DUBAI // Kevin Pietersen’s dismissal as an England player at the start of this year may have hurt, but there was a financial silver lining to the saga for him.
It meant he could play a whole season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and take home all of the US$1.5 million (Dh5.5m) he would earn for just six weeks' work captaining the Delhi Daredevils.
It is not a bad counterbalance to the loss of an annual contract worth about £700,000 (Dh4.3m) to play for England.
Meanwhile, the England players he has left behind will be looking on longingly, wishing they too were able to furnish their bank balances with such a lavish sum.
The fact the IPL clashes with the start of the English season has long hindered the earning potential of certain players.
Sri Lanka have the dubious honour of an early summer tour of the UK this year. As such, outstanding players such as Mahela Jayawardene and Nuwan Kulasekara were left on the shelf at the IPL auction.
Kumar Sangakkara opted not to enter his name at all, reasoning at the time that “two-and-a-half weeks of availability is not attractive to franchises, so the chances of getting a better contract are higher next year”.
Alex Hales, whose 116 not out was the top individual score at the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh, has still not given up hope of playing at least some part in the IPL.
England’s leading T20 player went unsold in the initial auction, but could still be available for some of the event if a franchise lost one of their overseas players to injury.
“It is not over yet,” said Steven Musgrove, Hales’s agent.
“If a player did suffer an injury and a franchise wanted him, Alex can still be part of it.
“He is desperate to play in the IPL. Any player in that format would want to play in it.
“Playing for England is still the pinnacle, of course it is and always will be, but playing in the IPL would benefit these players.”