Kevin Pietersen has said he wants his team, playing the Stanford 20/20 for 20, to respect the current economic crisis around the world whether they win or lose the US$20 million match against the Stanford Superstars on November 1. Over the last few months several investment banks in England and USA have declared bankruptcy, forcing a lot of people out of jobs.
"This game has obviously come at a very difficult time in terms of what's happening in the world and I want 100% respect for that, so there won't be any nonsense happening in and around and after the game and I will be really angry if it does happen," Pietersen said. "It's simple. I respect everything that's happening. Friends of mine are struggling, really struggling. People have lost their jobs and stuff, and there's no way in the world I want anyone to carry on like a clown, win or lose."
Pietersen said the three matches that England will play in Antigua - against Middlesex, Trinidad & Tobago and the Stanford Superstars - will work as warm-ups ahead of the tour of India. "The Stanford game will be as pressured as playing India in India or Australia on the first day of an Ashes Test series. It will be interesting for me as a skipper to see how people deal with the week. Mentally, how they talk, what their primary focus is. It's a case of winning games out there and taking momentum to India, which we can see is going to be really tough."
Pietersen will pick the final XI from the 15-man squad named last month, which he said would be a tough decision. "I might have to take a bodyguard. But I'm going to find out a lot about some individuals." If England win, Pietersen will give a portion of his earnings to charity but that would not be mandatory for the rest of the players. "There are guys in the team who are older than me, I'm not their financial adviser," he said.
Whatever happens in the Caribbean, Pietersen's focus remained cricket's traditional form. "My message to those younger players is that if you play well for England over the years, you will earn that type of money and earn more than that," he said. "Twenty20 is here to stay and is the future of coloured-clothes cricket, but white clothes separate the men from the boys. Tests are the pinnacle and I want to be remembered for having pretty good stats in Test cricket."
The Stanford Super Series kicks off on Saturday with the Superstars taking on T&T. England's first match is against Middlesex on Sunday.