The Crown Prosecution Service of England charged Ben Stokes and two other men for affray following a public brawl in the city of Bristol last September. He was suspended by ECB shortly after the police investigations began into the incident. The suspension led to Stoke missing the Ashes series, which Australia won 4-0 and the subsequent ODI series that is going on currently.
Former coach of Ben Stokes and an assistant coach in IPL, Simon Helmot, was full of praises for the all-rounder. He described the all-rounder as “an outstanding teammate” but remains uncertain about his future in the IPL following the recent incidents. The 26-year-old was the player of the tournament in IPL season 10, fully justifying the record sum Rising Pune Supergiants paid to secure his services.
Stokes was cleared by ECB to play in the tri-series starting next month with Australia and New Zealand. However, following the latest charges, the board has said that it will meet in the next 48 hours to deliberate about Stokes participation in the national team and IPL.
Helmot refused to comment whether his franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad will go for the all-rounder or not. He made it clear that even though Stokes is highly talented, the surrounding circumstances around him make it hard for any team to go all in for him.
Helmot said, “I think in relation to IPL, teams and owners are always having to consider player availability.”
“Over the last 10 years, teams have been really careful on who they select because they may have a person who needs to go off and play international cricket somewhere else.”
“I suppose, in this particular case, in Ben’s case, people are uncertain of what that all looks like so will probably want to gather as much information and knowledge to know what his availability is, and what the circumstances are.”
Stokes has been placed in the maximum reserve price of 2 crores for the auction taking place on 28th and 29th January. His spot in the highest grade comes after his record price of 14.5 crores in last year’s auction.
Further on in the interview, Helmot spoke about his experience with the English national. He said, “The experience I had with Ben Stokes at the Renegades a few years ago, he was an outstanding teammate, an outstanding contributor, and did everything you’d expect from a professional overseas player to do.”
Following the announcement of the charges by the Crown Prosecution Service Stoke made a short statement on Twitter. He wrote, “I am keen to have an opportunity to clear my name but on advice, the appropriate time to do this is when the case comes to trial”.
“I want to thank all of those who have continued to support me in relation to the Bristol incident, not least my family, friends, fans and teammates,” he wrote.
“I gave a full and detailed account of my actions to the police on day one – the same day as the incident – and have cooperated at each step of the police inquiry.”
“The CPS’ decision to charge me, as well as Ryan Ali and Ryan Hale [two members of the public], at least means that my account of what happened that night can come out in court and be made public. Until then, my focus is very much on cricket.”
If Stokes is cleared by the ECB to play in the IPL, one could definitely expect a huge bidding war between at least 3-4 teams.