The mini-auction of Indian Premier League (IPL) is set to take place in Kochi on December 23. Recently, the players’ auction list was revealed, which featured 991 cricketers (714 Indian, 277 overseas).

Ahead of the bidding process, experts and fans have already started analysing teams’ requirements and players the franchises will target. Following the bandwagon, star Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has opined that England all-rounder Ben Stokes would be a sought-after player in the upcoming auction.

Notably, Stokes was bought for INR 12.5 crore by the Rajasthan Royals (RR) in 2018, but he has not played in the cash-rich league over the last two years. The all-rounder pulled out of the 2021 season due to a knee injury and didn’t register himself for the 2022 edition of the tournament. So far, Stokes has played 43 IPL games, where he has scored 920 runs and taken 28 wickets.

There is no denying that Stokes will be a hot property in the auctions, as teams who require a quality all-rounder and a captain can go for the Christchurch-born. While the bidding show is still a little far, Ashwin has predicted that the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) could definitely go for Stokes.

“Lucknow Super Giants will definitely go for Ben Stokes. Only if they don’t get him, they will go for other players,” said Ashwin on his YouTube channel.

Ashwin also observed that MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings (CSK) might bid for Stokes as well as Sam Curran and Cameron Green. The off-spinner felt CSK could bid for Nicholas Pooran as the Caribbean brings the wicket-keeper option into play.

“I feel as a second keeper, an explosive left-hander, I know he didn’t play well last year but I feel he will go for a good price, Nicholas Pooran. His resale value will be really high. Even CSK might also go for him because CSK will go for Sam Curran from the Marquee list. They won’t get him. They will go all-out on Ben Stokes as well. They won’t get him as well. They will also go for Cameron Green,” added Ashwin.

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