Jos Buttler, swashbuckling England wicketkeeper-batsman had hailed the IPL for the enormous role that it had played in the growth of English white-ball cricket in the past few years.
Following England’s disastrous 2015 World Cup, the ECB-led by Andrew Strauss softened its stance against allowing its player in participating in the IPL and since then the cash-rich league has been glittered by outrageous talents like Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Curran to name a few.
“There’s no doubt that it (IPL) has helped English cricket grow and the numbers of players who were involved in the last few years,” Buttler said during the BBC Podcast ‘The Doosra’
Buttler said that he was desperate to feature in this years’ IPL, which has now been postponed for an indefinite period of time due to COVID-19 while also admitting that the IPL is the best tournament in the world outside the World Cups.
“It was something I was desperate to play. For me it’s the best tournament in the world, taking out the World Cups,” he added.
Jos Buttler hails Kevin Pietersen for his role in paving way for England cricketers to play in the IPL
Buttler, who has represented two IPL franchises- Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals- reckoned that playing in the cash-rich league is like playing fantasy cricket, something he aspired to play as a kid.
“Some of the matchups you get to see in the IPL are great. Bangalore has been amongst the top three teams with (Virat)) Kohli, AB (de Villiers) and (Chris) Gayle coming up and then to see them up against a (Jasprit) Bumrah or a Dale Steyn or (Lasith) Malinga,” Buttler reckoned
“As a kid growing up that is what you want to play — fantasy cricket. Mix all the teams together what it will be like if Kohli and de Villiers play together,” he added.
The swashbuckling World Cup-winning cricketer also paid tribute to Kevin Pietersen for the role that he played in paving the way for English cricketers going to the IPL.
“English cricket has got quite an interesting history with the IPL. The documentary about Kevin Pietersen and how he wanted to get involved and the roadblocks he faced,” he said.
“He really paved the way for a lot of us to go and now play in the IPL with more blessing from English cricket. He is a pioneer in building the steps in place to realize just how important the IPL is for developing cricketers,” Buttler concluded.