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Ben Stokes gearing up for Indian Premier League 2020 season despite coronavirus lockdown

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 25/03/2020 JOE KRISHNAN

COLOMBO, SRI LANKA - MARCH 11: Ben Stokes of England catches during a nets session at the P Sara Oval on March 11, 2020 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images) © 2020 Getty Images COLOMBO, SRI LANKA - MARCH 11: Ben Stokes of England catches during a nets session at the P Sara Oval on March 11, 2020 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images) Ben Stokes says he is preparing to return to competitive cricket for the start of the Indian Premier League season despite the Covid-19 lockdown in India.

The England all-rounder is one of 13 players from England set to take part in the lucrative tournament, which had been pushed back to April 15 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

On Wednesday, India entered a three-week lockdown which cast doubt over whether the IPL would go ahead but the organisers have not yet cancelled the event.

COLOMBO, SRI LANKA - MARCH 11: Ben Stokes of England runs during a nets session at the P Sara Oval on March 11, 2020 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images) © 2020 Getty Images COLOMBO, SRI LANKA - MARCH 11: Ben Stokes of England runs during a nets session at the P Sara Oval on March 11, 2020 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images) Stokes, 28, is contracted to play for the Rajasthan Royals with the season just three weeks away and insists he will prepare for the season to go ahead.

"At the moment my next competitive cricket is going to be in the IPL," Stokes told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"That hasn't changed yet so I have to think I will be playing on April 20.

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"I have to get my head round 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 20 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."

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