Former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen took a sly dig at the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) , following their tweet wishing luck to Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer. The two cricketers are representing Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020, and were set to take on Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in a must-win clash. “Good luck to our lads in today’s huge IPL game!,” the tweet from the ECB said. “Just imagine, IMAGINE this tweet 8/9 years ago…! I’m so happy these guys are benefitting positively from the IPL!,” Pietersen wrote, retweeting ECB. The batsman was one of the first players to participate in the IPL from the nation, with the England and Wales Cricket Board initially reluctant to permit the involvement of domestic cricketers in the cash-rich league, as alleged by the player.
Pietersen accused the ECB of being jealous of “IPL’s money”, citing this factor as being the one responsible for its refusal to permit homegrown cricketers from playing in the tournament. The swashbuckling batsman further stated that many players feared losing their spot in the national team, if they participated in the T20 league.
“A lot of people in English cricket like to explain their attitude to the IPL as an ideological problem. It’s a problem about India and money. The ECB doesn’t really know how to deal with India or money. Whenever the IPL comes up in conversation you can feel the meeting room grow uneasy. When the IPL started, all ECB could see was IPL’s money and its own jealousy. Also English players want to play in the IPL but they are afraid of not being picked for the national team,” wrote Pietersen in his autobiography ‘KP’ in 2014.
Stokes and Archer are among a handful of English cricketers who have shone in this year’s edition of the IPL.
While Archer has been one of the leading wicket-takers this season, Ben Stokes has scored a century and a half-century in his last two games.
Jos Buttler too has impressed for Rajasthan Royals while Sam Curran contributed well before being replaced by Stokes in their lineup.
Jonny Bairstow has also shown his class for SunRisers Hyderabad, while England’s limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan has taken over leadership duties at Kolkata Knight Riders.
And while Chennai Super Kings have struggled in the tournament, Sam Curran has been a bright spark for them, putting in good performances with both bat and ball.
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