Zee Media Bureau/Jayanta Oinam
New Delhi: England`s presumed `Bad Boy`, Kevin Pietersen will still get to play cricket in the highest level, in the super-rich Indian Premier League (IPL). The flamboyant English middle-order batsman was recently axed from all formats of the game by England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), labelling him untrustworthy.
In the IPL auction for 2014 season, Delhi franchise invoked the newly-introduced right-to-match card to get hold of the 33-year-old player. Though, Delhi Daredevils have opted not to retain any of the players from their 2013 line-up, the team can now flaunt the services of one of the most-gifted batsmen when the season 7 finally starts, tentatively on April 9. In fact, KP was one of their star-casts in the previous season.
Earlier during the bidding, Sunrises Hyderabad bought the right-handed batsman for nine Crore Rupees. But Daredevils matched the bid and secured his services for the season 7, thanks to the joker card which allows a team to buy back players. However, KP will not be the highest paid player for the team. He will have to content with the fact that the capital franchise has doled out a cool 12.5 Crore Rupees for Indian wicket-keeper batsman, Dinesh Karthik.
With a new team management at the helm, the Delhi franchise will look to start afresh this season. The arrival of hugely popular Gary Kirsten as their head coach will surely bring about a change in the dressing room culture, if not an overall overhaul. Considering, KP`s reputation of being a maverick and that no-nonsense approach from the South African coach, there ought to be some tussle in and off the field.
But with a desire to excel against the best in the business and a will to prove that he is a team-player, KP can use his energy in the right channel to build the Delhi team around him. After a horrendous champaign last time around, in which the likes of Virender Sehwag failed to perform for the team, the buying-back or the retention of KP tells a story that the English batsman`s cricketing days not yet over.
For the franchise, it sure is a wise buy for three simple reasons 1) KP will be available during the entire season as he is no longer tied to national duties, 2) He is match-winner, and 3) The buy-back saved them more than a third of the price they paid for the same player in 2012.
So, this particular business bodes well for both the parties. Yes, the batsman has already called the team, his `family` through the micro-blogging site Twitter.