IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals is likely to miss its premier all-rounder Ben Stokes during the first part of the T20 event as the World Cup-winner is currently in New Zealand to be with his ailing father Ged.
Stokes, considered the world's best all-rounder right now, left for Christchurch in the middle of the Test series against Pakistan last month after his father, a former All Blacks International, was diagnosed with brain cancer.
"As per quarantine rules in New Zealand, Ben has just completed his 14-day isolation period after reaching New Zealand. Now he will be meeting his father and obviously he would like to spend some quiet time with his family in this time of crisis," a source privy to developments in the franchise told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
Stokes has been bought by Royals for Rs 12.5 crore.
The IPL starts on September 19 in the UAE, forced out of India due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event will conclude on November 10.
It is understood that the franchise will wait for Stokes to get back to the management and only if the cricketer confirms his availability for the second half, it will take things forward.
Recently, he singlehandedly won a Test against West Indies despite not being fully fit with a hundred and fifty in each innings and three wickets.
"I didn't sleep for a week and my head wasn't really in it," Stokes had told the Weekend Herald on Saturday after reaching New Zealand.