'Cheap shot to blame IPL'

'Cheap shot to blame IPL'

'Cheap shot to blame IPL'

Retired English cricketer Kevin Pietersen has said it was “cheap shot” to blame the Indian Premier League for the visitors’ shambolic performance in the recently-concluded five-Test series against England.

India twice went down to England by an innings as they lost the five-Test series 1-3.

“It is a cheap shot to blame the IPL and portray the young Indian player as being uncaring about Test cricket,” said Pietersen.

“I know Virat Kohli will be hurting and I know how happy Murali Vijay was to score a century at Trent Bridge and almost get another one at Lord’s. It was dream come true for all of them to play a Test at Lord’s. It hurts these guys every single time they do not score Test runs,” he wrote in his column in Daily Telegraph.

The exiled former captain also feels that rather than the players, the blame lies with the Indian cricket board (BCCI) officials for not letting the youngsters appear in domestic Twenty20 tournaments overseas.
“What’s not helping India away from home in Test cricket is not the IPL but the lack of opportunities for playing cricket abroad, which is a huge negative in terms of progression outside India.

“The Board of Control for Cricket in India has stopped its players appearing in Twenty20 competitions because it does not want to add broadcast value to tournaments that rival the IPL,” Pietersen said.
He further added that England would be more than happy to welcome the Indians to be a part of the county cricket.

“It (BCCI) has to loosen its stance on players appearing in first-class domestic competitions abroad if it wants to build a successful Test team. Send players away to spend time in county cricket or the southern hemisphere.”

Pietersen said that county cricket can be helpful to the Indians, in the same way as IPL has proved beneficial for the foreign players to deal with the sub-continent conditions.

“For the foreign players the IPL is a fantastic learning academy. When we play international cricket in India the conditions are no longer alien to us. Some of us now have home grounds in India, we know the conditions and our opponents.”