Reduced Deccan deal for Pietersen in IPL

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The Independent Online

England batsman Kevin Pietersen has been signed by Indian Premier League franchise Deccan Chargers for a much-reduced fee of $650,000 (£418,000).

Ashes winner Pietersen was the joint hottest property in the 2009 auction alongside Andrew Flintoff, with both men going for then record fees of $1.5m.

Bangalore Royal Challengers were Pietersen's employers then but they did not offer for his services this time around.

Instead, Deccan did battle with Delhi Daredevils and the new franchises from Kochi and Pune.

English players were not expected to fetch the big money this year, due once again to their reduced availability because of calendar clashes, but it was a surprise to see South Africa-born Pietersen go for such a relatively modest fee.

Pietersen was listed in the first rank of players to go on sale, the so-called 'marquee list', with a reserve price of $400,000.

He was always expected to fetch significantly less than the sought-after Indian specialists such as Gautam Gambhir ($2.4m) and Yusuf Pathan ($2.1m), but it was still surprising to see him go for $350,000 less than New Zealand's Ross Taylor ($1m).