Uncertainty is looming over the presence of Jos Buttler in the postponed IPL 2021 later this year due to commitment to his national duties. As IPl has been postponed earlier in the wake of the worsening pandemic situation, it has been rescheduled to be held in the mid-sep. However, the dates of the rescheduled IPL are clashing with England’s limited overs tour to Bangladesh and Pakistan ahead of the T20 world cup. So, England players are finding it difficult to participate in the remainder of the IPL.
Earlier, IPL prevailed over the other International series. England were allowed to play the IPL over the test against New zealand. It happened because the England cricket board had already agreed to let the players play for the IPL. Test against New Zealand was added late into the calendar. The ECB did not want to breach the agreement and continued ahead with an earlier decision to allow the players to play for the IPL, avoiding the late-added test against New zealand.
However, Ashley Giles, the managing director of men’s cricket at the ECB, expects the players to give priority to their national duties rather than opting to play for the IPL in the case of the clash with IPL. Jos Butler is of the same opinion that “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 the players to play for the IPL, avoiding the national duties, has been criticized by many in the cricket fraternity of England. Even Jos Butler who has returned from IPL earlier has missed the five matches after he has been rested for the final three games against India and two games series against New zealand. Other multi-format players, including Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes, have also missed a number of England Test matches this year.
The rotational policy is the symptom of the cramped international schedule and Butler says that it is not possible for the players to play the matches properly in the cramped schedule. The schedule should be formed in such a way that the best players of England can get the opportunity to play the games.
“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 it 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’s any perfect answer. 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.”
Jos Butler is expected to be back in the team to play the 3 match T20 series against Sri lanka that begin on wednesday and hopefully he will also be the part of the 5 tests series against India that will begin on Aug 4. He hopes to be in good form and last year, he hit the hundred against Pakistan and he has been in the good form since in the longest format. Jos Butler does not feel that his recent break from cricket will in any way affect his upcoming performance, he feels no pressure at all due to his form.
“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.”