Stokes eyes learning experience in IPL

Monday's Indian Premier League auction could bring significant financial reward for Ben Stokes, but the England all-rounder insists his desire to play in the competition is based on an eagerness to develop as a cricketer.

Stokes is anticipated to be in high demand when the latest IPL player draw takes place, having impressed on the international stage with his powerful batting, often potent bowling and athleticism in the field.

Yet while it would be no surprise if England's new Test vice-captain fetched a high price, Stokes told the Telegraph: "I just want to get picked up. That is the main thing about it."

The 25-year-old hopes to follow in the footsteps of Jos Buttler, who represented Mumbai Indians in last year's IPL.

"Since he came back from the IPL you can tell from the way he has played he has gone to another level in terms of hitting, his consistency and where he can hit the ball," said Stokes.

"He has always been able to hit around the ground but playing in the IPL has taken him another level from where he was.

"We are a very strong team England-wise but it will be nice to go away somewhere and focus on the skills that I want to get better at in T20, which are hitting the boundary, different areas and different options with the bat. How to bowl in a given situation but then also doing it against the best players in the world that those competitions attract.

"Observing those players as well close up is another big thing. Just being in an environment with these guys, training with them, picking their minds on cricket is the kind of thing you can only benefit from."

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