Kevin Pietersen questioned ECB’s double standards when England players were available to be part of the Indian Premier League in 2021.
While former England star batter Kevin Pietersen undoubtedly had a stellar career as an England cricketer, it was also one marred by way too many controversies.
Be his subtle threat to the ECB to retire from Test Cricket, or the infamous text exchanges with South African players allegedly regarding his private conversation with Andrew Strauss, Pietersen had been a controversial figure during his playing days, especially during the final years of his career.
Apart from the aforementioned, the former right-handed batter had also invited quite come criticism from the ECB and other England cricketers (former and current) back when he became one of the highest paid players in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
He was bought for a whooping sum of INR 9.8 Crore by the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RBC) in the year 2009.
Kevin Pietersen questioned ECB’s double standards
Pietersen’s record-breaking deal with RCB did not go down well with the ECB who were reluctant to allow England players’ participation in the league back then.
Cut to 2021, and with the IPL becoming one of the biggest things in World Cricket, England players’ participation in the league is not longer an issue with the ECB, with their current White-ball skipper Eoin Morgan too having credited the league for bringing the best out of the England players in limited Overs format.
In August last year, when the 14th season of the IPL was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ECB had given a go-ahead to the England players participating in the league.
Had the IPL went ahead as per schedule, the England players- the likes of Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Sam Curran et al would have to miss the tournament to play an away series against Bangladesh later that year.
Hence, with the ECB allowing their players to participate in the cash-rich league, Kevin Pietersen requested his followers on Twitter to find him an old tweet of his in which he had stated that in case of the IPL being rescheduled (which ultimately did), it would be interesting to see how they react to their previous decision to not allow their players to participate in the IPL.
Can anyone find my tweet from a few months ago when ECB said none of their players will play the IPL and will have to prioritise International cricket.
I think I said, watch this space or something……. pic.twitter.com/c691iFhgax
— Kevin Pietersen🦏 (@KP24) August 3, 2021
Pietersen’s followers did oblige to his request and were quick to help him out.
It’s going to be v interesting to watch how the ECB handle this issue around not allowing it’s best players to play IPL, if it’s rescheduled.
When I went up against ENG, I was alone.
This time, it’s all their best branded players!
If they stand together, they’ll play IPL!
— Kevin Pietersen🦏 (@KP24) May 12, 2021
The English cricketers did play in the IPL 2021, and Pietersen couldn’t help but reminisce the board’s stance back then, and also when his decision to play in the IPL was viewed as one driven solely by money.
Also, as per former England skipper Michael Vaughan, Pietersen’s IPL contract had caused quite some jealously in the England cricket team dressing room. He also said that this led to cliques being formed and eventually ended with Pietersen being axed from the team.
“There was a little band of a few; Graeme Swann, Tim Bresnan, (James) Anderson, (Stuart) Broad and Matt Prior. The whispers were they were on one side and Kevin was kind of standing on his own on the other side…He was on a big contract while not many of the other players were even getting sniffed at,” Vaughan had exclaimed to Fox Sports last year.