JONNY Bairstow is confident England will reap the benefits of their evolving relationship with the Indian Premier League.

Having already been retained by Sunrisers Hyderabad, the Bradford star was an interested observer during the tournament's latest auction yesterday.

He watched on from the England Test camp in Ahmedabad and saw international team-mates Moeen Ali, Dawid Malan and Tom Curran all get snapped up.

In years gone by, the IPL presented a major bone of contention for players like Kevin Pietersen and the ECB, but the tournament is now an accepted part of the landscape.

Not only have England chosen to rest players from international duty this winter while allowing them to take up their IPL commitments, it has also been reported that anyone still involved in the tournament's play-offs will be excused from the first Test of the summer against New Zealand.

That could mean any of Bairstow, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran or Moeen find themselves 5,000 miles away while Joe Root leads his side out at Lord's against the world's number one team.

Bairstow sidestepped that issue directly, but was clear about the wider value of the competition to English cricket.

He said: "I think it's part and parcel of the game. I think for guys who are white-ball contracted... you can't say 'don't go' because that's kind of the contract they've got in England.

"If the guys are going to IPL and improving their skills, that isn't just for T20. It's improving their skills for ODI cricket and for Test cricket as well.

"You're playing alongside some of the best players in the world, not to mention in conditions similar to ones we are playing in currently and especially with a T20 World Cup coming up here in India. It covers all three formats without a doubt.

"I don't believe there are priorities. If you look at our away record I think we've won six out of our last seven Tests and we've had strong performances in ODI and T20 cricket over the last 12-24 months.

"Those results don't come by prioritising one format. All three formats for England have been producing results."