England batsman Buttler likely to get IPL go-ahead

Cape Town, Jan 6 (IANS) England wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler could be encouraged to play in this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL), according to national cricket head coach Trevor Bayliss.

The Lancashire right-hander, 25, is second choice in the Test team behind Jonny Bairstow, and England are keen to give their players more exposure to white ball cricket.

“It’s something we’ve spoken about. If the opportunity arrives and he is not in the Test team and the IPL window is a possibility, I’d be all for it,” Bayliss, a former IPL coach for Kolkata Knight Riders, told reporters following the conclusion of the drawn second Test against South Africa here on Thursday.

England have been reluctant to release their players for the lucrative Twenty20 tournament because it clashes with the beginning of their international season.

This year’s cash-rich T20 tournament is scheduled to be played between April 8 and May 29, meaning players would miss England’s first two Tests of the summer, against Sri Lanka, if they were to commit to the full tournament.

Buttler holds the record for England’s fastest One-Day International (ODI) century — smashing an unbeaten 116 off 52 balls against Pakistan last November.

However, he has a batting average of only 13 in the seven Tests he has played since the start of the Ashes against Australia in Cardiff last July. He was dropped during October’s series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates.

England leg-spinner Adil Rashid was recently encouraged to play in Australia’s Big Bash in preparation for the World T20 in March, and is the joint second highest wicket-taker in the competition with 10.

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