Hayden defends KP's decision to play in IPL

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London, July 30 (ANI): Former Australian opener Mathew Hayden has defended England batsman Kevin Pietersen for playing in the Indian Premier League during an Ashes year despite his subsequent injury problems.

He told SunSport: "I can sympathise with Kevin right now because he would not have wanted to miss The Ashes. But that is professional sport and as a professional you always try to play with a niggle. Sometimes you can play with it, sometimes you can't."

"It has nothing to do with money though, as cricketers want to play both for their franchise and their country. Look at football. David Beckham wants to play for England and wants to play for his club - but neither option is money orientated," he added.

Hayden believes cricket's failure to react to the IPL is forcing players to make tough decisions.

At present, no international window has been created for the money-spinning tournament and the likes of Pietersen face a gruelling schedule until that is addressed.

KP is currently hobbling around on crutches after surgery on his Achilles ruled him out of the final three Tests against Australia.

Some critics have pointed to his failure to take a break from cricket before the summer, with the batsman opting instead to earn 75,000 pounds a game during a two-week stint with the Bangalore Royal Challengers.

Hayden, 37, plays for the Chennai Super Kings, claims the money on offer in the Twenty20 format should not see injuries held against individuals. (ANI)

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