Kevin Pietersen wants England to have IPL-style T20 cricket tournament

Zee Media Bureau/Jayanta Oinam

New Delhi: Kevin Pietersen feels that IPL-style T20 cricket tournament will benefit English cricket. Talking to All Out Cricket magazine, the former English skipper said that franchise cricket would work in the United Kingdom.

Often regarded as one of the greatest modern English batsmen, Pietersen led Delhi Daredevils in the seventh edition of the Indian Premier League in 2014 after falling out with England cricket board and the subsequent dumping from the international cricket.

Besides playing his trade in the cash-rich Indian league, the 34-year-old right-handed batsman has also took part in Australia’s Big Bash and the Caribbean Premier League (CPL). And currently, he plays for English county side Surrey.

Expressing his surprise at England`s reluctance to have a franchise cricket tournament, KP said “I am dumbfounded that it hasn’t happened before now. You can have two London franchises, a Manchester franchise, a Birmingham franchise. You can get bigger crowds, all of the best players together in the middle of summer and you can get massive global coverage.”

The South-African born middle-order batsman reasoned that with franchises playing matches in a concentrated period, it provides a better environment because players spend majority of the time together. “I have found it quite difficult because playing once a week is hard work. I find tournaments like the CPL, the Big Bash and IPL – which play a lot – much easier because there is much more time in the environment. You spend 24/7 with the players,” he added.

Complaining about the lack of playing time in England, Pietersen said “In England, playing once a week, it’s much harder because playing once a week means you are training once a week. If you are going to attack from ball one you need to have that rhythm to do it. Some days I have felt fantastic, I’ve felt really good. On other days I felt like I couldn’t get going.”

Pietersen foreshortened his CPL stint to make himself available for Surrey in the summer T20 tournament. Surrey have already qualified for the semi-final, to be played against Birmingham on August 23. In the other semi-final, Hampshire will take on Lancashire. The final is scheduled for the same day.

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