Rajasthan Royals still don’t know if Ben Stokes will be able to participate in IPL 2020.
The England star is still in New Zealand visiting his ill father and the franchise are having to wait to find out his availability.
Rajasthan start their IPL campaign against the Chennai Super Kings in Sharjah on September 22.
Coach Andrew McDonald said: “First and foremost, thoughts with the Stokes family.
“It’s a difficult scenario, so we’re giving him as much time as he needs, and connecting with him as best we can. So yeah, we’re not sure where Stokesy’s at right now, but once it has played out, then we can make our decisions from there.
“But I don’t want to second-guess what will happen with him just yet,” he told ESPNCricinfo.
Smith “more clear-cut”
Meanwhile, another overseas star preparing to line up for the Rajasthan Royals in the UAE is Australian Steve Smith.
Smith suffered concussion during the current ODI series in England but McDonald hopes he’ll be fine for his IPL stint.
The RR coach also backed the squad to be able to cope with any other injury or selection issues during the tournament.
He added: “Steve Smith is a bit more clear-cut, I think. He needs a little bit of time, it was a short turnaround between game one and two where the concussion happened, so I’d imagine there were some lingering side effects.
“They’ll be erring on the side of caution, so hopefully [we will] see him out there again on Wednesday [for the third ODI against England in Manchester].
“You’re going to have other moving parts throughout the tournament. There will be injuries, fatigue, all sorts of things. So, while there’s speculation around where Smudger’s at, and Stokesy, we feel we’ve got some good coverage to be able to play different ways.
“We’ve added some depth in terms of our left-hand batting, in particular in (Anuj) Rawat and (Yashashvi) Jaiswal among the home-grown players, so we think we’ve got some options there. The way we set up at the auction, we feel we can structure our side up to three or four different ways.”