Kevin Pietersen makes IPL claim

 

Kevin Pietersen believes England's lack of interest in the Indian Premier League is down to jealousy.

Pietersen is one of just two England regulars participating in this year's IPL, along with Eoin Morgan, as the World Twenty20 champions were largely overlooked by the nine franchises at auction last year.

With the likes of star names James Anderson, Graeme Swann and Ian Bell instead preparing for the England summer in county ranks, the lucrative tournament, now in its fifth year, has attracted minimal coverage in the United Kingdom.

Pietersen, one of the Delhi Daredevils most high-profile names, believes jealousy in his adopted homeland is at the heart of that, telling reporters: "The IPL is very much struggling to find acceptance back home.

"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 admitted he did not know why England's best players had been routinely snubbed by the IPL franchises, claiming they would be better than "some second-rate Australians" who were getting a game.

"I'd love to see more English players available for - well not only available, I would love to see them picked up because I also see some of the games being played at the moment and I just think: 'Man, up here would have been lot better if the Andersons, Bresnans and Boparas were involved in the IPL'," he told CNN-IBN.

"The guys like Bell, you've got world-class players who are sitting in England now wanting to play the IPL when you've got some second-rate Australians getting gigs here.

"So for me, it's sad that I don't have fellow team-mates playing in the IPL and embarking on a magnificent journey here in the subcontinent and it'll help English cricket as well."

Stuart Broad is the only other England player who was due to play at this year's IPL, but he was ruled out earlier this week due to a calf injury picked up on the recent tour of Sri Lanka.

PA

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