Jos Buttler, England’s wicketkeeper-batsman, reckons that he and his fellow countrymen have learnt a lot while rubbing shoulders with the world’s best in the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL). The 2020 edition of the tournament had to be postponed following the worldwide outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic, but rumours are floating around that the Indian cricket board is eyeing the window which could be opened, provided this year’s scheduled Twenty20 World Cup in Australia gets postponed.
Buttler, who has been part of the Mumbai Indians and is currently associated with the Rajasthan Royals, was talking in a BBC podcast named ‘The Doosra’. “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,” he said on Saturday (May 23). “It was something I was desperate to play. For me it’s the best tournament in the world, taking out the World Cups,” the 29-year old added.
Buttler’s innovative batting, cushioned with some breathtaking strokeplay, was one of the factors in England’s dynamic approach to the 50-over format of the game, which culminated with a victorious campaign in the 2019 edition of the World Cup. Having played alongside some of the modern greats in the IPL, the England ODI vice-captain compared playing in the IPL to that of a ‘fantasy game’.
“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. Some of the match-ups 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,” he said.