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Cricket: Stokes preparing for IPL despite likely coronavirus shutdown

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LONDON: England all-rounder Ben Stokes says he is preparing to play in the Indian Premier League, even though he knows the tournament is unlikely to go ahead.

Stokes has signed to play for Rajasthan Royals and is one of 13 English players set to feature in the IPL.

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But the Twenty20 tournament has already been delayed until Apr 15 in response to the pandemic and India entered a three-week lockdown in a bid to contain the spread on Wednesday.

"At the moment my next competitive cricket is going to be in the IPL," Stokes told the BBC on Wednesday (Mar 25).

"That hasn't changed yet so I have to think I will be playing on April 20."

Last week, the England and Wales Cricket Board announced that the English county season would not start until at least the end of May, while England's tour of Sri Lanka was also postponed due to the virus.

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With IPL chiefs yet to call off or further delay their event, Stokes has to continue to keep himself in shape to play in the unlikely event he is asked to travel to India.

"I have to get my head round that I am playing even though in the back of my mind I know I am probably not," he added.

"I have to build up and get myself physically in a position that if it does happen I am good to go.

"I cannot take three weeks off and expect the body to be ready for Apr 20 because it doesn't work like that. It might happen and if it does I don't want to be behind.

"There will be a lot of advice given to us and if it was an option to go we will have to take the sensible one."

Stokes said England's players were initially shocked when thRead More – Source