IPL news February 5, 2014

What makes Pietersen a franchise-magnet

Factors such as supreme talent, complete availability, match-winner status, a polished and suave speaker, make Pietersen potentially one of the most attractive buys
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The ECB might have forced an abrupt full stop on Kevin Pietersen's international career. However, factors such as supreme talent, complete availability, match-winner status, a polished and suave speaker, franchises claim make Pietersen potentially one of the most attractive buys at the player auction.

On Tuesday, ECB and Pietersen parted ways mutually on the back of talks between the player and Paul Downton, the newly-appointed managing director of England cricket. It is understood that the ECB is on the verge of settling his contract soon, which will leave him a free agent.

Despite all the innuendos published in the media as reasons for his ouster, Pietersen remains a marquee player in the IPL. "People tend to look at young talent, match-winners and players whose calendars are free. Pietersen ticks all those attributes," a senior official with a franchise that has won the IPL in the past, said. "He is being portrayed as a bad boy. So he might have a huge point to prove. He might even want to lead the team and say that 'I am not a selfish player'," the official said.

With the IPL imposing a cap of nine overseas players, franchises are likely to cut back on spending on foreigners. However, officials point out there are many factors that elevate Pietersen's status. At 33, Pietersen is a senior player. A batsman who can silence the opposition with his explosive batting as well as change gears with a calculated assault. A superb fielder, and a decent offspinner.

"He will be a hot property, purely on the basis of his talent. He is a high-quality middle-order batsman. There are not really that many fitting that bill. You have explosive openers, but no one of his talent at No. 4 or 5," a franchise coach said.

Pietersen missed out playing the last IPL because of an injury, but was seen around to promote the Delhi Daredevils brand. He had transferred to the franchise from the now defunct Deccan Chargers in 2012.

Pietersen had made a grand entry into the IPL. Royal Challengers Bangalore bought him at the auction for the then record price of $1.55m, making him the joint-richest player in the IPL along with his former England team-mate Andrew Flintoff, who was bought at the same price by Chennai Super Kings. Pietersen played just six matches in his first year, but he was handed the captaincy immediately. He returned in 2010 to play seven matches at the back-end of the tournament and was instrumental in Royal Challengers finishing third.

For Ray Jennings, the former Royal Challengers' coach, Pietersen was always captaincy material in addition to being a match-winner. "An icon player is leading from the front. KP is a definite game-breaker. He is a very methodical player. He has different ideas. He is a different type of cricketer. When people want to win badly and set high standards, sometimes they are quite difficult to work with. I never had problems with KP. It is a pleasure to work with a guy like that who wants to win all the time," Jennings said.

Although franchise officials remain tightlipped about whether the former England captain might fetch over the $2 million Daredevils paid him, they are certain more than one team will be interested in him. Currently, Daredevils, Kings XI Punjab and Sunrisers Hyderabad have vacancies and are likely to chase big-name players like Pietersen who could be part of the team's nucleus even if he does not get picked as a captain.

In a franchise-based sport, it is not just playing ability that determines a player's worth. Charisma, a positive attitude and global appeal are what franchises look for in a player because they want to promote their brand.

According to a former CEO of one of the original eight franchises, in a commercial venture like the IPL, you need a player like Pietersen to create the buzz, to interest fans to buy tickets, to have sponsors who don't mind paying an extra quarter-of-a-million dollars so he can get access to the player. "A few years back we picked a team based on just smart 20-over cricketers. We decided not to go chasing a big name," the former CEO said. "Sponsors came back and gave us their feedback saying is team mein dum nahin hain (three is not much weight in this team). There is no big name or star in your team. The sponsors are always looking for the buzz and star quality around the team."

Pietersen is part of a select band of players who transcend their cricketing talent and can double up as the brand ambassador. "He speaks very well. He is very courteous at sponsor events and mingles easily with both businessmen and fans. Some of the Indian players sulk and give the impression about what a drag it is for them to be present at these events. KP knows his responsibility as a main player. He knows his responsibility to both the franchise and the sponsor. So he brings a lot of value addition in addition to his cricket. He is a good asset both on and off the field. He brings that X-factor and oomph to a franchise," said a franchise head summing up Pietersen's off-field potential.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • test_cricket_lover on February 8, 2014, 13:52 GMT

    As Harsha Bhogle pointed out in his column sometime ago, England wanted Pietersen to be both a conformist and a match-winner. These two qualities never co-existed in a person. Pietersen is one of his kind. If it had not been for his bold and scintillating 158 on the final day of the final test Australia, England wouldn't have regained the Ashes after 18 long years. He also played a major role in t20 world cup which England won in 2009 - the first (and final?) achievement of England in limited overs cricket. I couldn't understand how ECB has forgotten all that. You have to have person of great character to do great things. Pietersen is just that. Anyways, I think it is good that Pietersen is now out of England team and I am sure there are plenty of opportunities awaiting him. Go Pietersen. Just one sad feeling though: I wouldn't see Pietersen playing Test cricket again. Thank you KP.

  • on February 6, 2014, 19:33 GMT

    ecb should change their attitude fellowing old models. we are in 2014 .so change into modern cricket. big bash . ipl makes good players aues, india on top of the cricketrs in the world. because sucess of these modern games.

  • on February 6, 2014, 18:36 GMT

    IPL will be perfect for Peitersen. He only has 2 months to piss people off.. He needs lots of short-term contracts.

  • sachin_equal_to_bradman on February 6, 2014, 16:53 GMT

    Whatever may be KP's wrong-doing,Whatever may be his behaviour..Whatever may be his attitude...Man you gotta love this guy...One of the most uniquely awseomest talent !!!!! Remember his MUMBAI innings??? Even he VIV would have astonished with such audacious batting...salute to this guy from indian fan....Had he been an indian, He would have earned great respect next to sachin and wall!!! World of cricket should not loose some unique players like Kohli,ABD,KP,STYEN,CLARKE,Mohammad Amir(currently in punishment) ...These guys are special talents...Rejoice them irrespective of the attitude...They should be punished only if they do something illegal....

  • HarrowXI on February 6, 2014, 13:17 GMT

    Common Gary Kirstan use right to buy card and buy KP for Delhi again. Make him captain for the squad. I am sure he will make Cook & flower to eat there words.

    Go Delhi derdivals. Be a champ

  • itsthewayuplay on February 6, 2014, 13:03 GMT

    Does this mean KP will be available for the Lord's bicentenary celebrations 50-over match?

  • PhoenixStrikes on February 6, 2014, 12:20 GMT

    I just don't understand ECBs policies..Pietersen is a class act and he is surely not the typical English 'disciplined and ethical' cricketer..but he is in different class of his own..a player like him comes rarely in a generation..of course he might not have been your ideal cricketer..but everything comes at a price.ECB should have found a way for him to continue playing for England..look at Virat Kohli,he has had his shares of attitude problems at the beginning of his career(* the finger in australia) but BCCI kept faith in him and look where he is today!! If you cannot manage a player like KP then you ought to blame yourself for this and to think that Prior,Anderson,Cook and Bell are picked again even when they didn't try to retaliate the aussie attack this ashes which KP atleast tried to do.(remember him taking on Siddle despite his poor form against the latter.)..Poor thinking this from ECB.

  • on February 6, 2014, 12:03 GMT

    Will South Africa welcome back its prodigal son KP into their fold? It is a question, And, not a suggestion!

    If they do, I would like to see him being made the Captain while playing against England.

  • coherent_critic on February 6, 2014, 11:57 GMT

    dd should use their right to match cards wisely..they must use that for viru ,kp and maybe warner..and then can build a team around them..they should also buy chand and groom him with proper guidance like rcb did for kolhi and rr are doing for samson.. chand is highly talented would be able to serve them for many years...this time as kristen is there i expect them to make sensible decisions which they havent done in past like not retaining players like gambhir, abd

  • on February 6, 2014, 11:56 GMT

    Delhi did a stupid thing by not retaining him!

  • test_cricket_lover on February 8, 2014, 13:52 GMT

    As Harsha Bhogle pointed out in his column sometime ago, England wanted Pietersen to be both a conformist and a match-winner. These two qualities never co-existed in a person. Pietersen is one of his kind. If it had not been for his bold and scintillating 158 on the final day of the final test Australia, England wouldn't have regained the Ashes after 18 long years. He also played a major role in t20 world cup which England won in 2009 - the first (and final?) achievement of England in limited overs cricket. I couldn't understand how ECB has forgotten all that. You have to have person of great character to do great things. Pietersen is just that. Anyways, I think it is good that Pietersen is now out of England team and I am sure there are plenty of opportunities awaiting him. Go Pietersen. Just one sad feeling though: I wouldn't see Pietersen playing Test cricket again. Thank you KP.

  • on February 6, 2014, 19:33 GMT

    ecb should change their attitude fellowing old models. we are in 2014 .so change into modern cricket. big bash . ipl makes good players aues, india on top of the cricketrs in the world. because sucess of these modern games.

  • on February 6, 2014, 18:36 GMT

    IPL will be perfect for Peitersen. He only has 2 months to piss people off.. He needs lots of short-term contracts.

  • sachin_equal_to_bradman on February 6, 2014, 16:53 GMT

    Whatever may be KP's wrong-doing,Whatever may be his behaviour..Whatever may be his attitude...Man you gotta love this guy...One of the most uniquely awseomest talent !!!!! Remember his MUMBAI innings??? Even he VIV would have astonished with such audacious batting...salute to this guy from indian fan....Had he been an indian, He would have earned great respect next to sachin and wall!!! World of cricket should not loose some unique players like Kohli,ABD,KP,STYEN,CLARKE,Mohammad Amir(currently in punishment) ...These guys are special talents...Rejoice them irrespective of the attitude...They should be punished only if they do something illegal....

  • HarrowXI on February 6, 2014, 13:17 GMT

    Common Gary Kirstan use right to buy card and buy KP for Delhi again. Make him captain for the squad. I am sure he will make Cook & flower to eat there words.

    Go Delhi derdivals. Be a champ

  • itsthewayuplay on February 6, 2014, 13:03 GMT

    Does this mean KP will be available for the Lord's bicentenary celebrations 50-over match?

  • PhoenixStrikes on February 6, 2014, 12:20 GMT

    I just don't understand ECBs policies..Pietersen is a class act and he is surely not the typical English 'disciplined and ethical' cricketer..but he is in different class of his own..a player like him comes rarely in a generation..of course he might not have been your ideal cricketer..but everything comes at a price.ECB should have found a way for him to continue playing for England..look at Virat Kohli,he has had his shares of attitude problems at the beginning of his career(* the finger in australia) but BCCI kept faith in him and look where he is today!! If you cannot manage a player like KP then you ought to blame yourself for this and to think that Prior,Anderson,Cook and Bell are picked again even when they didn't try to retaliate the aussie attack this ashes which KP atleast tried to do.(remember him taking on Siddle despite his poor form against the latter.)..Poor thinking this from ECB.

  • on February 6, 2014, 12:03 GMT

    Will South Africa welcome back its prodigal son KP into their fold? It is a question, And, not a suggestion!

    If they do, I would like to see him being made the Captain while playing against England.

  • coherent_critic on February 6, 2014, 11:57 GMT

    dd should use their right to match cards wisely..they must use that for viru ,kp and maybe warner..and then can build a team around them..they should also buy chand and groom him with proper guidance like rcb did for kolhi and rr are doing for samson.. chand is highly talented would be able to serve them for many years...this time as kristen is there i expect them to make sensible decisions which they havent done in past like not retaining players like gambhir, abd

  • on February 6, 2014, 11:56 GMT

    Delhi did a stupid thing by not retaining him!

  • on February 6, 2014, 11:12 GMT

    I wish RCB buys him.... imagine a team with Gayle, kohli, ABD, KP...ooo man scary for the bowlers...

  • Phorenguy on February 6, 2014, 9:33 GMT

    DD will get KP back with Right to Match card. He is going nowhere !!!

  • CodandChips on February 6, 2014, 9:02 GMT

    @Gurdit Singh while England are significantly weaker without KP and Swann "Even bangladesh could whitewash england in odis" is a huge exaggeration. Especially considering the like of Hales, Morgan and Buttler are in our ranks. Spinner is hard to find mind

  • samraj63 on February 6, 2014, 8:45 GMT

    Looks "victortrumpet" has limited knowledge on IPL!! It's shown in more than 100 countries including UK on the non-subscription channels which means lot more people watch IPL compared to ASHES on SKY!!

  • on February 6, 2014, 8:26 GMT

    this will be the worst England team ever without pietersen and swann.Even bangladesh could whitewash england in odis. england don't have a genuine odi player apart from morgan and England's team would be the worst anong the test playing nations un the upcoming t20 world cup without pietersen.

  • CodandChips on February 6, 2014, 8:24 GMT

    Would be great for the IPL for the reasons I wanted him in the WT20 squad:

    1.One of the most destructive batsman in the world. In England, the only people that come close are Peter Trego and Jos Buttler, but neither are as consistent or world class players as KP

    2.Brings experience. Player of the tournament in WT20 which we won. Number 1 in T20Is when temporarily retried in 2012.

    3.Bowling- useful offspin option. Gets a lot of turn and bounce. When he arrived in England he was primarily a spinner.

    4.Tactically good (although not always when batting). Had a decent record as captain pre Peter Moores. Also certain moments such as Jimmy Anderson to Sehwag in Mumbai 2012.

    5.Guidance to youngsters. KP always looks like helping others eg Kirk Edwards 2012. Don't forget batting masterclass on Sky during the Ashes 2013. Would have helped with our young batsmen, the likes of Taylor, Root, Ballance, Vince, Stoeks, Woakes, Ali, Hales, Buttler, Robson all trying to make way in the game.

  • Rohan0309 on February 6, 2014, 8:16 GMT

    ECB's loss is IPL's gain ;)

  • AamirKhan-SuperStar on February 6, 2014, 7:36 GMT

    Now one thing is sure there's already buzz around due to KP. No other player has managed to create this buzz so early even before the auction. Something tells me Daredevils will get him, but its all about purchasing strategies of franchises. Those who get good deals with local efficient players can afford to pay big for someone like KP.

  • shibuvin on February 6, 2014, 6:53 GMT

    @victortrumpet, You got to update your Cricket Wikipedia.....lol

  • KarmatBaig on February 6, 2014, 6:19 GMT

    Simple, if you not good enough to represent your country at the highest level then your cricketing days area numbered. People remember you what you do for your country not for a franchise.

  • on February 6, 2014, 6:17 GMT

    If Sun Risers gets him then he could lead the Team and their Brand Value will go up. With Steryn and Dhawan, the Sun Risers will have three match winners in their team. Kings XI and Delhi Daredevils will chase him as well therefore he will be the most sought after Player along with Mitchell Johnson. MI and CSK's hands are full and also with RR and RCB also almost full therefore the only possibility for KP to get picked will be by SRH, DD and Kings XI. I hope he will get picked up by SRH.

  • SOLNAN on February 6, 2014, 6:03 GMT

    Ask Steyn and Morne Morkel and they will tell you whom they fear the most. Ask any Australians and they will tell you the same" KP." Well done ECB. We will now have full season to watch this iconic player in India.

  • LongLiveTestCricket on February 6, 2014, 5:34 GMT

    He must be ruing the day when he decided to play for England in place of South Africa.Time and again his career track has been affected by administrators' action. I am sure whatever be the issues, there was a better way to manage things than dropping him straightaway after winning World T20, scoring matchwinning century against S Africa,top scoring in recent Ashes.

  • NP_NY on February 6, 2014, 5:25 GMT

    @victortrumpet: India is 75% of the world cricket audience my friend. And IPL is the most coveted competition for ALL cricketers. KP already has worldwide recognition, it's big money time now!

  • victortrumpet on February 6, 2014, 4:24 GMT

    Unfortunately for KP, nobody outside of India watches the IPL, so any recognition he earns, will be limited to one country.

  • on February 6, 2014, 2:55 GMT

    @anuj @batmanindallas there is a long icc procidure if kp want to play for india 1st he have to get indian citizen ship then he have to play indian domestic cricket for 3years and his 33 already so a 36 years old player cant be selected

  • on February 5, 2014, 22:02 GMT

    ECB are fools who can't recognize talent if it hit them in the head. KP will get the recognition that he deserves in IPL.

  • iamjp on February 5, 2014, 21:01 GMT

    This unfortunate drubbing of KP by ECB makes him an even more sought after property in this ipl auction..daredevils in all likelihood would use their RTM card as he is available right throughout the tournament..even if daredevils don't do that,i expect him to fetch an astronomical price because he deserves it..any team would love to have him in their playing eleven..Go KP...

  • on February 5, 2014, 20:35 GMT

    wow, seems like the ecb are out to prove that they know absolutely nothing about cricket

  • Batmanindallas on February 5, 2014, 19:44 GMT

    Can KP play for india? I am sure Indian fans would love to have him in color blue

  • on February 5, 2014, 19:19 GMT

    maybe this sound stupid as Pietersen is not an Indian citizen but is there any way or even any chance that he can play for team India?? we love this guy over here and it would be so grateful to see him play for our nation.

  • Cpt.Meanster on February 5, 2014, 19:02 GMT

    KP will be snapped up like hot cake !!!! You guys over at ECB keep watching and grind your fists in jealousy. What a bunch of losers ! I think KP should go to Delhi Daredevils where he can lead a brand new team from scratch along with Viru. KP has incredible leadership qualities which he demonstrated when playing for RCB in the 3rd edition of the IPL. They won 5 matches in a row with KP in the line up. Good news for IPL watchers and KP lovers this season. I can't help but smile because KP won't be gone completely. He will keep playing in the IPL and for Surrey. The English team and bury themselves in hot sand for all I care. Down the rankings they shall go for what they did to this great man. I always believe that there is no problem which can't be solved in the world if we put our hearts to it.

  • rizwan1981 on February 5, 2014, 18:34 GMT

    just do not understand why England would jettison the only match winner in the team- KP scores big and scores quick which gives ample time for the bowlers to win matches.

    I recall KP was dropped for the final match against SA and at the end of the game , Strauss was forced to retire and England lost its # 1 status .

    Its a very sad day for test cricket and for the fans all over the world . I did not like him but as a Sri Lankan , I still get nightmares when I recall KP's brutal and inhumane assault on Murali !

  • on February 5, 2014, 18:34 GMT

    ECB has lost it...that's all I have to say!

  • cricket_redemption on February 5, 2014, 18:29 GMT

    spot on @lara-better-than-bradman "england's loss is ipl's gain. I would spend thoushands to watch KP but not a penny for cook." KP will definitely get a lucrative ipl contract and also in every other available league while cook gets cooked by watching it. Cook is not a mentakky stronger one. He will join trott and swann over mental illness sooner rather than later.

  • Maddy1987123 on February 5, 2014, 18:11 GMT

    I am an RCB fan and would love to have KP in the team. Imagine a team with Gayle, Kohli, KP & AB Devilliers. Just 1 word to describe AWESOME. RCB RCB RCB

  • on February 5, 2014, 18:10 GMT

    l think it is right time for k.p . to prove e c b wrong by note picking him for carrbien and t20 squad . k.p lets show

  • on February 5, 2014, 18:09 GMT

    he definitely will get huge amount for this ipl

  • IndianEagle on February 5, 2014, 18:01 GMT

    england's loss is ipl's gain. I would spend thoushands to watch KP but not a penny for cook.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • IndianEagle on February 5, 2014, 18:01 GMT

    england's loss is ipl's gain. I would spend thoushands to watch KP but not a penny for cook.

  • on February 5, 2014, 18:09 GMT

    he definitely will get huge amount for this ipl

  • on February 5, 2014, 18:10 GMT

    l think it is right time for k.p . to prove e c b wrong by note picking him for carrbien and t20 squad . k.p lets show

  • Maddy1987123 on February 5, 2014, 18:11 GMT

    I am an RCB fan and would love to have KP in the team. Imagine a team with Gayle, Kohli, KP & AB Devilliers. Just 1 word to describe AWESOME. RCB RCB RCB

  • cricket_redemption on February 5, 2014, 18:29 GMT

    spot on @lara-better-than-bradman "england's loss is ipl's gain. I would spend thoushands to watch KP but not a penny for cook." KP will definitely get a lucrative ipl contract and also in every other available league while cook gets cooked by watching it. Cook is not a mentakky stronger one. He will join trott and swann over mental illness sooner rather than later.

  • on February 5, 2014, 18:34 GMT

    ECB has lost it...that's all I have to say!

  • rizwan1981 on February 5, 2014, 18:34 GMT

    just do not understand why England would jettison the only match winner in the team- KP scores big and scores quick which gives ample time for the bowlers to win matches.

    I recall KP was dropped for the final match against SA and at the end of the game , Strauss was forced to retire and England lost its # 1 status .

    Its a very sad day for test cricket and for the fans all over the world . I did not like him but as a Sri Lankan , I still get nightmares when I recall KP's brutal and inhumane assault on Murali !

  • Cpt.Meanster on February 5, 2014, 19:02 GMT

    KP will be snapped up like hot cake !!!! You guys over at ECB keep watching and grind your fists in jealousy. What a bunch of losers ! I think KP should go to Delhi Daredevils where he can lead a brand new team from scratch along with Viru. KP has incredible leadership qualities which he demonstrated when playing for RCB in the 3rd edition of the IPL. They won 5 matches in a row with KP in the line up. Good news for IPL watchers and KP lovers this season. I can't help but smile because KP won't be gone completely. He will keep playing in the IPL and for Surrey. The English team and bury themselves in hot sand for all I care. Down the rankings they shall go for what they did to this great man. I always believe that there is no problem which can't be solved in the world if we put our hearts to it.

  • on February 5, 2014, 19:19 GMT

    maybe this sound stupid as Pietersen is not an Indian citizen but is there any way or even any chance that he can play for team India?? we love this guy over here and it would be so grateful to see him play for our nation.

  • Batmanindallas on February 5, 2014, 19:44 GMT

    Can KP play for india? I am sure Indian fans would love to have him in color blue