England wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler believes the Indian Premier League (IPL) is the best tournament in the world besides the two World Cups.
Buttler, whose performances in the IPL helped him cement a place in the England side across formats, also said that it helped English cricket grow.
“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’.
“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 further added that the league is like the fantasy cricket he aspired to play as kid, with all of the top stars of the game from around the globe coming together.
“Some of the match ups 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 said that former England skipper Kevin Pietersen, who once advocated for the creation of a separate window for the IPL, helped pave the way for English players to be a part of the cash-rich tournament.
“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,” the 29-year old added.