Sydney: Former Australian cricketer Brendan McArdle believes England batsman Kevin Pietersen’s decision to quit the limited over format, and his stubbornness to continue playing in the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) just shows the kind of massive influence various Twenty20 competitions have on players.
McArdle believes players are tempted to choose tournaments like IPL, which require less commitment and more money, over playing for their nation.
“Pietersen has been restless for some time. He has always argued his right to play in the IPL, and has emphasized the need for a window to be created in the English calendar to accommodate it,” McArdle wrote in his column for The Age.
“But that’s easier said than done. Much to the angst of some, he flitted off to India to play for the Delhi Daredevils just a few weeks ago, blasted some highly impressive runs and returned just days before the first Test, announcing to the assembled media that he was sick of having to justify his actions to them,” he added.
“There are worrying implications from all of this. Pietersen wanted to continue to play T20 internationals as well as Test cricket, but the ECB stipulates that if you make yourself unavailable for one form of limited-overs cricket you are automatically ineligible for the other,” he further said.
McArdle further wrote: “Of course, Pietersen is not alone in picking and choosing which format of the game to play - Andrew Strauss only plays Tests - and Australia has had the likes of Brett Lee, Shaun Tait, Brad Hodge and even Shane Warne make similar choices.
“The influence of the IPL in most of these decisions is massive. Players will always choose maximum income from a minimal time commitment if they have the chance,” he concluded.