Pietersen slams World Cup schedule

London, Jan 30 (PTI) England batsman Kevin Pietersen hasblasted the Cricket World Cup schedule, saying that thesix-week fixture is too long and playing matches with six-dayintervals is "ridiculous".

"It''s far too long. How can the England team play onceand then in six days'' time play again, and then in six days''time play again?" Pietersen asked.

"It''s ridiculous but there''s nothing we can do about theschedules," he added.

The outspoken cricketer also slammed England''s hecticschedule leading up to the World Cup, starting on February 19in the sub-continent.

England fly out for the showpiece tournament just threedays after arriving back from the current tour of Australia,which began back in October last year.

"Our schedule is ridiculous going into this World Cup. Ithas been for England teams for a very long time and that''sprobably why England have not done well in World Cups,"Pietersen told ''Sky Sports''.

"I wouldn''t say we''re going to be knackered because it''sgoing to be the World Cup and we all want to win this WorldCup. I know what I''ll be doing (in the three-day break) -lying on my couch."

Pietersen, however, would not skip the Indian PremierLeague which begins immediately after World Cup. ShouldEngland reach the April 2 final in Mumbai, the players wouldhave been away from home for all but three days in five and ahalf months.

"I don''t know about second thoughts about IPL. When youare in a good thing, you know it''s a good thing and you enjoyit, I was always going to be putting my name in the hat forit. It''s such a relaxed environment as much as the intensityis electric, the intensity is 100 per cent on the field," saidPietersen, who was bought for USD 650,000 by Deccan Chargers.

"Away from the field it''s so relaxing, you get to meetand mix with different players and this is an opportunity togo to another team with different players.

"But it''s going to be tough. The hardest part is notgoing to be able to see my family. I''m not going to take Dylanto India. I will be definitely going home after the World Cupand before the IPL, 100 per cent, even if it''s only 24 hours,"said Pietersen.

Pietersen''s price dropped this year after he was boughtby Royal Challengers Bangalore for a then record USD 1.55million two years ago. Still, Pietersen said he felt"fortunate" to be paid such a sum to play cricket.

"It''s not a mere USD 650,000. I''ve always said whateveryou get in the IPL is an absolute bonus. We''re fortunateenough to have six or five weeks, and who earns that kind ofmoney in five weeks?

"Nobody, unless you''re Rooney or Lampard or Ronaldo orJohn Terry. You look at it and just go, we''re very fortunateand in a very fortunate position, so if I got 200, 300, 400,you do whatever it is you need to do, and enjoy the fiveweeks. It''s relaxed, fun cricket." PTI PDS AH

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