Kevin Pietersen opts out of the IPL and calls the Big Bash the best T20 tournament.
The 36-year old played in every IPL match since 2009 but suffered a setback last season after an injured calf resulting in him playing only four games for Rising Pune Supergiants last year.
Pietersen confirmed that the reason for his decision was to spend more time with his family.
‘I’ve taken the decision to NOT play this year’s tournament,’ Pietersen declared on his Instagram page. ‘I’ve been travelling like crazy since Oct & still have a month in Dubai coming up. I just cannot do another 7/8 weeks away!
‘Kids only grow up once and when I played for England I missed a lot of Dylan’s early years. I’m not doing the same with Rosie. Hope you all respect my decision.’
In an exclusive interview with The Cricketer last year, KP compared the IPL to the Big Bash hailing it as the best T20 competition.
‘I have two years left with the Big Bash [for Melbourne Stars]. It’s the best competition,’ said Pietersen. ‘It’s much better than the IPL. In India you struggle with a high profile to leave the hotel, and with all the corruption over the years, you have to tell people what you are doing, where you are, every five to 10 minutes. ‘In the hotel, I’m going here’ – it’s ridiculous. I understand it, but it’s ridiculous.
‘In Australia you are living the Australian lifestyle. I go and play golf in the morning, go and have coffee, go out at night, you do not have to tell anyone what you are doing, you just live your life. The sun is shining, you play at some of the best stadiums in the world, they are full – we had 81,500 for our derby last year, and if that cannot turn you on, nothing will. It turned me on more than a lot of Test matches’
Pietersen scored 198 runs in five innings for the Dolphins in the CSA T20 Challenge, and 268 runs in eight innings for the Melbourne Stars, including 73 off 46 balls against local rivals the Melbourne Renegades, as the Stars reached the semi-finals. He did not impress everyone, however, with Australia coach tweeting: “Time for
The Australia coach, however, was not impressed tweeting:
‘Time for stars to move KP on, spent too much money on him and didn’t win. Don’t want to listen to his excuses anymore.’
He swiftly deleted the tweet, but the damage was done.