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  5. 'My main priority is to be playing for England': Jos Buttler reacts after early IPL 2024 exit

'My main priority is to be playing for England': Jos Buttler reacts after early IPL 2024 exit

As many as eight England players left the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) during the last week of league stage to be available for international duty for the T20I series against Pakistan. Amidst criticism for the same, Buttler has reacted.

Written By: Aditya Kukalyekar @adikukalyekar New Delhi Published on: May 22, 2024 13:44 IST
ENG vs PAK
Image Source : GETTY Jos Buttler

England are set to play against Pakistan in the first of the four-match T20I series today (May 22) at Headingley in Leeds. For this series, eight English cricketer including the captain Jos Buttler returned early from the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) edition. The move didn't go down well especially with former Indian cricketers Irfan Pathan and Sunil Gavaskar who openly criticised the foreign players for leaving the franchises in lurch at the crucial stage of the tournament.

For the unversed, apart from Buttler, Phil Salt, Reece Topley, and Will Jacks would've played the playoffs for their respective teams if they had stayed back at the IPL. Their absence will certainly make the difference for their teams. But Jos Buttler has backed ECB's decision to pull the players out of IPL for the Pakistan series.

He also stated that international duty comes first for him and that it was important for the World Cup bound players to play together in a series before the mega event. However, he is also of the opinion that international cricket shouldn't clash with the IPL which puts players in trouble as well.

"I said, 'Look, as an England captain, my main priority is to be playing for England. It's my personal opinion that there shouldn't be any international cricket that clashes with the IPL. I think that these games have been in the calendar for a long time. Of course, leading into a World Cup, your No. 1 priority is playing for England and performing for England. I feel like this is the best preparation," Buttler said on the eve of the first T20I against Pakistan.

Notably, New Zealand played five T20Is against Pakistan during the IPL but the Kiwis sent the second string squad for the series as their main players were busy in the cash-rich league. In fact, the upcoming South Africa vs West Indies T20I series will also be held without the IPL bound players from both teams.

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