Jos Buttler has stated that an agreement to partake in the IPL was in place much before the NZ series was announced but added that it would be 'bittersweet' to miss the Test series if it comes to that. The England vice-captain then reckoned that IPL has been hugely beneficial for English cricket.
England are scheduled to take on New Zealand in a two-match Test series from June 2, which is not a part of the World Test Championship, and it has been decided by both the boards that both England and New Zealand players, who are a part of the IPL, will be staying back in India till the end of their respective campaign. Kane Williamson called it a "not the most ideal" scenario and now Jos Buttler, who missed the last three Tests of the India series but is now back in India for the five-match T20I series, echoed the same sentiment.
"I think an agreement about the participation in IPL was in place well before the New Zealand Test series was announced," Buttler said on Tuesday (March 9), reported Cricbuzz.
"It is always going to be bittersweet if you are missing games with England or whatever opportunities you are missing. But we don't know how far players are going to get into that tournament and we don't know if we are actually going to miss them yet so we'll wait and see. It's a far from a perfect situation."
The Indian Premier League provides life-changing sums of money to players playing in it, which is a big incentive, but the learnings from the tournament can never be overstated. The fusion of the best of Indian talents and those from the foreign countries make it the best T20 tournament in the world and Buttler underlined that in his statement which further left in a diabolical situation in a tough and busy calendar year for English cricket.
"We all know the benefits of IPL. It's a huge tournament and monetary rewards are obvious and also the experience you gain and it has its pluses too. And it's obvious in the upturn of the white-ball game in England, and the number of players participating in it and how beneficial it is to all of us. Of course, the schedule is tough and there is no perfect balance to it, and ECB and players are working closely trying to manage that.
"Is there a perfect answer? No in the times that we are operating at the moment," Buttler added.
There have been so many talks surrounding ECB's rotation policy with many former players criticizing the board for 'not prioritizing the Test format'. However, Buttler didn't agree to that sentiment, saying last summer, England didn't have the best of the squad available for the limited-overs leg and the rotation was done to keep the players fresh ahead of the Ashes.
"We'd rather prevent problems than react to them. The ECB and the players have worked closely on that and I think we need to get away from the idea that you just go until you break and then we leave players behind," Buttler said.
"There is so much cricket coming up, there's that huge carrot of the Ashes at the end of the year and you need to be getting to that point with players in the best shape to go and perform in that series, as opposed to being burnt out and no longer wanting to be in that (bubble) environment.
"If you look back at last summer, we didn't have a full-strength squad available for those games. The only time so far that I'd say we've had a full-strength T20 side available would be the South Africa tour and obviously we've got what is, for the moment, our full-strength squad here in India. I don't see it that it will be possible for the T20 side to have a full-strength squad going through the summer so I think it is quite an inaccurate statement," Buttler said.
"I think both Eoin and Joe, Chris Silverwood and the ECB have worked closely together to try and balance things as best they can in what is an incredibly difficult situation.