England news July 28, 2012

Pietersen linked with BBL deal


Kevin Pietersen is believed to be considering a deal to play in the Big Bash League, with Melbourne Renegades and both Sydney sides - the Sixers and the Thunder - hoping to secure his signature.

According to reports in the Sydney Morning Herald, Cricket Australia is also considering employing Pietersen, the England Test batsman, in an ambassadorial role to help promote the competition. Such a move would help circumvent the league salary cap, with Shane Warne employed on a similar basis during the last BBL.

"We're aware that he is interested and we're aware that a couple of teams at least are talking to him, and we're very hopeful that he will sign with a team and play after Christmas," Mike McKenna, Cricket Australia's commercial general manager and the project manager of the BBL, said. "He is definitely one of the top three or four global cricket stars at the moment. He's an explosive batsman, can bowl, and he would bring a charisma to the Big Bash League that would excite us and excite the fans.

"The teams have a salary cap and it's up to them to make sure he's being paid well enough to justify him coming here to play; the issue for us is whether there's a role he can play in promoting the Big Bash League."

Pietersen, player of the tournament when England won the World Twenty20 in the Caribbean in 2010, announced his retirement from limited-overs international cricket at the end of May, citing a desire to rest and spend more time with his family. He was subsequently omitted from the 30-man preliminary squad for this year's World T20 - though he can be added to that squad without any complication up until August 18.

While England have no Test commitments in January - they will be engaged in an ODI tour of India - news that Pietersen is considering playing in the BBL will do nothing to dissuade those who believe his international retirement was motivated more by a desire to earn than a desire to rest. Certainly it would be hard to square his comments with his actions: Pietersen has taken several opportunities to criticise England's hectic international schedule and, only a few weeks ago, he insisted "I'm not playing the Big Bash".

Since then it also has emerged that he told the ECB that he would like to spend extra time playing in the IPL (which runs from April 3 to May 26 in 2013), threatening his involvement in next May's Test series between England and New Zealand.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Roo on July 31, 2012, 13:54 GMT

    @JG2704... It may sound as if I'm defending KP, but its a few points that even the Professional Cricketers Association fully endorse & why they want the ECB to change its contract system... Looking at your schedule - 2012 Jan to early Apr - cricket; May to Christmas - cricket (no breaks) then one small break in India between different formats; 2013 Jan to Mar - cricket... Then a 2 Test series against NZ in Eng, after just completing a full series tour in NZ... For me, the ECB is just filling up the year; CA is no better & wouldn't be surprised if the BBL interferes with the next Ashes in Oz... KP wouldn't be looking for a BBL gig if the ECB hadn't dumped him from your T20 team... PS: why didn't the ECB address KP's concerns 20 mths ago & come to a workable agreement? - just didn't seem such a big a deal to Aussies who are more flexible... At the end though, we all realise that KP is a maverick :) ...

  • Roo on July 31, 2012, 13:44 GMT

    @ PureTom... Obviously haven't read the above article, along with the self prescribed expert... lol... If KP gets signed up he will likely get a fair percentage of what Warney got last summer, which was "mega bucks" as a BBL promoter... Time will tell, but it will be much more than the BS pocket money as others claim...

  • Andrew on July 30, 2012, 10:20 GMT

    @ PureTom - good point, I don't think the BBL would interest KP on the grounds of money, as unless he bags some sort of 3rd party sponsorship, the contract would almost be pocket money.

  • John on July 30, 2012, 8:35 GMT

    Trickstar - Very vocal there. Re the article in which Flower says about KP having the WI series off try "Flower concern over Pietersen role" on the search bar. KP said "With the intensity of the international schedule and the increasing demands on my body, I think it is the right time to step aside and let the next generation of players come through to gain experience for the World Cup in 2015," and then stuff about not being looked after etc and then he talks about wanting to give the NZ test series a miss to play a full IPL - please don't say you didn't read that. Re him lying - well he said he wanted time off from cricket and it turns out it's to play more cricket which kind of contradicts the above quote. And I've not heard KP deny any of these things which surely a person with his personality would if they were untrue. Time will tell what KP does. BTW in my post I put "If true" re KP playing the Big Bash and contradicting him wanting rest time although I know what I believe

  • Tom on July 30, 2012, 7:07 GMT

    Would KP really earn that much more? Yes I know his first IPL deal was insane, but those kind of deals for non-Indians seem to be a thing of the past. Do we really know what he earns playing for England? I can't imagine he earns badly.

    I think the problem is more like Juan Pablo Montoya driving for Mclaren, the curse of having a personality in a team environment that is only interested on producing vanilla and towing the party line.

    I'm no KP fan but if you look at the England team there is a serious lack of personality. Stuart Broads sulk and Graeme Swanns quirks are about as good as it gets, otherwise the only flavour on offer is vanilla. Sure, this is almost definitely a result of "media training" and "contractual obligations", but not everyone responds well to having their personailty lobotomised.

    I'm fairly certain that the opportunity for freedom of expression is a far greater pull for KP than money. He doesn't look like he needs to check the couch for change!

  • Steven on July 30, 2012, 2:31 GMT

    Once England cast this man adrift (hopefully) they will be more settled. And KP can state to the entire universe how bad English cricket has treated him, and that he would've played for England until he was 80 if they had been "more reasonable" in there dealings with him.

  • Jacob on July 30, 2012, 1:45 GMT

    I've been a big Pieterson fan for a long time. I remember staying awake till the early hours listening to his Oval century in 2005, I enjoyed his brief time as captain, and have always supported his sometimes odd attitude. This however is just funny. I simply begin to not care. Retire, cry cry cry, beg to come back, demand more rest... sign up for a foreign comp with tactics to avoid the salary cap. You my friend, are just money hungry. Give his place to Compton. I often felt that Andy Flower needed to handle Pieterson more carefully, but it would appear he was right all along.

  • paul on July 30, 2012, 1:08 GMT

    @JG2704 He may have been asked about BB but so what, they may be trying to sigh him up why wouldn't they, he's one of the best in the world, doesn't mean hes going to play, It will be use by the haters to beat him with though, as you can see here. Where did you get that Flower said he was going to have the whole of the WI one day series off in it's entirety, could you point me to the article where HE said it. I read that they said he was going to get games off but nothing was said ether way about the exact time off he was going to get up to when he retired. What's been proven about him lying, all I keep hearing are articles about he said this, he said that, mostly by cricket journos that hate him and have done for years. I've heard nothing from KP about this, just rumors and hearsay and tbh I don't believe alot of what is going around, bit of a media witch hunt going on atm and most of it is getting lapped up by the England fans but what's new, most of them love to hate

  • Dummy4 on July 30, 2012, 0:00 GMT

    I agree with JB 77. He should move to NZ, qualify to play for them, and be part of their national team. May be, for 5 years or so. By then NZ may unearth enough local talent..... then we can think of yet another country for KP. He is always at a different level; many change "counties", he changes "Countries" !

  • Jordan on July 29, 2012, 22:39 GMT

    I wish he'd just pick a country already. New Zealand could probably use him....

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