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Bangladesh- England Series

Buttler ‘frustrated’ as England players pick PSL over Bangladesh tour



Photo: Jos Buttler against Bangladesh in 2019 ODI World Cup

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Jos Buttler, the captain of England's white-ball team, has acknowledged his "frustrations" over players choosing franchise commitments over the upcoming white-ball tour of Bangladesh, but he is adamant that nobody will be disqualified from selection for subsequent squads due to their choice.

On Thursday, the T20 and ODI squads for the tour were revealed. With less than nine months until England's World Cup defense in India, the 50-over matches are of particular significance.

Buttler's team will also be without a number of seasoned internationals who chose to withdraw in order to take up more lucrative opportunities in the Pakistan Super League. This is in addition to several key players being absent due to a scheduling conflict with the Test series in New Zealand.

T20 World Cup winner Alex Hales, spinner Liam Dawson, who was part of the squad during the 2019 World Cup success, and wicketkeeper Sam Billings, who has represented England in all three formats at some point since the start of last year are bound to PSL deals.

Seamer David Willey, who was part of the squad for the ODI series defeat in South Africa over the past week, is also not involved, though he does not currently have a PSL deal.

“It’s quite a unique situation. It’s the times we are in, the way the games are scheduled, and I can sort of understand it both ways,” Buttler said to London Evening Standard.

“As an England captain, on one side you wish that everyone would see playing for England as the main thing and grab any opportunity available but there are bigger things in play as well and the discrepancy between what people can earn playing for England and not playing for England is quite large. So, that’s a factor that must be considered and for each individual that will be a different decision made at differ times of their careers” he added.

The ECB has spoken with each player about their unique situation and is sympathetic to their dilemma, especially in the case of players like Hales, Dawson, and Billings who are not centrally contracted.

The ECB is aware of the need for flexibility in selection and availability going forward. The introduction of new T20 competitions in South Africa and the UAE this winter has significantly increased the number of English players playing white-ball overseas.

“In this day and age, you’ve got to try to work with it as best you can. If people make that choice to make themselves unavailable they know they’re giving someone else a chance as well,”

“I certainly don’t want to be in a position where you rule people out and say they’ll never play for England again or anything like that” the captain said.

Following the Bangladesh tour, England do not have another limited-overs game until home ODI series against New Zealand and Ireland in September and Buttler has made clear that domestic and red-ball form will have to be taken into consideration when it comes to World Cup selection.

“Wherever people are playing, we want to pick out best available team, especially for World Cups and big ICC events, so we are open-minded,” he added.

“It’s quite complicated, for sure, and of course there are some frustrations at certain points but I completely understand people’s positions and it’s an individual decision at the end of the day.”