World’s top all-rounder Ben Stokes is set to arrive in the UAE for the Indian Premier League on Sunday and will join his side Rajasthan Royals after serving a six-day quarantine period as per the Covid-19 protocols for IPL 2020. Stokes missed the initial matches of the tournament as he was in New Zealand to be with his ailing father Ged. Also Read - IPL 2020: Ambati Rayudu Delays Match Between RCB vs CSK, Upsets Virat Kohli
The 29-year-old had left for Christchurch in the middle of the Test series against Pakistan in August after his father, a former All Blacks International, was diagnosed with brain cancer. Also Read - IPL 2020, RR vs MI: Reason Behind Ben Stokes' Unique Celebration After Breathtaking Century Against Mumbai Indians
“Yes, Stokes is set to join the Royals. He will reach UAE on Sunday and will join the teammates after his quarantine,” a team source told PTI. Also Read - IPL 2020, RR vs MI: Jofra Archer Imitates Jasprit Bumrah's Bowling Action in Abu Dhabi, Video Goes Viral | WATCH
The franchise also tweeted a picture of Stokes on his way to the UAE. The England all-rounder had earlier put up photographs of him with his family on Instagram with the caption “goodbyes never get easier”.
Stokes, who was bought by the Royals for a whopping Rs 12.5 crore, has played 67 Tests, 95 ODIs and 26 T20 Internationals.
In August, Stokes had pulled out of the Pakistan Test series midway in order to be with his family in New Zealand after his father was diagnosed with cancer. After featuring in the first Test against Pakistan earlier this month, Stokes had left for New Zealand to be with his family.
Stokes’ arrival in the UAE will be 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.
The likes of Jos Buttler and Robin Uthappa have not been able to perform for the Royals so far. While Uthappa has scored just 16 runs in the three innings he has played for the Royals, Buttler has scored 25 runs in the two innings he has played so far in the tournament.
Stokes played a major role in England’s World Cup triumph besides an epic match-winning hundred in an Ashes Test match in 2019.
Stokes has so far played 34 IPL matches for the Royals across three seasons, in which he has scored 635 runs and scalped 26 wickets.