IPL 2023: 5 teams to target Ben Stokes in the upcoming mini auction

In exactly one week, on December 23, the long-awaited mini-auction of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 will take place in Kochi. Recently, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) released the final list of players (405) to go under the hammer.

Among the great players list, one cricketer set to spark an auction bidding war is England’s star, Ben Stokes. The top-quality all-rounder withdrew from the last edition of the money-rich competition to concentrate on his national task.

There’s no denying that Stokes will spark an intense bidding war as each franchise will look for the kind of all-rounder he is. In addition, the Christchurch-born American will also be an ideal choice for franchises looking for a captain in the upcoming season of the lucrative league. So let’s take a look at five franchises that could target Stokes in the upcoming mini-auction:

1.) Sunrises Hyderabad

Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) have released several players including all rounders and their captain Kane Williamson. Therefore the 2016 champions will be looking for one quality cricketer who can meet both requirements and Stokes is likely to fit right in.

The advantage Stokes brings is that he can bat in the top order and be a finisher when the situation demands, and the Sunrisers need a cricketer like that. Since the Orange Army has the largest purse, fans can expect to go full steam ahead to acquire the services of England’s Test captain.

2.) Punjab Kings

Punjab Kings (PBKS) have a similar story to the Sunrisers. They also knocked out quite a few players, including their skipper Mayank Agarwal, who failed to impress with either the bat or his captain’s armband. However, Punjab does not need a captain as they have already named Shikhar Dhawan as the leader of the squad.

PBKS had Odean Smith in the previous season, but he wasn’t consistent, which is why the Mohali-based franchise can target Stokes as a finisher. Interestingly, Punjab already has two Englishmen in the form of Jonny Bairstow and Liam Livingstone, and with the inclusion of Stokes, PBKS will be able to solve their upper, middle and lower order problem.

3.) Rajasthan Royals

Stokes was part of Rajasthan Royals (RR) along with his England teammate Jos Buttler, and it would come as no surprise if the Royals went ahead of Stoksey again in the mini-auction. During his stint with the franchise, the 31-year-old scored 604 runs in 31 games and took 16 wickets for the side.

The only recognized batsman to have ranked Rajasthan is Riyan Parag, which is why the 2008 IPL winners need a quality all-rounder, and Stokes will meet all their requirements. Also, the Royals have a relatively inexperienced bowling offense, and having Stokes on the side will help the young pacers learn how to bowl in crunch situations.

4.) Lucknow Supergiants

Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) have removed Jason Holder from their roster and will no doubt be looking for an all-rounder. In that respect, Stokes could be an ideal choice. Although LSG has players like Marcus Stoinis and Deepak Hooda, Lucknow would look really dangerous with Stokes in the squad.

Stokes is a ferocious attacker of the ball and a remarkable batsman with the bat, which is exactly what Lucknow needs to make a strong team. As LSG has INR 23.35 crore in their wallets, they can try their best to sign Stokes and add depth to their side.

5.) Chennai Super Kings

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) did not enjoy a fruitful campaign in the last edition as they could record only four wins and finish the season as the ninth team. Ahead of the 2022 edition, CSK made all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja captain but he couldn’t do it right and gave up the post and handed it back to MS Dhoni.

Furthermore, the Super Kings do not have a high-quality bowling attack, nor are they an all-rounder for tempo bowling. Given Stokes has the ability to do well with both bat and ball and can be a leader of the side, the four-time IPL champions could well bid for the England superstar. CSK has INR 20.45 crores in their wallets and they can go a little further to acquire the services of Stokes.

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