England Test captain Ben Stokes is very categorical that his participation in the 2023 edition of the IPL will be subject to a condition. According to him, whether he will play in India's cricket league will be decided by taking into consideration the national team's calendar.
Stokes, one of the world's leading all-rounders, has already retired from the 50-over format, to strike a better work-life balance.
"It is a case of looking at schedules, looking ahead at what we have got coming up. But as I have made it very clear, Test cricket is at the forefront of my mind and all of my time decisions will be based on Test matches.
"Now being the captain, I have the responsibility to do that," Stokes said.
For the 31-year-old, who has scored 5320 runs and taken close to 200 wickets (185) in 84 Tests, IPL is an "amazing tournament" but he will only play if his jam-packed schedule allows him to.
"I've played in the IPL for four years. I've loved it every time I've been there. It's an amazing competition to be part of, not just for the spectacle of the IPL but the opportunity to work along with the best players in the world, and some of the best coaches.
"It is just an amazing experience to be involved in but as I said, there is a schedule to be looked at around the window of the IPL," Stokes, who had once got more than USD 2 million bid from Rajasthan Royals, added.
He then explained the reason why it always becomes difficult for England players to feature in the IPL.
"As England cricketers, our schedule is jam-packed and we seem to be playing all year around. I think our summer is everybody's winter and when our winter comes along, it is everybody's summer. So, people are either coming here to play or we are touring to play cricket."
(Inputs from PTI)