English vice-captain Jos Buttler said the time he spent with the Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League 2016 made him a better cricketer.
“I think the IPL is probably the best cricket experience I’ve ever had. I’ve learnt as much, not just about T20 but about myself, about all forms of cricket, about what it takes to become a top cricketer. It’s the best experience I’ve had as a cricketer,” the 26-year-old told reporters ahead of their second ODI against India.
“Whether other people will feel that, I don’t know. I could only have good things to say about it. So hopefully, from my point of view, there are more English guys involved in experiencing playing in these conditions, in front of these crowds, under the pressure of being overseas players.
“It can only stand you in good stead, looking forward to when you play for England, and when you play in different competitions and knockout competitions, I think it is a great experience to be part of,” he said.
Buttler is expected to give his English teammates his advice ahead of the IPL-2017 auction slated to be held in Bengaluru on February 4.
“Well, little bit maybe. If the guys ask, I am obviously happy to discuss it. I think it is always going to be a little bit of an individual decision. I can only speak from my own experience.”
Asked whether he would focus more on the Champions Trophy nearing in less than six months time or the franchisee-based lucrative league, Buttler said, “It’s a tough question. End of the day, you want to play for England and represent England.”
England will prepare for the Champions Trophy in June by hosting Ireland for two match ODI series.
“Obviously the management will make the call on the players, and the availability for the Ireland games. I think its a great thing for Irish cricket as well to be playing England in England.
“One of the game is in Lord’s as well, so that’s a good thing for cricket as a whole. It is important for growing the game of cricket as whole. I understand that it is a tricky sort of situation — the IPL is a great experience but playing for England is obviously a fantastic opportunity and a privilege as well. It’s a tough question.”