With the passage of time, almost every major cricketing nation has embraced the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL). The richest league in the world by a mile not only ensures that the players get a hefty package but also give them an opportunity to share the dressing room with some of the top-notch cricketers in the world.

The likes of Australia, South Africa, New Zealand have never hesitated in sending their players – to the cricketing extravaganza in India.

However, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has not been as inclined towards sending players to India during this time of the year.

One of the prime reasons is that the county season coincides with the IPL.

Even this year, there was controversy when David Willey signed up for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) just days before the start of the County Championship season.

The England pacer Willey had also withdrawn from Yorkshire’s friendly with Leicestershire to join the IPL side.

David Willey joined Super Kings (Credits: BCCI)

Willey was the 12th English star to join IPL this year –  more than in any previous year.  Durham’s Mark Wood, Surrey’s Tom Curran, and the Yorkshire pair of Liam Plunkett and Willey were signed up as replacement players which pretty much scuppered the county teams’ plans just before the season.

But while the counties and ECB have their reservation over IPL, the players have shown a keen interest in playing in the domestic professional Twenty20 league.

In a recent interview, England star Jos Buttler made it clear that the players are now giving more importance to the white-ball cricket.

And he admitted that playing in the IPL is important for the development of players’ white-ball skills.

“The changing opinions and attitudes towards white-ball cricket are key. The IPL clashes with our county season. We are taking white ball cricket as seriously as red ball cricket,” Buttler told Hindustan Times.

 

“There are not many players who play all formats. So, the burnout issue is not prevalent anymore. Trevor Bayliss, in particular, who had success with Kolkata Knight Riders as the head coach, knows how important it is for the success of players,” he added.

As many as 12 English players are playing in this season of IPL (Credits: BCCI

The Rajasthan Royals (RR) star further spoke on the much-debated country vs franchise topic.

On the expected lines, he said that country comes first. But at the same time, he indicated that IPL is now an important part of players’ career.

“Country, hopefully, always comes first. The climate of cricket has changed a lot with the IPL and the money the tournament offers. At the end of the day, we are professional athletes and we have a short career. To a big extent, earning as much money in that time is hugely important,” he said.

Earlier this year, Yorkshire’s Adil Rashid and Nottinghamshire’s Alex Hales, both England internationals, had signed limited-overs’ contracts with their counties.

Not surprisingly, it had made a lot of heads turn. Jos Buttler, however, sees nothing wrong in it.

“I think there is nothing wrong in people wanting to specialise in the sport. It is becoming increasingly tough to play in all three formats. I don’t think we should have that snobbery that if you play cricket, you need to play all formats,” he noted.

Also, Read: IPL 2018: Faf du Plessis All Praises for Ambati Rayudu’s Flexibility