Jos Buttler remains hopeful the 2020 Indian Premier League season will still go ahead, even if an April 15 start date is looking increasingly unlikely.

The latest edition of the IPL was due to begin on March 29, but the Board of Control for Cricket in India pushed the start date back due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Buttler, who was part of the England squad who flew home early from Sri Lanka due to the COVID-19 outbreak, is due to play for Rajasthan Royals once again.

Appearing on a Sky Sports podcast with former internationals Rob Key, Nasser Hussain and Michael Atherton, the 29-year-old revealed he is yet to hear when - or indeed if - the tournament will start, but is optimistic even a shortened campaign may be possible this year.

"Nothing really at the moment," he replied when asked by Hussain if he was aware of any further updates on the situation.

"We saw that initially that it is going to be postponed until April 15, but at the moment everything seems very indefinite. It's hard to see this changing in the immediate future, so I don't see that as a possibility.

"But, as we know, things can hopefully change for the positive as well.

"That's such a massive tournament for world cricket, so hopefully there becomes a situation where some of it – or a shortened tournament – can go ahead."

England's tour of Sri Lanka was cut short midway through a warm-up fixture ahead of the first of two Tests against their hosts.

Buttler and his team-mates are now at home instead, though the 29-year-old is capitalising on some unexpected time off during his busy schedule.

"For me, actually, I'm just trying to make the most of this time and give myself a bit of a break, a mental break, and enjoy some time at home," he said.

Eoin Morgan said there was "no limit" to England's batting potential after their second-highest Twenty20 run chase secured a thrilling 2-1 series win over South Africa.

The Proteas capitalised on dream batting conditions to post a mammoth 222-6 in the decider at SuperSport Park on Sunday, Heinrich Klaasen top-scoring with 66 from only 33 balls.

That was not enough to prevent the tourists from winning a run-fest by five wickets with five balls to spare, captain Morgan matching his own record for the fastest T20 half-century by an England batsman.

Morgan bludgeoned 57 not out from only 22 balls - striking seven sixes - after Jos Buttler (57 from 29) and Jonny Bairstow (64 off 34) also flexed their muscles in Centurion.

Skipper Morgan believes England sent out a message to their rivals with the T20 World Cup in Australia on the horizon.

"It creates belief that you can chase down anything and it reinforces what our method is in chasing big totals down," said the England captain, named man of the match and series.

"It's a reference point to what we can do, there’s no limit on restricting yourself to certain things. You want to leave everything out there with the bat.

"It won’t always work but it will give us the best chance of winning.

"Moving forward from this series, our learning will continue to get better, hopefully, because I don't think we’ve played at our best in this series."

Morgan also gave his backing to Buttler, although he did not believe the wicketkeeper-batsman was at his devastating best at the top of the order.

"I'm delighted for Jos," Morgan told Sky Sports. "I think he has as much talent as somebody like AB de Villiers; it took De Villiers a long time, and a lot of games, to get going in a South African shirt.

"We need to back guys that have that sort of talent; Jos has been around a long time now and we know that when he delivers, we win games of cricket. It's great to see him back in the runs.

"I think the priority at the moment is to get the top three facing as many balls as they can - they are the most destructive players that we have.

"If that changes between now and the World Cup, and we feel the need to fill a gap somewhere, then we might change it but, for the moment, it's an extremely destructive batting line-up to play against."

South Africa all-rounder Vernon Philander was fined 15 per cent of his match fee from his final Test after swearing at Jos Buttler following his first-innings dismissal.

Philander's exchange with Buttler continued a feud between the pair that saw the England wicketkeeper-batsman himself sanctioned for comments made during the second Test.

The Proteas star breached Article 2.5 of the ICC Code of Conduct, relating to "using language, actions or gestures which disparage or which could provoke an aggressive reaction from a batter upon his/her dismissal during an International Match".

On Sunday, Philander accepted a fine and a demerit point for his send-off of Buttler in England's first innings the previous day, although the latter punishment counts for little as Philander prepares to retire.

Philander bowled only nine balls in the tourists' second innings due to a hamstring injury, Joe Root leading his side to 248 all out, setting South Africa a huge target of 466 for victory.

Along with Philander and Buttler, both Kagiso Rabada - consequently suspended - and Ben Stokes have received fines and demerit points in this series, which England lead 2-1 going into the last two days of the fourth and final match.

Jos Buttler said "red mist" was to blame for his sweary outburst at Vernon Philander, though he has questioned the use of stump mics being turned up in cricket.

England's wicketkeeper-batsman was fined 15 per cent of his match fee after stump mics picked up his expletive-laden rant at Philander, who appeared to peeve Buttler by not moving when a throw came in from a fielder.

The incident occurred on a tense fifth and final day at Newlands, when the tourists eventually got the wickets they needed to seal a 189-run victory inside the last hour.

Buttler noted the situation was a factor in his comments, but admitted they were unacceptable.

"I'd like to apologise, I understand that's not the way to behave," he told BBC's Test Match Special.

"As role models we have a duty to behave in a certain way.

"In Test cricket there are lots of high emotions at times and things can be said that don't necessarily mean anything, but for viewers at home it can come across very poorly.

"Sometimes it's just one of those things, the heat of the moment and a bit of red mist.

"It's all done so hopefully it can be swept under the carpet and we move on. I'll take the slap on the wrists."

However, Buttler hinted that players would prefer stump mics not to be turned up so such incidents could remain between those out on the field.

"It's a tough one," he added.

"We understand it adds to the viewership experience having stump mics and being able to hear what goes on, but we also like that what goes on the field, stays on the field and isn't necessarily heard by everyone at home.

"I'm sure it's up for debate."

England's win meant the best-of-four-match series is level at 1-1 ahead of the third Test, which begins in Port Elizabeth on Thursday.

An illness bug has hindered the tourists throughout their time in South Africa and captain Joe Root was the latest to miss training on Sunday.

"It's obviously a frustration, nobody will miss being at training more than Joe," Buttler said.

"It's been a bit of a story of the tour so far, guys getting ill, but I'm sure he'll be fine. Hopefully it's just today."

Jos Buttler has been fined 15 per cent of his match fee for a sweary outburst at Vernon Philander during England's victory over South Africa in the second Test at Newlands.

Buttler was heard hurling expletives at the Proteas all-rounder on the final day of the tourists' 189-run series-levelling triumph in Cape Town.

The England wicketkeeper-batsman was found guilty of breaching Level 1 of the ICC Code of Conduct.

Buttler was also ruled to have breached Article 2.3 of the Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which relates to “use of an audible obscenity during an international match”. 

The third match of the series gets under way in Port Elizabeth next Thursday.

England wicketkeeper Jos Buttler says he would welcome discussions about the possibility of playing four-day Test matches.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) is reportedly considering introducing mandatory four-day Test matches, with a one-day reduction in match length likely to be discussed this month.

Any changes would come into effect from 2023, with the English and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) having stated it "cautiously" supports the mooted proposals.

Buttler would also welcome the alteration if it helps to retain and increase interest in Test cricket, though the wicketkeeper-batsman would prefer a five-day format.

"I think the administrators and broadcasters have got to look at the best way to preserve Test cricket," World Cup winner Buttler told BBC Sport's Test Match Special.

"It's the best form of the game, so how can we maintain that and keep moving the game on?

"If that's the option, moving it to four days, that has to be looked at. I like that it's five days, when you get a fantastic Test that finishes on day five with all three results possible there's nothing else really like that in cricket.

"As with everything, times change, things change, and the game has to evolve with that. Everyone has to be open to change if that’s what is needed."

Buttler is currently preparing for England's second Test against South Africa at Newlands in Cape Town, with the tourists having lost the first match by 107 runs.

The majority of England's squad suffered from illness before or during the Test, with a bug sweeping through the camp, though Buttler – who also suffered from the symptoms – is hopeful the worst has now passed.

"Pretty good, it was nice to have a full squad at training. Nice to celebrate the new year last night and come to this iconic Test venue," he added.

"Everyone's back together and all of the families. It's quite a large group out here which is nice, a special time to spend with your families and we had a really nice night.

"A few days [of the illness] seems to drain you of a lot of energy. But it's just one of those things that has gone around the team. Touch wood it's all gone.

"It certainly didn’t help us [in the first Test] but as Joe [Root] said you don’t want to hide behind that. In the game the two key moments were having South Africa 111-5 and us being 140-3 and after the first innings they ended up with a 100-run lead so that’s really where the game was won and lost, we're very aware of that."

Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer and Jos Buttler are among the England players to be rested for the ODI series against South Africa, but they will return for the Twenty20s.

All-rounder Stokes, paceman Archer, wicketkeeper-batsman Buttler and quick Mark Wood have not been included in a 16-man squad for three ODIs in February.

Seamer Pat Brown, batsman Tom Banton, spinner Matt Parkinson and fast bowler Saqib Mahmood are included for the first time in the 50-over format.

Joe Root is among eight players from England's triumphant Cricket World Cup squad to be selected, but the Test captain will not feature in the T20 series - which comes after the ODIs.

Moeen Ali and Jason Roy were included in both squads after missing the tour of New Zealand. 

There is no place for Banton, Sam Billings, Lewis Gregory, Mahmood and James Vince in a party of 16 for the contests in the shortest format.

England national selector Ed Smith said: "These two squads were selected with an eye on the T20 World Cup in Australia in 2020.

"In the T20s, a number of players who were rested for the successful 3-2 victory in New Zealand return to the squad: Jos Buttler, Jofra Archer, Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali and Jason Roy.

"We want to expand the pool of players who can perform successfully for England, while also helping the team to peak for major tournaments."

 

England ODI squad: Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Tom Banton, Pat Brown, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Chris Jordan, Saqib Mahmood, Dawid Malan, Matt Parkinson, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Chris Woakes.

England T20 squad: Eoin Morgan (captain) Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Pat Brown, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Matt Parkinson, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Mark Wood. 

Zak Crawley has received his first England cap after he replaced the injured Jos Buttler for the second Test against New Zealand.

England suffered defeat by an innings and 65 runs in the first Test at Mount Maunganui and will look to tie the two-match series by responding in Hamilton.

Their task has been made more difficult after Buttler sustained a back injury in training on Thursday.

With Jonny Bairstow not included in the Test squad, England – who have no back-up wicketkeeper – have called up Kent batsman Crawley to fill the gap left by Buttler.

Crawley will bat at six with Ollie Pope, who came in at four in the first Test, taking over Buttler's role at wicketkeeper and moving down to seven.

"I was with Jos in the gym [on Thursday] when he did his back so I knew there was a chance I was going to play earlier in the day but I found out officially last night," 21-year-old Crawley told Sky Sports.

"Jos is a real nice guy so it's a real shame for him. You get chances sometimes and this one is mine. I'm disappointed for Jos but I'm glad to make my debut. I'm definitely excited, nervous as well but there's some excitement."

As well as the enforced change, England have made another alteration, with Jack Leach dropping out for Chris Woakes.

After winning the toss and electing to bat on a grassy surface, England captain Joe Root explained the reasoning behind going without a specialist spinner.

"We're still trying to find ways to take 20 wickets in these conditions," he said at the toss. "We feel this is a great opportunity, on a surface like this, to try and explore something slightly different.

"It's pretty simple what we need to improve on, it was just about preparing well over the two days we've had and we've done that so it's now about going and playing, putting our heart and soul into these five days and making sure we come away with something."

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, meanwhile, confirmed one change for his side, with Matt Henry replacing Trent Boult in the Black Caps' bowling attack at Seddon Park.

England wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler is a doubt for the second Test against New Zealand after suffering a back spasm.

Buttler sustained the injury in training and could miss the final match of the series against the Black Caps at Seddon Park, which starts on Friday.

Ollie Pope will take the gloves if Buttler is ruled out in Hamilton, where the tourists need a victory to salvage a 1-1 draw after they were hammered by an innings and 65 runs in Mount Maunganui.

England captain Joe Root said: "Jos has tweaked his back in the gym. We'll have to find out a little bit more information on that throughout today and see where he's at."

Root suggested England could select an extra bowler if Buttler is unable to play.

"There's a number of different combinations we could go with and I think a lot of that will rely on the surface," the batsman added.

"Trying to find the best combination, which would take 20 wickets, and then balancing that in terms of getting the batting where we want it to be. It could be an allrounder, we'll see."

Hamilton-born all-rounder Daryl Mitchell will make his Test debut for New Zealand in place of Colin de Grandhomme, who suffered an abdominal tear.

Jos Buttler called for England to follow the example set by BJ Watling and Mitchell Santner after New Zealand batted themselves into a match-winning position in the first Test.

The Black Caps posted a mammoth 615-9 declared in their first innings at Mount Maunganui - their highest score against England - before reducing their opponents to 55-3 by stumps on day four.

Watling top-scored with 205 while Santner made his maiden Test century, the pair combining in a record seventh-wicket stand of 261 that forced the tourists to stay out in the field for 201 overs.

England only managed 353 in their first innings having at one stage reached 277-4, with their failure to score big now leaving them facing a final-day battle to save the match.

"If we're really critical, it's the first-innings runs with the bat [which have left us in this situation]," said Buttler, who made 43 after being stranded with the tail on day two.

"New Zealand played a very patient game with the bat. They showed the value of that patient game of batting on flat wickets and setting your sights very high. 

"BJ Watling and Mitchell Santner really set their stall out and batted for a long time. They put a lot of overs into our legs and built that score.

"We have to learn to be able to do that. You look at the top sides around the world on flat wickets and they get very, very big scores and bat for a very, very long time.

"That's a big learning point for us. With the bat, just when you think you're getting to a place where you need to be, there's a lot more hard work to come to build those big scores."

Santner followed up his batting exploits by picking up all three England wickets to fall prior to the close, with the left-arm spinner hoping a deteriorating pitch can help New Zealand go on to secure victory.

"It's nice to have a few footmarks out there. Watching the way [England spinner Jack] Leach bowled, he was trying to fire it into the rough and he turned some back through my gate," all-rounder Santner told Sky Sports.

"It's going to be tough [on Monday] when the ball gets a bit softer, but it was nice to pick up a couple and hopefully get a few more."

On his first Test ton, he said: "The bowlers didn't make it easy, especially not last night. There wasn't a lot in my half.

"Credit to the way BJ played as well. It wasn't easy, but the pitch is a little more up and down now."

Jos Buttler is feeling refreshed after the emotional grind of a Cricket World Cup and Ashes series and revealed he has been working with Marcus Trescothick to improve his red-ball game.

Buttler scored a century in England's drawn tour match against New Zealand A and heads into the Test series against the Black Caps as first-choice wicketkeeper.

The 29-year-old's touch with the bat and neat work with the gloves were among the plusses for England in the three-day contest.

After taking a five-week break to recover from a busy English summer, which resulted in World Cup glory and a drawn Ashes, Buttler is taking an open-minded approach into the two-Test series, for which he has been preparing with former Somerset team-mate and England opener Trescothick. 

"I've nothing to lose with the bat or the gloves," Buttler said. "It's a great time to be involved with a new head coach [Chris Silverwood]. It's a new challenge and I'm going to throw myself into it.

"It was a tough summer - physically and emotionally - great fun, a huge challenge and one you look back on with real fondness. But it took a lot out of most of us. The time we have had off has been invaluable.

"I had a couple of net sessions at Somerset with Marcus Trescothick during this time. I really enjoyed that and got a lot out of it. It gave some building blocks to come here feeling in good touch."

England may have fallen short of victory but skipper Joe Root was encouraged by his side's batting in Whangarei.

During the Ashes, England's highest first-innings score was 374 in the lost Edgbaston Test but they posted 405 all out here and Root wants to see his team making big numbers.

"We want to bat long, especially in the first innings - get ourselves into the game and give us an opportunity of making really big scores. Four-hundred-plus, as generally you can dictate terms from there," Root told Sky Sports.

"It is something we have struggled with over the last couple of years, granted that at home, in particular, we have played on some very challenging surfaces.

"On flatter surfaces, like here, I think it's really important that we get into that mindset.

"I think we have done that really well so far in the two games that we have played, with a couple of guys looking in really good order. I feel we are in pretty good shape going into two big Test matches."

David Warner set an unwanted record when he failed again on day two of the final Ashes Test, but Australia talisman Steve Smith was unbeaten at lunch after Jofra Archer's double strike at The Oval.

Mitchell Marsh (5-46) claimed a maiden five-wicket Test haul and Pat Cummins (3-84) dismissed Jos Buttler for 70 to bowl England out for 294 early on a sunny Friday in London.

The tourists, striving for a 3-1 series win after retaining the urn at Old Trafford, were in trouble on 14-2, with opener Warner and Marcus Harris falling to the excellent Archer.

Warner made only five to become the first opener to fall for eight single-digit scores in a Test series, but the prolific Smith (14 not out) and Marnus Labuschagne (32no) saw Australia through to 55-2 at the end of the morning session.

Buttler added only six runs to his overnight score before playing on to a delivery from the outstanding Cummins after England resumed on 271-8.

Jack Leach (21) also chopped to end the innings and give recalled all-rounder Marsh, who stated "most of Australia hates me" after taking four wickets on the opening day, his best Test figures.

Archer then steamed in to see the back of both of Australia's struggling openers, Warner given out caught behind following a review after Marais Erasmus did not detect an edge, and Harris (three) snicking to Ben Stokes at second slip.

Stuart Broad was also on the money with the new ball, but Labuschagne showed good judgement and scored boundaries on both sides of the wicket after weathering an early storm.

Smith played and missed to Archer on more than one occasion and Sam Curran probed with a touch of swing, but there was more than a sense of deja vu as fidgety former Australia captain Smith set himself ominously.

Mitchell Marsh claimed a maiden five-wicket Test haul as Australia bowled England out for 294 before David Warner failed again early in the morning session on day two of the final Ashes Test at The Oval.

Recalled all-rounder Marsh struck four times as England collapsed on the opening day and ended the innings on a sunny Friday, with Jack Leach playing on for 21.

Marsh, who stated "most of Australia hates me" after the close of play on Thursday, finished with Test-best figures of 5-46, while Pat Cummins (3-84) removed Jos Buttler for 70 after England resumed on 271-8.

Buttler also chopped on attempting to launch Cummins down the ground to fall, having struck three sixes and seven fours, with England striving to salvage a 2-2 draw after the tourists retained the urn at Old Trafford.

Warner's miserable run continued when he was given out caught behind flashing at Jofra Archer for only five, Joe Root successfully reviewing after umpire Marais Erasmus did not detect an edge.

Jos Buttler decided it was time to "take the shackles off and play with a smile on my face" as his counter-attacking knock raised England's spirits after a batting collapse on day one of the fifth Ashes Test.

Recalled Australia all-rounder Mitchell Marsh took 4-35 as England - attempting to salvage a 2-2 series result now they have no chance of regaining the urn - collapsed from 170-3 to 226-8 in a dramatic final session on a sunny Thursday at The Oval.

It looked as though it might be England's day with the tourists dropping Joe Root three times, but they crumbled after Pat Cummins bowled their captain for 57.

Buttler then switched into one-day mode to make an unbeaten 64, smashing Josh Hazlewood for three sixes with Jack Leach digging in at the other end to ensure England closed on 271-8 after being put in by Tim Paine.

The aggressive Buttler, who passed 7,000 runs international runs in all formats, has endured a disappointing series with the bat and felt it was time to take a more aggressive approach.

"It's nice to contribute a little bit. The boys batted really well in the morning and we got ourselves into a fantastic position but could not capitalise," Buttler told Test Match Special.

"Both sides are feeling a long series with a quick turnaround between Tests, so that's why the intensity goes up and down.

"Australia are a really good bowling attack and asked questions all day. It's frustrating for us not being able to capitalise on our start.

"With the new ball not being far away, I thought it was the best time to go for it and I was just trying to have some fun too.

"Batting has been hard work and not enjoyable this series so I wanted to take the shackles off and play with a smile on my face."

Mitchell Marsh admitted he was like a "kid at Christmas" ahead of day one at The Oval before taking advantage of his recall to put Australia on top in the fifth Ashes Test against England.

All-rounder Marsh, selected for his first appearance of the series ahead of vice-captain Travis Head, took 4-35 as England collapsed from 170-3 to 226-8 after tea.

Pat Cummins (2-73) and Josh Hazlewood (2-76) also did damage on the opening day after Tim Paine won the toss and opted to bowl as the tourists - who retained the urn by taking a 2-1 lead at Old Trafford last weekend - strive to secure a series win.

Joe Root was dropped three times before he was out for 57 and Jos Buttler smashed a counter-attacking unbeaten 64 to leave England on 271-8 at stumps on Thursday.

Marsh, able to return to the field after suffering cramp in the final session, revelled in his return to the Test arena.

"I probably haven't bowled a spell that long ever really. I was pretty fired up but unfortunately the sniper got me again!" Marsh, who had only previously taken four wickets once in a Test innings, told Sky Sports.

"I was like a kid at Christmas this morning, I was so excited. It can be a long tour if you're not playing, my goal has been to create as much energy as I can for this team when I'm not playing and I just wanted to get an opportunity at some stage and it was nice to chip in today.

"It probably could have been a lot less than 271-8 if we'd held our catches early on. We spoke about coming here and wanting to win 3-1, it probably didn't reflect on our first session. You drop catches sometimes and we'll take 271 on that.

"I swung the ball most of the day which helped with my control, I've been working in the background, making sure I was ready for it. I just wanted to come in today and take a few wickets.

"These guys have bowled so many overs, so I saw it as my role to help them out a little bit."

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