Wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler, who is a regular fixture in England's T20 and ODI squad, is all set to attract huge money in the IPL auctions in February. Buttler looks like being made available for IPL action this year, after England head coach, Trevor Bayliss, admitted he could let the aggressive batsman play in the lucrative league.
The Test series between England and Sri Lanka, which is set to start on 19 May, may lead to some big England Test cricketers, including Ben Stokes, going unsold in the IPL auction.
Stokes would have been on the radar of IPL teams, after his brutal 198-ball 258 against South Africa recently, but with the left-hander very much in the English Test setup, IPL franchises, who want their players for the entire length of the tournament, are likely to ignore the all-rounder batsman.
However, the story is quite different with Buttler, who has lost his place to Jonny Baristow in the England Test side, with the latter scoring big runs for the Three Lions in the series against South Africa. Buttler, who is a part of the England Test team in South Africa, has been warming the bench, with Baristow given the nod behind the stumps.
With the England cricket board quite keen on allowing their ODI and T20 players to play franchise cricket, Buttler's name in the IPL auction looks like being a foregone conclusion. The ECB also followed a similar policy for Adil Rashid, who was allowed to play in the Big Bash League, instead of warming the bench for his country.
The England team think-tank have already spoken about the possibility of providing further exposure to Buttler in the IPL, if he is not in line to play in the Test matches against Sri Lanka in May and June.
"It's something we've spoken about. Personally I'd think it would be something similar along the lines of Rashid. If he's in the Test team, he'll be playing Test cricket for England and he definitely wants to play more Test cricket for England, which is great. But Jonny is there at the moment," Bayliss told reporters.
"If the opportunity arises and he's not in the Test team and that IPL window is a possibility, I'd be all for it."
With such words from England coach, Kolkata Knight Riders will be most pleased as they are said to be one of the interested teams in signing the player. A number of other teams are also sure to try their best to sign Buttler, who has a strike rate of 133.80 in international T20 matches for England.