Leading article: Sticky wicket

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The Independent Online

English cricket might try to spin it as a triumph that two of its players – Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff - have attracted the highest bids yet in the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction.

But the very fact these players were offering their services for the IPL's 2009 season represents a decisive power shift in the cricketing world away from the old English establishment. The English Cricket Board had been the last national authority to hold out against the riches of the IPL. Yet its resistance finally crumbled last month.

These £1.05m bids will certainly benefit Pietersen and Flintoff as well as their respective county clubs, Hampshire and Lancashire, which will receive 10 per cent of the fee. But this also shows that the men in blazers are no longer pulling the strings of international cricket. The former empire has struck back – unanswerably.

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