IPL would have benefited England bowlers - Pietersen
England batsman Kevin Pietersen has said his national team-mates, particularly the bowlers, may have made a mistake by skipping the IPL to preserve themselves for future assignments. Pietersen, who is in India to play for Royal Challengers Bangalore, felt the IPL was a good platform to pick up the basics of the Twenty20 game and perfect one's skills ahead of the ICC World Twenty20, which immediately follows the IPL.
Besides Pietersen, the other England participants include Paul Collingwood, Ravi Bopara, Michael Lumb, Owais Shah and Graham Napier. Allrounder Dimitri Mascarenhas played at the start of the tournament but suffered an injury and flew back home. Two of England's leading fast bowlers, Stuart Broad and James Anderson, announced their unavailability in December.
"As far as English cricket is concerned the good thing is that myself, Colly [Paul Collingwood] and Morgan are out here and can take the knowledge of playing in the IPL back to the England dressing room," Pietersen said. "It is very disappointing for us that bowlers are not here.
"I spoke to Colly last week when we played Delhi and we agreed it would help for our bowlers to be out here learning about the game. The difficulty in England is that when the IPL came around it was all about money, money, money, but it has actually gone on to be a world-class tournament and we have missed the boat. The guys should put their names in the hat and find a way into this set-up because they can only get better by playing out here."
England have performed poorly in the two editions of the World Twenty20, failing to reach the semi-finals in both. He felt the players will only get better with experience. "The more you play the better you become, so for us all to be available for the full six weeks of the IPL, like most of the other countries, would be really good," Pietersen added.
The most impressive of the English players happens to be his Hampshire team-mate and attacking opening batsman, Lumb. The left-hander with the Rajasthan Royals is also part of the World Twenty20 squad. He cemented his place in the XI from the beginning but the rest, including Pietersen, aren't certainties partly because they joined their franchises late owing to their commitments in Bangladesh.
"I am not surprised he [Lumb] has done well," Pietersen said. "He has been really good at this form of the game in the way he has excelled at getting good starts. The difference is, he now he finishes the job."