Jos Buttler feels that international cricket should not be clashing with the IPL.

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England players selected for the T20I series against Pakistan and the upcoming men’s T20 World Cup were withdrawn during the final stages of IPL 2024.

Among those who had to leave early were Liam Livingstone, Sam Curran, Will Jacks, Reece Topley, Phil Salt, Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, and Buttler.

While Buttler defended ECB’s decision to pull the World Cup-bound players out of the IPL, he is also of the view that such clashes between international cricket and IPL should not be happening ideally.

“I said, ‘Look, as an England captain, my main priority is to be playing for England,'” Buttler said today (May 21), a day ahead of his IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals’ Eliminator against RCB and England’s first game against Pakistan. “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.”

Several other countries have had international cricket ongoing during IPL 2024, including but not limited to South Africa, West Indies, Ireland, and Bangladesh. Different boards have taken different approaches, with Bangladesh Cricket Board recalling Mustafizur Rahman from the IPL, but South Africa and West Indies allowing their players to continue.

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Sam Curran, who captained Punjab Kings for eight games in the absence of regular captain Shikhar Dhawan, also backed ECB’s decision to call the players back.

“It was a decision that was made, that it was probably the right thing for us all to come back. It was only fair for all franchise to lose a player each or so. It would have been quite harsh if some franchises got to keep a couple of players and then some didn’t.

“I think Jos, Motty [Matthew Mott] and Keysy [Rob Key] wanted us all back together for this series. It makes great sense, because obviously we want to be playing as a team and get used to our roles. It’s quite hard when you go tournament to tournament, and then straight into a big tournament like [the World Cup] where you haven’t really played together.”

It should be noted that the schedule for England’s series against Pakistan was announced in July 2023, much before that for IPL 2024 was confirmed.

The four-match T20I series stars on May 22 at Headingley, Leeds, with the second game to be played on May 25 in Birmingham, the third on May 28 at Cardiff, and the fourth on May 30 at the Kia Oval, London.