Dubai: Jos Buttler, the dashing England wicketkeeper-batsman who plays for Rajasthan Royals, said his experience of playing in the cash-rich league was akin to playing in fantasy cricket.
“As a kid growing up that is what you want to play - fantasy cricket. Mix all the teams together what it will be like if Kohli and de Villiers play together,” said Buttler, who had been a part of two franchises so far. After playing for Mumbai Indians in the 2016-17 season, Buttler moved to Rajasthan Royals in 2018.
“Some of the match-ups you get to see in the IPL are great. Bangalore has been amongst the top three teams with (Virat)) Kohli, AB (de Villiers) and (Chris) Gayle coming up and then to see them up against a (Jasprit) Bumrah or a Dale Steyn or (Lasith) Malinga.
Buttler credited former skipper Kevin Pietersen, who advocated for the creation of a separate window for the IPL, paving the way for English players to be a part of the event - which had been bit of a taboo for England cricketers in the initial years.
“English cricket has got quite an interesting history with the IPL. The documentary about Kevin 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 the IPL with more blessing from English cricket. He is a pioneer in building the steps in place to realise just how important the IPL is for developing cricketers,” Buttler added.
A member of England’s 50-overs World Cup winning team last year, Butter felt that IPL is the best tournament in the world after the ICC World Cups. “It was something I was desperate to play. For me it’s the best tournament in the world, taking out the World Cups,” Buttler said in a BBC Podcast.
“There’s no doubt that it (IPL) has helped English cricket grow and the numbers of players who were involved in the last few years,” he said.
Butler said he was desperate to be a part of this year’s IPL, which now has been indefinitely suspended owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.