Ben Stokes recently retired from ODI cricket. He has made his intentions clear for the future. While the 31-year-old will give it all for Test cricket, he would also be open to T20s. This essentially means that he would be available for various T20 leagues hereon. Hence, IPL teams have been put on alert regarding the same. Stokes is a premium all-rounder and has a decent experience of playing 43 IPL matches. On his day, he can swing the game either with the bat or the ball. Therefore, a number of teams would want him on their roster from the next campaign. On that note, here, we take a look at three franchises that might target Ben Stokes for IPL 2023.
1) Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians have not reached the playoffs for the last two seasons. The five-time champions will be desperate to get back to winning ways. Known for their big-name signings, they would surely be in the reckoning for Ben Stokes.
Kieron Pollard’s form has dropped and MI might need to look past him. One name that can come close to Pollard’s impact in T20 cricket is Ben Stokes. The Englishman is good against pace and can be a good option and No.5 while also helping out Jasprit Bumrah and co. in the bowling department. Hence, MI is one of the teams which might target Ben Stokes for IPL 2023.
2) Punjab Kings
Punjab Kings, despite having a decent squad, struggled to do well in IPL 2022. Although Bhanuka Rajapaksa did well, the team still missed a quality left-handed batter at No.4 or No.5.
Here is where Ben Stokes can become a top target for Anil Kumble and his team. By releasing the likes of Shahrukh Khan and others, PBKS could have a big purse for the bidding event. Therefore, they can easily target Ben Stokes and install him in the already impressive batting line-up comprising other England cricketers like Jonny Bairstow and Liam Livingstone. Of course, Stokes would also help the team in the bowling innings, as well.
3) Royal Challengers Bangalore
RCB missed a reliable left-hander in the middle order in IPL 2022. They also did not have the services of a genuine pace-bowling all-rounder. Stokes is someone who can fulfill both these roles.
While RCB is known to pull off such big signings, they need to take a few bold decisions to get Stokes onboard. With Glenn Maxwell, Josh Hazlewood, and Wanindu Hasaranga selecting themselves, RCB should get rid of Faf du Plessis if they want Stokes in the XI. Although that might not speak well of the management’s captaincy choice last season, the move would help them in the future.