Ben Stokes has left New Zealand to join Rajasthan Royals for the Indian Premier League in UAE tonight (October 3).
Stokes has been in Christchurch through the last month to spend time with his family, particularly his father who is battling brain cancer.
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Stokes left for New Zealand in August after the first Test against Pakistan, missing the subsequent two Tests. He also missed Australia’s limited-overs tour of England.
In his absence, Rajasthan Royals have won two of their three matches defeating Chennai Super Kings and Kings XI Punjab before losing to Kolkata Knight Riders. Stokes will still be an invaluable addition to the side given their thin lower order.
He had begun training recently in Christchurch as well, showing indications that he could feature in the IPL.
“Hopefully, Ben Stokes would play a part this year, he’s a big loss and our thoughts are with him, but you know, add Ben to the team that played the other night and it looks a very, very good side," Warne had told PTI ahead of their game against KKR on Wednesday, which they lost.
Stokes will have to undergo a quarantine period of six days and test negative twice before playing a game. Apart from Saturday’s game, RR play their next three matches on October 6, 9, 11 and 14.
Stokes is likely to be available for the October 14 match against Delhi Capitals in Dubai.