Even though the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League is still under a huge cloud, England cricketers Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler are keeping themselves ready, should the prospect of playing the tournament, even a truncated version of it, emerge in the near future.
Stokes and Buttler are both part of the Rajasthan Royals outfit. The 2020 IPL was set to begin on March 29, before being postponed to April 15. Now, even that looks to be an unlikely start date, with India’s government imposing a three-week nationwide lockdown that only ends on April 14. There is also the possibility that the lockdown could be further extended, depending on how the situation in the country develops over the next couple of weeks.
“At the moment, my next competitive cricket is going to be the IPL, because that hasn’t changed yet,” Stokes told BBC Radio 5live on Wednesday. “So I have to think that I’m going to be playing cricket on April 20.
“I have to get my head around that I am playing, even though in the back of my mind I know I’m probably not. I still have to build up and get myself physically in a position, that if it does happen, I’m good to go, because I can’t just take three weeks off and expect everything body-wise to get going again for April 20. It doesn’t work like that.”
Buttler acknowledged that things seem uncertain at the moment, but didn’t rule out a change in the positive direction.”It’s very hard to see this [situation] changing in the immediate future, so I don’t see that as a possibility at the moment,” he said. “But as we know, things can hopefully change for the positive quickly as well.
“That’s such a massive tournament for world cricket, so hopefully it becomes a situation where some of it [can be played] or it can become a shortened tournament, or something can go ahead.”