England's white-ball cricket team captain Jos Buttler expressed frustration over not being able to pick the strongest team for international games due to players choosing T20 leagues over national duty, leading up to their World Cup title defense. Several players, including Alex Hales, Sam Billings, and David Willey, have chosen to fulfil franchise commitments and will not be participating in the upcoming Bangladesh series in March.
"Wherever people are playing, we want to pick our best available team, especially for World Cups and big ICC events, so we are open-minded," Buttler was quoted as saying by 'ESPNcricinfo'. "It's quite complicated, and there are some frustrations at certain points but I completely understand people's positions and it's an individual decision at the end of the day."
Buttler stated that they would like to select the best available team, especially for important events such as World Cups, but understands the individual decisions made by the players. England has selected 37 players across 33 ODIs since their World Cup victory in 2019. Jos emphasized that he does not want to criticize players who opt out of England commitments and understands the financial disparity between playing for England and the T20 leagues.
"It's quite a unique situation. It's the time we are in. The way the games are scheduled, I can sort of understand it both ways. As an England captain, on one side you wish that everyone would see playing for England as the main thing and grab any opportunity available," he said.
England recently suffered a 1-2 series loss to South Africa and has named two uncapped players in their squad for the Bangladesh tour. Buttler stated that if players are unavailable, they know they are giving someone else a chance but he does not want to rule players out from playing for England in the future.
"In this day and age, you've got to try to work with it as best you can and if people make themselves unavailable, they know they're giving someone else a chance. But I certainly don't want to be in a position where you rule people out and say they'll never play for England again or anything like that," Buttler said.
The Bangladesh tour will consist of three ODIs and three T20Is and will take place from March 1 to 14.
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