England allrounder Ben Stokes continues to train for the delayed IPL even as India went into a complete lockdown on Tuesday. To contain the spread of coronavirus, India Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the country will be placed under lockdown for 21 days. Also Read - Coronavirus Lockdown May Cost India's Economy $4.64 bn on Daily Basis: Report
IPL, which was to get underway from March 29, has already been delayed and a further decision on whether it will be held at all this year will be taken after April 15 amid coronavirus pandemic. Also Read - Michael Vaughan Suggests 'IPL For Five Weeks Leading up to The T20 World Cup'
But Stokes isn’t leaving nothing to chance, preparing himself for any eventuality. Also Read - Learn All About Symptoms of Novel Coronavirus, to Prevent Its Occurrence
“At the moment my next competitive cricket is going to be in the IPL,” Stokes told BBC Radio 5 Live. “I have to get my head round that I am playing even though in the back of my mind I know I am probably not. I have to build up and get myself physically in a position that if it does happen I am good to go.”
BCCI president Sourav Ganguly has already said no decision has been taken on IPL meaning the Indian cricket board is playing a wait and watch game.
“I cannot take three weeks off and expect the body to be ready for 20 April because it doesn’t work like that. It might happen and if it does I don’t want to be behind,” Stokes said. “There will be a lot of advice given to us and if it was an option to go we will have to take the sensible one.”
England’s tour of Sri Lanka ended prematurely after two warm-up matches earlier this month due to coronavirus as the sporting world came to a virtual halt. Stokes said England dressing room was left shell-shocked by the announcement to abort the tour.
“Everyone was shell-shocked for half an hour in the changing room. It was such a weird feeling because we had been there for 10-12 days. We were building up to the first Test and then we were going home,” Stokes said.
“But when you put everything together in terms of where the world was with the coronavirus, and what was being said on tour, it was the wrong place to be at that time and everyone’s health is more important than anything else in the world,” he added.
Stokes, who plays for Rajasthan Royals, is one of 13 English players who have an IPL contract.