Veteran commentator Aakash Chopra said that the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) would have released Ben Stokes and that no team would have acquired his service for a high price even if he was available for IPL 2024 as well. Stokes, who has been suffering from a knee injury, has made himself unavailable for the upcoming edition of the cash-rich league. Notably, he didn’t contribute much to the CSK’s title-winning run in IPL 2023, scoring 15 runs and conceding 18 runs in the only over he bowled in the two matches he played as well.
In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra said: “Ben Stokes has said that he won’t play in the IPL. Were Chennai going to retain him? That’s a big question. In my opinion, they weren’t going to do so. Would any other team have bought him for 16.25 crores? My two cents – it was not going to happen.”
He further added: “So he did the right thing. I don’t know if it’s strategic or anything. Why should we comment on it? The truth is that 16.25 crore rupees are suddenly freed there. Ambati Rayudu has retired. So you have 20 crore rupees and you will get five crores in any case when the purse is increased.”
Meanwhile, Ambati Rayudu was acquired by CSK for ₹6.75 crore as well. He scored 158 runs at a strike rate of 139.82 in 12 innings in IPL 2023. And, Aakash Chopra feels the Chennai Super Kings might look to acquire Rachin Ravindra as well.
“So Chennai will reach the auction table with more than 25 crores. Who will they want? Can they think about Rachin Ravindra? He is a possibility. The second thing connected with this is Punjab will release Sam Curran, and they should release him,” Aakash Chopra concluded. “The pitches on which he is going to play and the way he has performed, those pitches haven’t suited him. His performances have been ordinary. If it happens like that and if you come with such a big price tag, you say let’s move on.”