Dubai: England all-rounder Ben Stokes is set to join his Indian Premier League side Rajasthan Royals after missing the first two weeks of the Twenty20 tournament, the team said on Saturday.
Royals tweeted a picture of their star player on a flight after asking a question, "How long does it take from Christchurch to UAE (United Arab Emirates)?".
Captain Steve Smith was happy to hear of Stokes' arrival at Royals, where he will join countrymen Jos Buttler, Jofra Archer and Tom Curran. "Ben (Stokes) is a quality player, adds to our squad once he's arrives," Smit said during the toss for Saturday's IPL match with Royal Challengers Bangalore.
New Zealand-born Stokes was in Christchurch with his ailing father, who has been battling cancer, and pulled out of the Pakistan Test series in August. Stokes, 29, put up a picture with his family on instagram on Friday with a caption, "goodbyes never get easier".
Stokes started practising for his IPL stint last month with a red ball at the Sydenham Cricket Club in Christchurch as he posted a video on social media saying, "Wrong colour ball but training's training"
The star player will have to undergo a six-day quarantine in the UAE, according to the IPL rules, before being available for selection in the Smith-led squad.