When the IPL started in 2008, none of the English cricketers showed a lot of interest in turning up for the league. However, in the 2009 edition, Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff received contracts of INR 7.5 crores each. Pietersen was made the captain of the Royal Challengers Bangalore. He didn’t play the entire season but had laid the groundwork on which RCB got stuck to and qualified for the finals that season.
Recently, in an interaction former England captain, Michael Vaughan said that contract which Pietersen got created jealousy in the English team. Pietersen was one of the first players from England to improve the idea of playing in the cash-rich league.
Michael Vaughan said that there was a lot of jealousy among the team members because of the hefty contract which Kevin Pietersen had got in the IPL. “I think there was a lot of jealousy. And the players will completely deny it now but I think there was at the time when Kevin was on a massive contract”, Vaughan said as quoted by India Today.
‘They deemed that he just wanted to go for the money’: Vaughan
Vaughan further pointed out that players like Graeme Swann, Tim Bresnan, James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Matt Prior were against the idea of playing in the IPL and teamed up against Pietersen.
“There were all sorts of whispers and rumours of cliques in the team. There was a little band of a few; Graeme Swann, Tim Bresnan, (James) Anderson, (Stuart) Broad and Matt Prior. The whispers were they were on one side and Kevin was kind of standing on his own on the other side. It was very much Kevin against the team in terms of that one”, Vaughan added.
The former England skipper further said that Pietersen’s real intention was to go to IPL and develop his white-ball game. Vaughan said that Pietersen would discuss this with the players saying that it would only help their white-ball game but they thought he was going there only for money. Vaughan also noted that the prolific batsman was on a huge contract then while the other English cricketers were not getting one.
“It wasn’t anything other than that Kev around that time wanted to go to the IPL. That’s how it all started to blow up and that’s when those factions came into play. He was saying to the team he wanted to play because it would further the development of the one-day team and all the one-day players would get the chance to play there and improve their game.
They deemed that he just wanted to go for the money. He was on a big contract while not many of the other players were even getting sniffed at,” Vaughan concluded.
The England players kept staying away from the IPL until 2015. When Andrew Strauss became the director of cricket in England, he encouraged a lot of players to go and play in the cash-rich league. This actually helped and transformed the English ODI side. From a mediocre one-day team, England now are the world champions and also No.1 ranked ODI side.
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