England all-rounder Ben Stokes is preparing to participate in the Indian Premier League next month, despite the increasing likelihood of a postponement.
The start of this year's IPL was postponed from 29 March to 15 April as a preventative measure against the coronavirus pandemic. But the tournament might not be played at all, as the spread of the virus escalates in some part of the world.
“At the moment my next competitive cricket is going to be in the IPL,” Stokes told the BBC.
“That hasn't changed yet so I have to think I will be playing on 20 April. I have to get my head around that I am playing even though in the back of my mind I know I am probably not.
“I have to build up and get myself physically in a position that if it does happen I am good to go.
“I cannot take three weeks off and expect the body to be ready for April because it doesn't work like that. It might happen and if it does I don't want to be behind.
“There will be a lot of advice given to us and if it was an option to go we will have to take the sensible one.”
Stokes is part of the Rajasthan Royals' squad, which also features fellow England stars Jos Buttler and Tom Curran. Fast bowler Jofra Archer is also contracted by the Royals, but is currently sidelined by an elbow injury.
Stokes and England in Sri Lanka
Stokes was part of England's squad for this month's Test series against Sri Lanka. The tour, like South Africa's time in India and New Zealand's series in Australia, was also cancelled.
“Everyone was shell-shocked for half an hour in the changing room. It was such a weird feeling because we had been there for 10 or 12 days. We were building up to the first Test and then we were going home,” he added.
“But when you put everything together in terms of where the world was with the coronavirus, and what was being said on tour, it was the wrong place to be at that time and everyone's health is more important than anything else in the world.”