Star England cricketer Jos Buttler feels that the Indian Premier League (IPL) has helped English cricket grow. The wicketkeeper-batsman labelled the IPL as the best tournament in the world after the ICC Cricket World Cup.

In a media interaction, Buttler said that he was eager to participate in this year’s IPL which now stands suspended indefinitely own the coronavirus pandemic.

The World Cup-winning England cricketer has been part of two franchises in his IPL career so far representing the Mumbai Indians in the 2016 and 2017 seasons while playing for the Rajasthan Royals in the subsequent seasons.

“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,” Buttler said in the BBC Podcast ‘The Doosra’.  (via PTI)

“It was something I was desperate to play. For me it’s the best tournament in the world, taking out the World Cups,” he added.

Buttler, who has improved as a white-ball player after few seasons of IPL, said that the league is like fantasy cricket that he wanted to play as a kid and where the top cricketers from around the world play with and against each other.

“Some of the matchups 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.

“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,” he added.

Buttler also credited former England skipper Kevin Pietersen, who wanted a separate window for the IPL, which enabled the English cricketers to be part of the biggest cricketing spectacle on the planet.

“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.

The 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) which was scheduled to start in March-end has been indefinitely postponed in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. The same has also put in doubt the T20 World Cup scheduled to be played in Australia later this year.

If the T20 World Cup gets pushed back to next year, there is speculation that the IPL might happen in the October-November window.