New Delhi, May 21 (IANS): Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Sunday said England Test captain Ben Stokes has left the franchise to prepare for England's upcoming home summer, which kickstarts with a one-off Test against Ireland on June 1, followed by The Ashes starting from June 16 at Edgbaston.
"Home bound for the national duty! We'll be whistling for you, Stokesy! Until next time!" said the franchise a day after sealing their playoffs spot with a crushing 77-run victory over Delhi Capitals at the Arun Jaitley Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Stokes was Chennai's most expensive signing at last year's mini auction at a whopping INR 16.25 crores. His maiden season with the four-time champions turned out to be an injury-plagued one, with Stokes making just two appearances in the league stage of IPL 2023.
Stokes featured in Chennai's first two matches against Gujarat Titans in Ahmedabad and Lucknow Super Giants at Chepauk. But a toe injury ruled him out of the following few matches. In the two matches he played, Stokes bowled just one over, conceding 18 runs while making scores of 7 and 8 with the bat.
Stokes was supposed to return to action towards the end of April, but head coach Stephen Fleming revealed that he 'suffered a setback' which kept him out of action for more time. Stokes was managing an already-existing left knee injury heading into IPL 2023.
Despite Stokes' limited participation in IPL 2023, Chennai entered the playoffs for the 12th time in their history of participation in the competition. They will now head back home to play in the Qualifier 1 against top-ranked Gujarat Titans at Chepauk on May 23.