Ben Stokes wants more England team-mates in IPL

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IPL makes you a better player - Stokes
England v South Africa: First one-day international
Venue: Headingley, Leeds Date: Wednesday 24 May Time: 14:00 BST
Coverage: Ball-by-ball Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra; in-play highlights and text commentary on the BBC Sport website and app.

All-rounder Ben Stokes would like to see more of his England team-mates join him in the Indian Premier League.

Stokes became the IPL's most expensive foreigner when he was signed by Rising Pune Supergiant for £1.7m, and went on to win the most valuable player award.

He helped his side to second in the group stages before returning to England duty, while Pune went on to lose the 2017 final by one run.

"Everyone who goes there becomes a better player," said Stokes.

The 25-year-old scored 316 runs at a strike rate of 142.98 and took 12 wickets at an economy rate of 7.18 in the Twenty20 competition.

"It would be great in the future if maybe the whole England team could be out there," said Stokes, who scored his maiden Twenty20 century while in India.

"It's not just the fact of playing in the tournament, it's the exposure you get as a player.

"Playing in high pressure situations against all the best players in the world at what they do - guys bowling at 150kph [93mph] and guys knocking it out of the park if you do not hit the areas you want to bowl."

Pressure from the fee?

Stokes played in the same team as former India captain MS Dhoni and current Australia skipper Steve Smith, with the latter praising the all-rounder during the tournament.

"To be part of a competition like that was an amazing experience - the biggest Twenty20 competition in world cricket - [as was] being able to share a changing room with the greatest players in the world, the greats of the game of cricket," said Stokes.

"I didn't go into the tournament worrying about [the fee]. The biggest thing for me was making sure I left a good impression with my performances on the field.

"That's what we pride ourselves on as cricketers. All the pressure I put on myself was wanting to perform on the pitch."

England players breaking IPL 'taboo'

Jos Buttler
Jos Buttler has played for Mumbai Indians for two consecutive IPL tournaments

Eight England players were bought by IPL franchises this year, with Stokes, wicketkeeper Jos Buttler and bowler Chris Woakes given permission to remain in India and miss England's ODI series against Ireland in May.

Buttler said English cricket was now embracing the IPL and other domestic Twenty20 tournaments as part of an increased focus on white ball cricket.

"I think the IPL has been a bit of a taboo subject in English cricket for a while," he told BBC Radio 5 live's Tuffers and Vaughan show.

"It's [been] tried to make it unattractive to go to [in the past] but now the focus has shifted and people are embracing it.

"It's a shame it didn't happen before but it's better late than never. These tournaments are fantastic for cricket and the audiences."

South Africa and Champions Trophy challenges

England play South Africa in three one-day internationals, starting on Wednesday, before hosting the Champions Trophy, and Stokes says England have "earned the right to be favourites".

"We are just going to try to do what we have been doing over that last two years which is to go out there and perform to the best of our capabilities and always want to be on the front foot," he added.

"We've always known that we are a destructive outfit so when other opponents are saying that they don't like bowling at Jos [Buttler], for instance, at the end, you know what they are going through at the end of the mat."

Looking forward to the upcoming ODI series, he added: "South Africa are one of the best teams in the world. They have got some of the best players in the world as well so it's a good opportunity to get into some form leading into the Champions Trophy."

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