England all-rounder Ben Stokes has already arrived in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the on-going Indian Premier League (IPL) over the weekend and is set to undergone tests and isolation before playing in accordance to the health protocols of the tournament. He will be joining the Rajasthan Royals after missing the initial couple of weeks of the tournament in order to be with his family in New Zealand.
His arrival ruled out doubts of missing the entire season of IPL due to personal issues back home. Earlier, Stokes had gone back home to Christchurch due to personal reasons in the middle of the Test series against Pakistan in August. Announcing his arrival in the country, Stokes posted a story on his official Instagram account in which he wrote: “Dubai is hot.”
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Stokes’ arrival in the UAE is a big boost for the Royals as it would add more strength to their batting unit, which is currently heavily dependent on Sanju Samson and Steve Smith. They’re stacked with the likes of skipper Smith, Jos Buttler, Jofra Archer, David Miller and Tom Curran. The star all-rounder should take the field for Royals’ game against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in Dubai on October 11.
“He started his quarantine phase as soon as he reached the hotel. He will have his first test today and with the six-day period ending the day we play against Delhi Capitals in Sharjah, we are looking at him playing against SRH. It will also help him get back into the groove as he has been off the field for some time,” the Rajasthan Royals official speaking about Stokes’ arrival as quoted by a news portal.
It is learnt that those who headed to Abu Dhabi had to follow the six-day quarantine rule except those overseas players who had come in from the bubble in the UK to Dubai. Stokes, who has come in from New Zealand, will have to follow the six-day process before he can join his team. “So he comes out and joins the team the next day, which is October 10,” the official added.
Rajasthan Royals have won two out of the four games they have played so far and are currently placed at the sixth spot in the points table. They hace suffered another loss to Royal Challengers Bangalore last weekend by 8 wickets. This was RR’s second defeat of the season. They earlier lost to Kolkata Knight Riders. Stokes’ presence in the team will also provide strength to their bowling unit.
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