Pietersen: we must embrace IPL

Batsman 'disapponted' by bowlers' lack of experience ahead of World Twenty20
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The Independent Online

Kevin Pietersen has only one Indian Premier League regret: the scarcity of English players. The 29-year-old believes there is so much his international team-mates could learn if they were there.

Pietersen, who joined the Royal Challengers Bangalore's campaign mid-tournament after completing England's Test series in Bangladesh, is especially keen for bowlers such as Stuart Broad and James Anderson to think again about IPL involvement. The England pace pair announced their intention four months ago to rule themselves out of the bidding process for this spring's third edition of the IPL.

Pietersen's Challengers team-mate Eoin Morgan is taking part – albeit with little success so far – while fellow England batsman Paul Collingwood has made a real impact for the Delhi Daredevils since arriving from Bangladesh. England World Twenty20 call-up Michael Lumb, meanwhile, has excelled at the top of the order for the Rajasthan Royals – who face the Challengers in a crucial match today.

"It is very disappointing," Pietersen said. "I was speaking to Colly [Paul Collingwood] last week, and we would have liked to have had a couple of our bowlers out here and learning.

"The difficulty is that when the IPL came about some people just talked about it being money, money, money. But it has become a 'World Cup' tournament, and a lot of our players should definitely have tried to find a way to get into this set-up."

Pietersen has struggled to retain his place in a powerhouse Challengers batting line-up, despite making handsome contributions when selected. The 29-year-old admits to some consternation about that but accepts not everyone can play every game when there is so much talent available.

"I was surprised, and it is frustrating to be watching the guys when you want to be playing. But we have some brilliant batsmen right through the order, and you can only have four internationals. Getting man of the match and then missing out in the next game is [frustrating]. But that is the nature of the beast."

As for Lumb and Morgan, he is delighted to see his Hampshire colleague do so well – and is confident the Irishman will benefit from his experiences too. "I'm not surprised. I've always known Lumb was a very good player," he said. "When he was at Yorkshire, he had to tinker with his game.

"It has been unfortunate for Morgan, but he is learning so much all the time – just being around internationals. Him just being here is great for English cricket."

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