IPL has helped English cricket grow, says Jos Buttler
England's wicket-keeper batsman Jos Buttler feels the Indian Premier League (IPL) has helped English cricket grow over the years. He also admitted that the cash-rich tournament is the best after the ICC World Cups. The 2019 World Cup-winning cricketer, has been a part of two franchises in the IPL. Here's what Buttler had to say about the IPL.
"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 in the BBC Podcast 'The Doosra'. "It was something I was desperate to play. For me it's the best tournament in the world, taking out the World Cups," the English cricketer added.
The IPL has been a platform for the best cricketers to come and rub their shoulders. "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, ABD and (Chris) Gayle coming up and then to see them up against a (Jasprit) Bumrah or a Dale Steyn or (Lasith) Malinga."
Buttler went on to laud former skipper Kevin Pietersen, who advocated for the creation of a separate window for IPL, paving the way for English players to be a part of the tournament. "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 road blocks he faced," he said.
Buttler praised KP by calling him a pioneer in making everyone realize how important is the IPL. "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 realise just how important the IPL is for developing cricketers," Buttler added.
"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," said Buttler.
Several England cricketers have played an important role for franchises over the years in the tournament. Besides KP, we saw the likes of Buttler and Ben Stokes making their presence felt. Of late, Jofra Archer and Sam Curran have made an entry, alongside the seasoned Jonny Bairstow, who had a terrific IPL 2019. In the IPL 2020 auction, Eoin Morgan found his way back.
IPL 2020, which was scheduled to start in March end, was indefinitely suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which could also impact this year's T20 World Cup in Australia. There is speculation that the IPL might be conducted in October-November if the WT20 is postponed.