IPL 2023 Auction: 5 Franchises That Might Go Hard After Ben Stokes In Mini-Auction
Superstar England all-rounder Ben Stokes is set to cause an intense bidding war in the IPL 2023 auction room. The event is slated for December 23 in Kochi.
Stokes had pulled out of the IPL 2022 to focus on his Test career and manage his workload after becoming the new England Test captain. Now, though, the all-rounder has retired from ODI cricket and is expected to enter the IPL 2023 mini-auction.
He recently starred with both bat and ball for England in their T20 World Cup 2022 triumphant campaign, including notching an unbeaten fifty in the final vs Pakistan.
Ben Stokes had previously been part of two IPL teams - Rising Pune Supergiant and Rajasthan Royals, and was Man of the Tournament in his debut IPL season in 2017, helping RPSG reach the final.
Here are 5 franchises who might big huge amount on Ben Stokes in IPL 2023 auction:
Brace yourself to see Kaviya Maran and the Sunrisers Hyderabad a lot on your screen during the IPL 2023 auction because after releasing players, including captain Kane Williamson, SRH have the largest purse of INR 42.25 crore.
And also expect SRH to bid aggressively on Ben Stokes, who is one of the best all-rounders in the world. SRH have let go of Romario Shepherd, and Sean Abbott in order to get better overseas all-rounders; and there are none better and more experienced than Ben Stokes.
SRH might be hoping to get Stokes in order to make a strong bridge between their batters and bowlers. SRH had a disappointing IPL 2022 season, and perhaps Stokes is the fuel they need; Stokes is a captaincy candidate too for SRH.
Like any of the previous auctions, Punjab Kings will once again go into the IPL 2023 mini-auction with a heavy purse - the second-biggest this time of INR 32.2 crore. PBKS have released two all-rounders - Odean Smith and Benny Howell - indicating that they would also show interest in Ben Stokes.
It could even come down to Punjab and Hyderabad at the end of who gets their hands on arguably England’s greatest-ever cricketer, Ben Stokes, given the size of their budgets. Punjab’s batting in the middle-order needs strengthening, which can be provided by Stokes.
Lucknow Super Giants
The Lucknow franchise have made a surprise release of West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder, who is still a top-level and high-quality all-rounder. However, it seems like LSG, who will have the purse of INR 23.35 crore, the third-biggest of all franchises, want to upgrade their all-rounder section, which also has Marcus Stoinis, and rope in Ben Stokes.
Lucknow reached the playoffs last season, but failed to reach the final. Maybe they need someone like Ben Stokes who’d stand up on big occasions as he’d done with England.
Mumbai Indians have made several released including some all-rounders - Kieron Pollard, who has retired from the IPL now, and Daniel Sams, despite Sams’ impressive show in the last few games of the season; Fabian Allen and Sanjay Yadav are the spin-bowling all-rounders MI have let go of.
Mumbai have a sizeable purse of INR 20.55 crore going into the auction, and they might smartly use it to get one of the top all-rounders like Ben Stokes, Sam Curran, or Cameron Green to replace Pollard and Sams. In the 2017 auction, MI was the first franchise to raise their paddle for Ben Stokes, but couldn’t acquire him; they would want to buy Stokes this time.
Chennai Super Kings
The Chennai Super Kings also have a considerable amount in their purse - INR 20.45 crore. What would embolden them to go after Ben Stokes is that they have an almost complete squad and only need to fill some holes, so they perhaps won’t mind splurging a huge amount on Stokes because they have to find a proper, long-term replacement for Dwayne Bravo, who CSK have released.
CSK have also not retained Chris Jordan and Adam Milne, which means they would want some overs out of their all-rounder, who can also bowl with the new ball, otherwise in Chepauk, it will mostly be the CSK spinners that will dominate.