Pietersen defends English players' right to play in IPL

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London, Apr 18 (UNI) Middle-order batsman Kevin Pietersen has spoken out in defence of the English players asserting that they should be allowed to play in the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL).

''I don't see anything wrong with saying we want to go and play and earn that kind of money,'' Pietersen was quoted as saying by the local media.

The 27-year-old right-handed batsman criticised the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for preventing centrally contracted from featuring in the inaugural season of the IPL.

''You have to look after yourself because you are not going to be playing cricket when you are 50 or 60,'' Pietersen said.

''People who nail us for it are not going to pay for my child's school fees in 15 years' time,'' he added. ''To be offered the kind of money I have been offered, it is ridiculous for someone to abuse you about it. It is like winning the lottery and anybody in their right mind would go for it.

''It's not even a question, if you can do it, you do it.'' ''For a one-off fixture, to know you could come home with the best part of a million in your pocket, it's amazing.'' Pietersen, who insisted that he would never sacrifice his international career for the IPL, said England players will be benifited by featuring in the cash-rich Twenty20 league.

''The best players in the world will be honing their skills for the next six weeks,'' he remarked. ''It will increase the scores in one-dayers and it will make players make a few more shots in Test too.'' UNI XC AB RAR PM1346

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