played at Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi with limited seating available keeping in mind the COVID protocols and UAE government regulations