London, Apr.18 : Popular England middle-order batsman Kevin Pietersen has eulogised the Indian Premier League's (IPL) efforts in launching a Twenty20 tournament, and believes that sooner or later England players will make an entry.
Reacting quite strongly to the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) blanket IPL ban on contracted players, Pietersen said the act was "ridiculous" and needed to be amended. "I don't see anything wrong with any of us saying that we want to go and play and earn that kind of money. People can abuse us and criticise us but at the end of the day they are not going to pay for my child's school fees, say, in 15 years' time," the Daily Express quoted Pietersen, as saying.
"Who will look after me then? I'm not going to be playing cricket when I'm 50 or 60. To be offered the sums of money I've been offered - it's like winning the lottery," an uninhibited Pietersen added.
Pietersen's tribute to the IPL yesterday has prompted the ECB to soften its previous dogmatic stance about the non-participation of players.
ECB Chairman Giles Clarke, it seems, has awakened to the potential collision when central contracts come to be re-presented in September and is well aware of an increasingly militant feeling among England's elite.
Pietersen is a predictable standard-bearer for any such uprising, given his attractiveness to India's franchise holders.
But Pietersen is nobody's fool and he also warned county chairmen that the age of the best players in the world signing county contracts could soon be over.
"This is a great time to be a player. The Twenty20 and the IPL are offering so much money. Why would a fast bowler want to come and play here in England, tour up and down this country for six months, playing everything he has to, to earn 70,000 pounds?
"Why would he do that when he can be playing for six weeks in India and earn 500,000 pounds?"
Pietersen will watch the developments in India, starting today, with great interest. He is adamant that the competition is here to stay and set to take the world by storm.
"There will be so much money pumped into it and you have the best players in the world playing, so there is no reason why it is not going to be a massive success," he said.
Story first published: Friday, April 18, 2008, 16:40 [IST]
Other articles published on Apr 18, 2008