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There's jealousy in England over the IPL

Thursday, April 12, 2022
Debjeet Kundu

The Indian Premier League may have set the cash registers ringing for the Indian cricket board and a galaxy of players, but not everyone's gung-ho about it. Former England cricketer Alec Stewart recently voiced that English players should be a part of the cash-rich league only if it enhanced them as cricketers. So, even after five years, is the IPL still struggling to find acceptance? According to Kevin Pietersen, it is.

"The IPL is struggling to find acceptance in the UK, which I don't know why," says the Delhi Daredevils player. "There's a lot of jealousy happening back there, and that saddens me."

Pietersen feels the loss is theirs. "It would have benefited the England team because they'll be touring India soon, and seven-eight top players playing here would have been good," he added.

Thick of things

Not only for IPL, England have been in the thick of things for match-fixing related issues — county players coming under a cloud and Pakistan players in their jails. And even if Mohammed Amir is thinking of making a comeback, Pietersen feels it should be game over if you get caught. "There were 45,000 people who paid to come and watch you (at Ferozshah Kotla on Tuesday). If you still continue (to play) after getting tarnished, you are disrespecting so many people every time they pay and come to the ground."

Pressing the switch

He first used it in the nets to "avoid boredom". Two years ago when international cricket saw it first, Scott Styris bore the brunt of the two sixes. Now, the switch-hit has emerged as the first controversial shot in the game's history. But KP doesn't understand what the fuss is about. "As a bowler, I'd be happy if the batter turns left-hander. That'll give me so many options to get him out," said KP, who enjoyed the crowd chants of "switch-hit, switch-hit" when he hit two off R Ashwin on Tuesday. "There are not many players in world cricket who play that shot. So, let guys play if they want to, why want to change some rules. It's great for the game eventually."

Knows his game

Even though he's in the thick of cricket, this Englishman knows his football right. And as a Chelsea supporter, he's quite vocal too. "They had a coach that messed up things," says KP about the club's downfall in recent times."(But) Now that he's gone, they're playing a lot better, and hopefully it'll continue this way."

And he's clear about the success mantra of his IPL team too. "The foreign players can win you few matches. But you are really successful if your Indian players are doing well," says Delhi's top scorer in their win against Chennai.

So how different is the Delhi dressing room from Royal Challengers Bangalore, his previous club. "You can't judge a dressing room when you are winning," Kp plays it straight. "We haven't lost after I came in, and I'd love it to continue this way."

HT Content & Syndication Services