Eoin Morgan says Ben Stokes 'broke down barriers' for England players in the IPL
"It's as high-pressured as a world tournament, and you have demands from sponsors, owners, captains and coaches - it is a real learning curve for our players."
Last Updated: 12/04/18 5:10pm
Ben Stokes' stellar performances in last year's IPL "broke down barriers" for his fellow England players, Eoin Morgan told Sky Sports Cricket.
Stokes was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player in 2017 after scoring 316 runs for Rising Pune Supergiant, including a century, and taking 12 wickets having been bought for £1.7m.
Morgan, speaking on the latest Sky Cricket Podcast, says the all-rounder's success is the reason 12 England players have been acquired by IPL franchises this season.
Stokes is joined by Jos Buttler at Rajasthan Royals, with Chris Woakes, Moeen Ali, Sam Billings, Mark Wood, David Willey, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Tom Curran, Jason Roy and Liam Plunkett also involved - a possible future England star, Jofra Archer, is on Rajasthan's books, too.
"One of the big things that worked in our favour last year was Stokes going for a significant amount of money and proving he was worth that and more," said England's one-day captain.
"It broke down barriers. If anyone in Indian cricket had doubts about [English players] because of previous performances then last year would certainly have had a knock-on effect.
"It is a huge compliment to the way our individuals and the team have done for the last few years [that so many players are in the IPL].
"We said we needed to play in more high-profile T20 tournaments, be exposed to high-pressure situations and the direction came from [England director of cricket] Andrew Strauss."
Morgan went unsold in January's IPL auction, having previously played in the competition for Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kolkata Knight Riders and Sunrisers Hyderabad.
"You feel lucky to be there - it's a real aspiration - and going out and performing is something that doesn't come easy to anybody," added the 31-year-old.
"It's as high-pressured as a world tournament, and you have demands from sponsors, owners, captains and coaches - it is a real learning curve for our players.
"It is a huge opportunity to learn as much as you can in pretty difficult situations - you deal with conditions outside of your comfort zone.
"You also play against the best players in the world in the biggest tournament in the world. It adds a lot of noise we are not used to.
"Another aspect is playing extremely well in one game and then maybe getting left out for the next one - you have to deal with the highs and lows."
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