Rajasthan Royals star wicket-keeper Jos Buttler returns to the pink dugout for the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 after missing the second half of last year as he had a child in his family was blessed.
The England international ended the Ashes with a broken finger and has been out for a number of months. Speaking about his Rajasthan Royals team, the 31-year-old is very excited and looking forward to getting back on the field.
“It’s a really exciting time for the team, you know, starting a new cycle and building a new team. The goal here is to win the IPL and I can’t wait to contribute to that,” Buttler said in an RR release.
“We are happy 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 speed attack I find it really exciting.
“Then we have a strong batting team, along with great all-around options, so I think it’s going to be a really exciting IPL for us,” he added.
Buttler said he was “pretty flattered” after being kept by RR.
Ashwin previously mankaded Buttler in the IPL in 2019 while playing for Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings). Buttler became the first batsman to be mancaded in the competition. The England international was also man-kaded by Sri Lankan bowler Sachithra Senanayake in 2014 during the ODI series between the two.
Buttler said, “There was only a certain number of players who could stay with the franchise, so it was pretty flattering that I was offered to stay. I’ve always enjoyed playing for this franchise and had some really fond memories.”
“Obviously I knew the franchise had trusted me, along with Sanju and Yash (Yashasvi Jaiswal). A lot of talks took place before the auction and we just focused on building a strong team and covering all the bases needed to win the tournament,” he said.
“I think I’ve played a lot of cricket and spent a lot of time at Bubbles over the last few years. It was a disappointing campaign in the Ashes that ended with a broken finger for me. I have nothing to do with cricket at all – I have a young family so I had time to relax and have fun with them.”
“Actually, I thought it was really important to do something other than cricket. It kind 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 show off my cricket kit away for a while. Now that I’m heading into an important year, both in IPL and then in the T20 World Championship, 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 this fun character on the team. So I’m looking forward to having him on my team.”
“There’s also (Devdutt) Padikkal, who scored a hundred goals against us last year. I think he looks like a fantastic young player so I’m happy to have him here.”
“My role as a senior player is to give the other guys confidence. It’s to instill a very free-spirited mindset and act as a sounding board for young players. It’s important for them to be fearless and just embrace the opportunity.”
“I remember when I was a young player, just a five-minute conversation with someone was enough and I would like to help the younger players in the same way.”
The Rajasthan Royals will open their 2022 IPL campaign with a match against Sun Risers Hyderabad on Tuesday 29 March 2022 at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium.