Ben Stokes still preparing for Indian Premier League despite lockdown

Ben Stokes was named BBC Sport Personality of the Year in December

England's all-rounder Ben Stokes says he is still preparing to return to competitive cricket in the Indian Premier League next month.

India was subjected to a three-week "total blockade" on Tuesday because of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.

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The start of the IPL season has been postponed until April 15, but has not been canceled.

"At the moment, my next competitive cricket will be at IPL," Stokes told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"I have to understand that I am playing, although in the back of my mind I know I probably am not. I have to graduate and physically put myself in a position that, if that happens, I am ready to go."

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"I can't take three weeks off and I hope the body is ready for April 20, because it doesn't work like that. It can happen and if it does, I don't want to be left behind."

Stokes, 28, is one of 13 English players to take part in the lucrative tournament, which was due to start on 29 March.

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Last week, the Cricket Council of England and Wales announced that the county season would not start until at least the end of May.

Stokes is spending a long time at home after Sri Lanka's winter tour of England was canceled two weeks ago.

The two-test series was due to start in Galle on March 19, but it was canceled after the coronavirus outbreak.

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