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Sports


IPL has helped English cricket grow, best tournament in world after World Cups: Buttler

IPL has helped English cricket grow, best tournament in world after World Cups: Buttler

London, May 23 (UNI) England batsman Jos Buttler feels the Indian Premier League (IPL) has helped him and his fellow countrymen learn a lot while rubbing shoulders with the world's best, saying that the cash-rich T20 tournament is the best in the world after the ICC World Cups.

While talking in a BBC podcast named 'The Doosra', Butler said he was desperate to be a part of this year's IPL, which now has been indefinitely suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"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.

"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.

The wicketkeeper batsman, has been a part of two franchises in the IPL. After playing for Mumbai Indians in the 2016-17 season, Buttler moved to Rajasthan Royals in 2018.

Having played alongside some of the modern greats in the IPL, Buttler compared playing in the IPL to that of a 'fantasy game', which he aspired to play as kid.

"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.

"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 said.

Buttler credited former skipper Kevin Pietersen, who advocated for the creation of a separate window for the IPL, paving the way for English players to be a part of one of the best T20 leagues in the world.

"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," the England ODI vice-captain 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 realise just how important the IPL is for developing cricketers," he added.

The 13th season of IPL, which was scheduled to start in March end, was indefinitely suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has also put in doubt this year's T20 World Cup in Australia.

There are speculation 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.

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