Kevin Pietersen finds ODIs 'dull', backs T20, IPL
England batsman Kevin Pietersen has said Twenty20 is the future of cricket, and a tournament like the Indian Premier League is here to stay, while branding one-day cricket as dull and boring.
Pietersen had unexpectedly announced his retirement from the one-day format for England last month.
However, he had expressed his desire to continue playing T20s for England, but the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) didn’t allow him to play the shortest version of the game due to their policy that a player would only be allowed to play T20 for England when he makes him available for the one-day games as well.
Pietersen questioned the sheer volume of international cricket that places extreme demands on players’ bodies and their family lives, and added the one-day format must simply give way if players are not to be burnt out prematurely.
“The 50-over game is the format most under threat,” a newspaper quoted Pietersen, as saying.
“Twenty20 and the IPL are here to stay. Test matches will always be key to how you want to be rated and remembered as a player, but the entertainment package is Twenty20 cricket,” he added.
“The middle overs of a one-day international can be dull. Do other players feel that way? It’s difficult for me to answer but I think some have commented on it,” he said.
England insist that if they had given special dispensation to Pietersen and allowed him to just play Twenty20 limited-overs cricket then other players would have followed suit, undermining their attempt to win their first global 50-over trophy.
“Would they? I’ve seen speculation that five or six of our players would do the same thing as me if I was allowed to play 20 over cricket, but ask them. You go and find out. I’m sure you will find out the answers. People can speculate as much as they like, but ask them,” Pietersen added.
He also added that he loves to play in the Indian Premier League, and that it isn’t just about money.
Pietersen also accepts being extremely fortunate to have been offered a two million pound deal by IPL franchisee Delhi Daredevils, but the South Africa-born batsman said the tournament is much more than money.
“There is a great buzz there. It’s really fierce and competitive on the field, but then you have all the overseas players and young players on non-match days mingling and talking cricket. The players are treated so well,” a newspaper quoted Pietersen, as saying.
“There are the full houses and a TV audience of more than 120 million people watched Mumbai against Delhi. People thought it was amazing to get 12 million for the last day of the 2005 Ashes. Times that by ten,” he added.
“Big players want to play in front of big audiences. You want to hear your name chanted by 50,000 people. It’s amazing. It makes you feel so good. The window for that has been created by the other boards but unfortunately not ours,” he said.