Jos Buttler May Not Play In The Rescheduled IPL 2021
Rajasthan Royals wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler in action in IPL 2019. - AFP
Rajasthan Royals wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler in action in IPL 2019. - AFP
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Jos Buttler May Not Play In The Rescheduled IPL 2021

Jos Buttler says he does not expect to play in the rescheduled IPL later this year in what comes as a major blow for the Rajasthan Royals. The tournament was postponed earlier in the year because of the coronavirus pandemic and is set to clash with England’s limited-overs tours to Bangladesh and Pakistan ahead of the T20I World Cup in 2021.

Although England’s players were allowed to play in the IPL in March and April and miss the New Zealand Tests this month because the matches against Kane Williamson’s team were added to the calendar later.

The ECB had already agreed with their players that they could play the whole tournament in India and did not feel able to go back on that agreement once the Tests against New Zealand were added in.

Rajasthan Royals batsman Jos Buttler in action | Sportzpics for BCCI / Pankaj Nangia
Rajasthan Royals batsman Jos Buttler in action | Sportzpics for BCCI / Pankaj Nangia

Jos Buttler: England Will Take Precedence When IPL Clashes With International Cricket

Jos Buttler is of the same understanding as Ashley Giles, the managing director of men’s cricket at the ECB, who has already said he expects England’s players to be on international duty later this year if there is a clash with the IPL.

“Usually the pocket of the IPL doesn’t clash with any international games, which makes it a very easy tournament to be available for,” he said. “When it clashes with international cricket, England will take precedence I’d have thought.”

The decision to allow England’s players to play in the IPL and miss some of England’s winter programs has been criticized. Jos Buttler, one of the Test team’s key players, has now missed England’s last five matches after being rested for the final three games of the India tour and the two-game series against New Zealand after arriving home from the IPL.

Other multi-format players, including Rajasthan Royals teammate Ben Stokes who injured himself after playing a solitary game in IPL 2021, and Chris Woakes, have also missed a number of England Test matches this year.

Rajasthan Royals batsmen Ben Stokes and Sanju Samson
Rajasthan Royals batsmen Ben Stokes and Sanju Samson Photograph: BCCI/IPL

The ECB’s rotation policy is a symptom of the cramped international schedule and Jos Buttler says it is not realistic for England’s players to play all of the international cricket that has been crammed into this year. He suggested that the schedule should be looked at in order to ensure England can have their best players available.

“That’s probably a really good question for all the administrators isn’t it?” he said.

“I think in terms of how much cricket we play, we play a hell of a lot and we understand it’s a short career and you want to be available and play as much as you can. But at certain times, I don’t think is possible – and I think Covid has complicated that even more.”

“It’s a day and age where we’ve got to look after people and applaud really that the guys are trying to be forward-thinking. Is it perfect? No, of course, it’s not, I don’t think so, but I’d rather we look after our guys.”

“I don’t think there are any perfect answers. I think in England we’re playing a lot of cricket, more than most. And obviously, there’s a lot of cricket left this year and there’s some big cricket to come up. So, those breaks were put in there – I think it’s important for everyone to be looked after really well.”

Wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler hit the top gear against Sunrisers Hyderabad by smashing 124 off 64 balls in an IPL 2021 match. RR opener Jos Buttler wasn’t at his usual best before he came to his own with a scintillating 124 versus Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), just a few days before BCCI suspended the tournament due to Covid-19 threat.

Jos Buttler Is Confident To Do Well If He Gets Another Chance While Admitting It’s Disappointing To Miss Games

Jos Buttler will be back in the England team for the three-match T20I series against Sri Lanka which begins on Wednesday (23 June) and hopes to be selected for all five Tests against India which begin on August 4. Since his hundred against Pakistan last summer, Jos Buttler’s recent form in the longest format has been good but he does not think that his break from the team raises the pressure on him when he returns against India.

“It’s always disappointing when you miss cricket,” Buttler said. “I was feeling in good touch and things were going well but I retain that confidence if I get another chance.

“At the same time, what has been helpful as a player are the open discussions you have with the coaches and captains. Those rest periods are there because it probably allows you to throw yourself into everything when you are involved.”

England batsman Jos Buttler
England batsman Jos Buttler (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

“If it’s an endless piece of string then at some point you are going to burn out. Of course it is disappointing to miss games – you want to play everything – but I retain that confidence if I get another chance that I will be in a good place.”

The swashbuckling wicketkeeper-batsman had scored 328 runs in the IPL 2020 and 254 runs in 7 games in the IPL 2021 averaging 36.28. While he had to leave IPL 2019 midway to join the England team for the World Cup 2019 preparations, he made an impact during his eight-game stint, scoring 311 runs, following his 548-run season in IPL 2018 where he averaged 54.8.