Pietersen's IPL deal worth more than England contract
Discarded batsman will make more in two months with Delhi Daredevils than a year with England
DISCARDED England cricketer Kevin Pietersen has proved there is life after internationals by signing a deal worth £880,000 to play for the Delhi Daredevils in this year's Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament.
Now that he is no longer required by England, Pietersen is able to devote himself to the IPL for its duration. His previous appearances in the competition have been curtailed by international duty or injury.
The Times points out that the deal for two months work in India is actually worth more than Pietersen's England contract, thought to be worth around £700,000 a year. "Combined with the pay-off from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) since the termination of his central contract, it represents the beginning of what should be a lucrative post-England career," says the paper.
After the IPL tournament Pietersen will return to England to play for Surrey in the new Twenty20 Blast tournament, and possibly other forms of the game. It signals the start of his life as a "globetrotting hired hand", with the player also expected to head to Australia for the Big Bash tournament at the end of the year.
"The move to Delhi for the full IPL is effectively the first stage of Pietersen’s new cricketing career," says the Evening Standard, which agrees that he is now likely to "join the T20 franchise circuit".
While several Australian players, including Ashes stars Mitchell Johnson, David Warner and Steve Smith, were also picked up in the first round of the auction, Pietersen was the only English player to find a team.
Batsmen including Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara and Luke Wright did not find buyers, nor did Alex Hales, once ranked the world's best T20 batsman. Specialist bowlers Jade Dernbach and Simon Jones were also overlooked along with wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter. All-rounders Rikki Clarke and Samit Patel were also ignored. However, there is a second round later this week.