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Jos Buttler flattered to be retained by Rajasthan Royals; says these are exciting times for IPL

Mumbai: England cricketer and star Rajasthan Royals batter Jos Buttler said he is “quite flattered” at being retained by the franchise ahead of this year’s edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), adding that it showed that the team “had placed their trust in me”.Rajasthan Royals, the winners of the inaugural edition of the IPL in 2008, retained Sanju Samson, Buttler and young left-hand batter Yashasvi Jaiswal ahead of IPL 2022 Mega Auction.”There were only a certain number of players that could stay with the franchise so it was quite flattering to have been offered to be retained. I’ve always enjoyed playing for this franchise and have had some really enjoyable memories,” said the England wicketkeeper-batter.”Obviously I knew the franchise had placed their trust in me, along with Sanju and Yash (Yashasvi Jaiswal). There were a lot of conversations that happened before the auction, and we were just focused on trying to create a strong team, covering all bases that you need to win the tournament,” added Buttler.Having missed the second phase of IPL 2021 in the UAE, Buttler said that there was always a “sense of excitement” whenever he returned to India for the tournament.”Anytime you turn up in India for the IPL, there’s this sense of excitement and a real buzz around the tournament, so it’s great to be back in the country. It has become my second home. I’ve spent a lot of time here, and the friendliness of the people and the passion for cricket always tends to blow my mind away,” added the 50-over World Cup winner.

The cricketer said that these are exciting times in the lucrative league as one will have to start from scratch to build a new team for the new cycle.”It’s a really exciting time for the team you know, to start a new cycle and build a new team. The aim here is to win the IPL, and I can’t wait to contribute to that. We are delighted to have so many great players in the squad. Obviously, (Ravichandran) Ashwin and (Yuzvendra) Chahal are two of the best spinners in the world, and with a great pace attack, I think it’s really exciting. Then we’ve got ourselves a strong batting line-up, along with great all-round options, so I think it’s going to be a really exciting IPL for us,” added the 31-year-old.The England player said he was disappointed with the Ashes campaign. England, under Joe Root lost the Ashes in Australia 0-4 recently.”I think I’ve played a lot of cricket in the last few years, and have spent a lot of time in bubbles. It was a disappointing campaign in the Ashes, which finished with a broken finger for me. Post that, I haven’t touched cricket at all — I’ve got a young family, so I had the time to relax and enjoy with them.

“I actually found it really important to do something different from cricket. It sort of brings that extra motivation and excitement when you haven’t played for a bit. Of course I enjoy my fitness, but I think it was important to put my cricket kit away for a bit. Now coming into an important year, both in the IPL and then the T20 World Cup, I feel really fresh and full of confidence.”I’m also looking forward to connecting with a lot of people, especially Chahal. I’ve played against him a few times, and he seems to be that fun character in the team. So, I’m looking forward to having him on my team. There’s also (Devdutt) Padikkal, who scored a hundred against us (Rajasthan Royals) last year. I think he looks like a fantastic young player so I’m excited to have him here.”Playing for Royal Challenger’s Bangalore in April last year, Padikkal had smashed a 52-balls 101 against Rajasthan Royals, beating Buttler’s side by 10 wickets.Having played 65 matches in his six IPL seasons, and scored 1968 runs at a strike rate of 150, Buttler is now a senior pro in the team, and is looking forward to passing on the learnings to his teammates.”My role as a senior player is to try to give the other guys confidence. It’s to transmit a very free-spirited mindset, and act as a sounding board for young players. It’s important for them to be fearless, and to just embrace the opportunity.”I remember when I was a young player, just having that five minutes of conversation with someone would go a long way, and I would love to help the younger guys in the same way,” he added.




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