IPL 2023: Not going to rush myself, main priority to bowl for England in Ashes, says CSK’s Ben Stokes

Notably, the star all-rounder, who was roped in for Rs 16.25 crore by CSK ahead of IPL 2023, has bowled one over in their first three games of the season. With the bat as well, the 31-year-old has scored seven and eight runs respectively.

“I’ve worked so hard over the last month, five weeks, to get where I am now,” Stokes was quoted as saying on Sky Sports during their Indian Premier League coverage.

“Being able to bowl pain-free, touch wood, has been good. I went for 18 runs, but I was like ‘oh I managed to bowl an over without pain in my knee. Going nicely (recovery from knee injury). But I’m not going to rush myself, the main priority is making sure I can fulfill my role as a fourth seamer in the Ashes,” he added.

Stokes missed CSK’s match against five-time champions Mumbai Indians (MI) due to a minor toe injury. He is expected to turn up for the side’s match against against Rajasthan Royals (RR) on Wednesday.

Further, the England Test team captain also stated that the side has demanded fast and flat wickets for the Ashes 2023 which kicks off from June 16 in Birmingham. He also conceded that he was already clear about the playing eleven for the first match.

“I think I know what the starting XI is going to be, there or thereabouts,” Stokes told Sky Sports.

“Having the option to bowl above 90mph, any captain wants that. When it comes to that first Test I will be making sure I pick the best team for that first game.

“We’ve been clear, especially with the ground staff around England, about what type of wickets we want and they’ve been responsive. We want flat, fast wickets,” he concluded.

Notably, England haven’t won the Ashes series since 2015.

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