The English Test Captain, Ben Stokes, shortens his IPL stint in order to prepare for the Test matches against Ireland and then the Ashes. This move is contrary to some players who do not give precedence to their country’s matches but play league cricket to amass wealth. Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga and Trent Boult are few names which immediately come to mind.

Stokes was picked up by Chennai Super Kings for £1.6m in December’s auction for the upcoming season, and spoke during England’s recent series with Pakistan of his desire to commit to the competition after missing last year’s edition. However the IPL schedule, announced last Friday, confirmed the final will take place on May 28, just four days before England’s first Test of the summer against Ireland at Lord’s (June 1) which leads into a five-match Ashes series.

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Relaxed Approach by ECB on League Cricket

It is normal for players, particularly those with central contracts, to miss the latter stages of the IPL given the infringement on the start of the international summer in England. However, the more relaxed approach taken by director of men’s cricket Rob Key and Test coach Brendon McCullum has recently seen the ECB work with players when it comes to fixture clashes between international and T20 tournaments, most notably with a number of players turning down England’s white-ball tour of Bangladesh to fulfill their Pakistan Super League contracts.

As Test captain, Stokes has led his side to 10 wins in 11 matches since taking over full-time, a record that might have earned him the right to play the whole competition and drop in for the first Test at Lord’s, as Trent Boult did for New Zealand last year. Instead, he has decided the best thing would be to return early.

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