Dubai: It may not be till another two matches that he takes the field, but Rajasthan Royals received a much-needed boost with their star England allrounder Ben Stokes joining the squad in the team hotel in Dubai on Sunday. Royals, who have won two of their four matches so far, have a tough contest coming up against a buoyant Mumbai Indians in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday but Stokes has to complete his six-day quarantine period till Friday.
There were serious doubts if Stokes, who had been such an influential figure in the England team in all formats in recent years, can join the squad with his father being ill in Christchurch. He had left England in the middle of the Test series against Pakistan in August as he was not in the right mental frame to pursue the game.
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‘‘He has arrived on Sunday morning and will be available for action only from October 10, subject to clearance in the three tests. We had never thought about asking for a replacement for him,’’ said sources in the Rajasthan Royals managament. This means he will be available for about seven league games, but could prove to be handful for the opposition alongwith skipper Steve Smith, Jos Buttler and Jofra Archer.
“Dubai is hot.” was Stokes’ cryptic Instagram message on arrival.
Stokes’s father Ged was hospitalised last December in South Africa during England’s tour, and has since been known to be recuperating in Christchurch.