England director of cricket Andrew Strauss believes the experience of playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) will only help his team's players perform better at international level.
England's limited overs captain Eoin Morgan has been a prominent member of the lucrative T20 league in India while the likes of Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Jason Roy and Chris Jordan were also seen in action in the last two editions.
Strauss had allowed the likes of Buttler, Stokes and Woakes an extended IPL 2017 season which saw them miss out on the home One-Day International series against Ireland.
Stokes, who was named the player of the series in the IPL 2017, helped England gain a 2-0 unassailable lead against South Africa but was sidelined with an injury for the third game while Woakes played just one game against the Proteas after suffering from a niggle, though there has been no confirmation that the duo picked up their injuries in India.
Despite, the setback, Strauss said playing in the IPL is a worth risk taking.
"That is the slight risk you take when you make people available for a chunk of cricket that is outside the international schedule," Strauss told reporters.
"Injuries are part and parcel of life, but on one hand you weigh up the potential risk and on the other you ask what they can potentially gain from that experience. That's what forms the decision."
The former England captain also believes that the players from IPL returned back with a lot of confidence which was evident from their performances against South Africa.
"We've seen that already with the maturity that Ben is playing with the bat. And it looked like he's improved his bowling at the death tremendously too.
"I think Chris Woakes was saying that to go there, to learn from the best players in the world and pit themselves against the best players in the world...
"They come back from that experience knowing they're as good as anyone out there. The deep-rooted belief they get from that is massively important," Strauss added.
Despite, lavishing praise on the tournament, Strauss clearly indicated that Test cricket is the pinnacle of the game and he will be against players featuring in T20 leagues over the longer format of the game.
"Personally, I think that's unlikely," he said.
"When you get to the stage where you're missing test matches to play in IPL that sends out a very strong message about where your priorities are and I would be uncomfortable with that."
© Cricket World 2017