Kevin Pietersen has blamed England's lack of enthusiam for IPL on "jealousy," fuelling the debate over attitudes towards India's all-consuming Twenty20 tournament.
Interest in IPL remains limited in the UK, with media coverage virtually non-existent and more attention given to the start of the championship season.
Pietersen, who along with Eoin Morgan is the only current England international in this year's IPL, believes he knows why. "The IPL is very much struggling to find acceptance back home," he was quoted as saying on AFP. "It saddens me because I have had an amazing time at the IPL.
"it's down to a lot of jealousy I think, which is sad. It saddens me all the negative publicity the IPL gets in the [UK] media, I don't know why."
Pietersen, regarded as a reluctant performer in England's domestic tournaments, is bound to offend sections of England cricket with his remarks. England players are unable to take part in England's own Twenty20 tournament because it clashes with the international schedule - a mistake that India has been careful not to make - and for a senior England player to suggest that people are jealous of Indian success is not about to calm the mood.
Pietersen's comments follow a scathing assessment of the effect of IPL in Wisden Cricketers' Almanack. Wisden's editor, Lawrence Booth, complaied of: "The rise of a Twenty20-based nationalism, the growth of private marketeers and high-level conflicts of interest," adding: "It is a perfect storm and and the global game sits unsteadily in the eye."
While other England players have been released for early-season four-day championship matches, Pietersen's emphasis is on the Twenty20 game. "Playing another month in the subcontinent honing my skills, training with the spinners and practicing, I consider myself so very fortunate," he said.
England's fast bowler Stuart Broad piulled out of IPL this week because of injury, while two more members of England's attack, James Anderson and Graeme Swann, were unbsold.
Similar Newsgab Articles: