New Delhi: Indian Premier League 2017's most expensive player, Ben Stokes, has been one of the stand out performers until the season so far but it seems as if Rising Pune Supergiant will be without his services in the play-offs (if they go through).
Several media reports suggest that the English all rounder will fly back home to fulfill national duty as the Three Lions prepare to face South Africa in a three-match one-day international series beginning May 24. Several other England and South African players have also left IPL for the series, which also has two practice matches scheduled, on May 19 and 21.
Kings XI Punjab's David Miller and Hashim Amla had left for South Africa on Monday to join their national side for the same reason while Mumbai Indians' Jos Buttler has also returned home.
"Buttler won't be with us for the play-offs but he has a great season for us," said MI's Mitchell McClenaghan on the eve of the match against Kings XI Punjab.
Apart from Buttler and Stokes, the Kolkata Knight Riders' all rounder Chris Woakes is also expected to leave on May 14.
Stokes has been one of the prime reasons why RPS find themselves in strong position to qualify for the next round and with Faf du Plesis already out, skipper Steve Smith will duly miss his Rs 14.5 crore man in the play offs.
In 10 matches he has played so far, Stokes has slammed 283 runs, which includes a brilliant hundred and also a half-century. Not just that, he has also racked up 10 wickets so far in the IPL 2017.