One-day cricket June 14, 2008

Twenty20 could overtake 50-over cricket - Pietersen

Cricinfo staff

Is that Allen on the phone? Kevin Pietersen is excited about the Stanford match in November, but aware of other opportunities that might offer a more guaranteed income © Getty Images

Ahead of the first of five one-day internationals against New Zealand on Sunday, Kevin Pietersen believes that Twenty20 could usurp 50-over cricket as the sport's principal format of limited-over cricket.

"I think it [Twenty20] will be the new form of one-day cricket for sure," Pietersen said at a press conference at Chester-le-Street, the venue for tomorrow's ODI. "I reckon in the next couple of years 50 overs is probably going to be something of the past."

His comments were prompted by the reaction to Allen Stanford's winner-takes-all match in Antigua this November - the event which is threatening to overshadow England's one-day preparations this summer. Each member of the winning team will take home US$1m (£500,000) but Pietersen, for all his excitement at potentially winning such vast sums of money, said that the Indian Premier League also had a lot to offer.

"Will the Stanford deal make it more or less likely I will go to the IPL? That Stanford game, I see it as an absolute bonus for an England player," he said. "Allen Stanford could have chosen Australia, India, Pakistan, New Zealand, anybody to take part. I see it as an absolute bonus that we've been picked. It is very fortunate for the players and the management and for cricket in England.

"It will be a great occasion but it is a one-off fixture this year and if we lose, we come home with a tour fee. In contrast, the IPL money is guaranteed in terms of what you do.

"The Stanford game we will treat with as high a regard as we can but, if we walk away having lost, then we can say it was just a bonus because he could have chosen anybody."

Pietersen added: "Am I happy with the winner-takes-all situation? There is no point in building it up to be this absolutely incredible game where you have to win. You are guaranteed to lose then. I play like I play every single day. If you play well, play great cricket, entertain, average 50 in forms of the game, your bank balance looks after itself.

"You can't think this is a game that you have to make sure you win to set yourself up for life. No, if you do well over a 10-year period playing for England right now, you will be financially sorted."

Pietersen reiterated just how much Twenty20 had changed in its brief, but unmissable, five-year life.

"When it first came in, everyone thought it was just something to go and have some fun with and entertain. But the way the people played it, the way people did slog, the way people have entertained has turned it into a huge, huge business now," he said.

"As we've seen by the tournament in India, by what is happening in November, and the World Cup in England next year, it is a totally different kettle of fish now. I haven't played enough of it to change anything in terms of the way I play. But mentally I have. If I was a fast bowler I would be in the nets every single day, all day perfecting the art of the yorker.

"I'd make sure I was the best yorker bowler in the world and then my price would just go through the roof, to know that a captain can turn to you and say 'bowl me six yorkers, go for six runs'."