PAK vs ENG: Jos Buttler openly defies BCCI; justifies ECB pulling out players from IPL 2024

Published - 22 May 2024, 01:12 PM | Updated - 22 May 2024, 01:25 PM

Jay Shah Jos Buttler
Jay Shah Jos Buttler. Image Credit: X

England’s white-ball captain and Rajasthan Royals (RR) opener, Jos Buttler, shared his thoughts on the recent controversy surrounding the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) decision to withdraw players from the IPL 2024 Playoffs to prioritize international commitments.

While defending the ECB's decision, Buttler insisted that international cricket matches should not overlap with the world's premier franchise league, the IPL. As England gears up for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup 2024, Buttler stressed that his primary focus is to represent his country.

Jos Buttler defends ECB's decision to withdraw players from IPL 2024 Playoffs

He stressed the importance of joining the England cricket team ahead of the prestigious T20 World Cup in 2024. England will be hosting Pakistan in a four-match T20I series ahead of the mega event, for which the ECB made it mandatory for its players to return home from the ongoing IPL 2024.

Buttler stressed that the schedules must ensure players can fully commit to international duties without conflict with the IPL. He is among the eight members of England's provisional 2024 T20 World Cup squad who left the IPL 2024 before the conclusion of the group stage last week.

Alongside Will Jacks, Reece Topley (both RCB), and Phil Salt (KKR), Buttler's franchise RR qualified for the IPL 2024 Playoffs, but they had to leave them ahead of the crucial matches.

Following their exit from the IPL, England players reported to Leeds on Saturday night to prepare for the upcoming T20I series against Pakistan, with the opening match scheduled for Wednesday, May 22.

My No. 1 priority is playing for England: Jos Buttler

Jos Buttler was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo: “I said, 'Look, as an England captain, my main priority is to be playing for England'. It's my personal opinion that there shouldn't be any international cricket that clashes with the IPL. I think that these games have been in the calendar for a long time. Of course, leading into a World Cup, your No. 1 priority is playing for England and performing for England. I feel like this is the best preparation.”

Notably, the schedule for England's T20I series against Pakistan was announced in July 2023, and this series has been part of the ICC's Future Tours Programme since August 2022. In contrast, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) finalized the fixtures for the 2024 IPL only after the tournament had commenced.

India's general elections delayed BCCI's finalizing of the schedule, which led to the early exit of the English players from the cash-rich T20 league. On the other hand, Buttler played 11 matches for the RR in the IPL 2024 before leaving for England.

The English batter finished the season with 359 runs and the highest score of an unbeaten 107 at an average of nearly 40 and a strike rate of 140 for the Royals. However, RR are certainly missing Buttler, as his replacement, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, made 18 off 23 balls in his only appearance this season.

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Jos Buttler England National Cricket Team IPL Rajasthan Royals Pakistan national cricket team England vs Pakistan