NEW DELHI, April 12: Jealousy could be the reason for negative attitudes in England towards the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL), Delhi Daredevils batting star Kevin Pietersen said.
The Twenty20 IPL was an instant hit when it began in 2008 as a mix of glamour, entertainment and international stars playing short-form cricket, but it has attracted little interest in England.
“It (the IPL) is very much struggling to find acceptance back home,” the South Africa-born England batsman, who is playing for Delhi Daredevils in the ongoing tournament, was quoted as saying on Thursday.
“It saddens me because I have had an amazing time at the IPL, and it’s down to a lot of jealousy I think which is sad. It saddens me all the negative publicity the IPL gets in the (British) media, I don’t know why.”
His comments came as the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack, in its latest issue, blamed the influence of T2O games for India’s recent dismal run in Test cricket which saw them lose eight successive matches in England and Australia.
“The disintegration of India’s feted batting line-up has coincided with the rise of a Twenty20-based nationalism, the growth of private marketeers and high-level conflicts of interest,” wrote Wisden editor Lawrence Booth.
“It is a perfect storm. And the global game sits unsteadily in the eye. India, your sport needs you.”
Pietersen, the only big England star taking part in this year’s IPL, said experience gained in the tournament will be useful when England tour India for a Test and one-day series later this year.
“It will benefit the team (England), especially because we will be touring India later in the year,” he said. “Playing another month in the subcontinent honing my skills, training with the spinners and practicing, I consider myself so very fortunate.”
England fast bowler Stuart Broad was forced to miss this year’s IPL due to injury, while pace spearhead James Anderson and leading spinner Graeme Swann went unsold at the auction in February.
England failed to cope with spin on their recent Asia tour when they lost four of their five Tests, three against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates and one in Sri Lanka. AFP