Saturday, April 5, 2008

Pietersen wants IPL chance

Eye on the money: "It's silly to think that you're losing up to a million [dollars] over six weeks," says Kevin Pietersen...

Kevin Pietersen has given the strongest indication yet that England's players are feeling they are getting a rough deal by not being able to take part in the Indian Premier League. While Pietersen remains focussed on his England career he hinted his priorities may change.

While millions of dollars have been splashed on the world's leading players England's stars have had to watch from afar as their international commitments and central contracts preclude any involvement. On the whole they have taken the party line that England comes first, but frustration is now growing.

"It's not something we can control, but it's definitely something that the hierarchy needs to fix into our fixtures," Pietersen told The Times. "You want your best players playing both for their country and for the IPL. You don't want them choosing between the two. It's silly to think that you're losing up to a million [dollars] over six weeks."

"As long as it doesn't interfere with me playing for England, then I'm all for the IPL," he said. "I won't jeopardise my England career for the IPL just yet, but the schedules have to be sorted because the England players are the only ones missing out."

Dimitri Mascarenhas is England's only representative in the first IPL tournament, having struck a deal with Hampshire to allow him two weeks in India with the Jaipur franchise. Although Mascarenhas has been part of the ODI squad over the last year he doesn't hold a central contract, so it wasn't a decision the ECB were involved with.

England players missing out