‘England takes precedence over IPL’ – Asia Despatch

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Jos Buttler
Jos Buttler has missed England’s past five Tests, in which they have lost four and drawn one

Jos Buttler expects to be playing for England rather than taking part in a rescheduled Indian Premier League.

The IPL was postponed in May and is set to be concluded in the United Arab Emirates in September and October.

At the same time, England are set to be preparing for the Twenty20 World Cup with tours of Bangladesh and Pakistan.

“Usually the IPL doesn’t clash with any international cricket,” said Buttler. “When it does clash, probably England will take precedence.”

England director of cricket Ashley Giles has previously said that the national team will take priority over the rearranged IPL.

When asked where he expects to be if there is a scheduling conflict, wicketkeeper Buttler, who plays for Rajasthan Royals, replied: “Where Ashley Giles says.”

A number of England players had been given clearance to take a full part in the IPL as it was originally scheduled, despite being rested for periods of international cricket.

Even after the IPL was postponed, almost all of those players missed England’s 1-0 Test series defeat by New Zealand after being rested following a period of quarantine on their return to the UK.

Buttler, 30, has now missed England’s past five Tests, in which time they have registered four defeats and one draw.

“In the past 18 months to two years, there have been some strides made, and the side is going in the right direction,” he said.

“Some key personnel weren’t playing in the games just gone. Things are still in a good place.”

Buttler is returning to the England side for the three-match T20 series against Sri Lanka, the first of which is in Cardiff on Wednesday.

England have rotated players in 2021 in a bid to manage their workload and guard well-being in the Covid era, when so much cricket takes place in a ‘bubble’.

However, with the international schedule now full until early 2022, including five home Tests against India, the T20 World Cup in India and an Ashes series in Australia, there seems little opportunity for players to take a break without being rested.

Buttler said it is the “dream” to play in all five Tests against both India and Australia, but that the full calendar is “daunting”.

“I want to play as much as I can,” he said. “You always want to be available for everything.

“I don’t think there are any perfect answers. We play a lot of cricket and it’s important for everyone to be looked after.”

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