Buttler said he was desperate to be a part of this year’s IPL, which now has been indefinitely postponed owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. The World Cup-winning wicketkeeper-batsman has thus far been a part of two franchises in IPL. After playing for Mumbai Indians in the 2016 and 2017 seasons, Buttler moved to Rajasthan Royals in 2018 and has been representing it since then.
“There is no doubt that it (IPL) has helped English cricket grow. It has helped a number 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 is the best tournament in the world, taking out the World Cups,” he added.
Buttler, who made massive strides as a white ball player after a few seasons in IPL, said the league is like the fantasy cricket he aspired to play as a kid, with the top stars of the game rubbing shoulders together. “Some of the match-ups you get to see in IPL are great. Royal Challengers Bangalore has been amongst the strongest teams with (Virat) Kohli, AB (de Villiers) and (Chris) Gayle coming up. We see them up against a (Jasprit) Bumrah or a Dale Steyn or a (Lasith) Malinga. As a kid growing up, that is what you want to play -- fantasy cricket. Mix all the teams together and see how 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 IPL. That paved the way for English players to be a part of the event. “English cricket has got quite an interesting history with IPL. The documentary about Pietersen and how he wanted to get involved and the road blocks he faced,” he said.
“He really paved the way for a lot of us to go and now play in IPL with more blessing from English cricket. He is a pioneer in building the steps to realise just how important IPL is for developing cricketers,” added Buttler.
The 13th edition of IPL, which was scheduled to start in March, has been indefinitely postponed due to the coronavirus, which has also put in doubt this year’s T20 World Cup in Australia.