BCCI/AFP
Stokes & Buttler will join their national team for the three-match ODI series against South Africa, which begins on May 24 BCCI/AFP

England all-rounder Ben Stokes and wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler are set to miss the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 playoffs for their respective franchises Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) and Mumbai Indians (MI). They will fly back to their country to join the national team for the three-match One-Day International (ODI) series against South Africa, which begins on May 24. Before the first game, there are two practice matches scheduled on May 19 and 21, and the two players are expected to join the squad ahead of those games. However, the IPL playoffs will be played between May 16 and 19, with the final set to be played on May 21.

Reportedly, Stokes will fly back to fulfil his national duties with the England team on May 14. The deadline for England players to join the squad for a bonding and training camp in Spain is May 15. In that case, Buttler, too, may have to leave the IPL by May 14, especially with former England captain and currently the ECB Director of Cricket Andrew Strauss declining to make an exception by refusing him to stay with Mumbai Indians for the playoffs. According to a report in The Mirror, Strauss has made it clear that he wants Stokes, Buttler and Chris Woakes to leave IPL on May 14.

Apart from Stokes and Buttler, Woakes, too, has been impressive for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) this season. He has been an integral part of England s limited-overs setup and will be required to join the squad ahead of the South Africa series. While Mumbai have already made it to the playoffs, RPS and KKR are almost there. Needless to say, it will be a huge loss to all the three franchises when the trio leaves IPL.

Earlier, David Miller and Hashim Amla left for South Africa on Monday to join their national side for the same ODI series.