Pietersen’s stock falls further in IPL auction

 
Ross McLean
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FURTHER evidence of former England captain Kevin Pietersen’s fall from grace emerged yesterday when he was sold at the Indian Premier League (IPL) players’ auction for a cut-price £205,000.

The sum paid by Sunrisers Hyderabad for Pietsersen was nearly £700,000 less than the maverick batsman fetched 12 months ago when he joined Delhi Daredevils and became the only English player to feature in last year’s IPL.

All-rounder Yuvraj Singh may be out of favour with the Indian selectors but topped the price list for the second year running after the Daredevils paid a record £1.6m to snare his services.

There were a number of notable snubs as Sri Lanka veterans Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and Tillakaratne Dilshan as well as South Africa Test captain Hashim Amla remained unsold, as did England duo Alex Hales and Michael Carberry.

Despite Pietersen attracting only a solitary bid at his base reserve price, the 34-year-old proved the most expensive English player at the auction and will be joined in Hyderabad by former international colleagues Eoin Morgan and Ravi Bopara.

South African-born Pietersen was tipped to fetch a high price at auction after his stock appeared to receive a boost with a productive campaign with Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash, Australia’s domestic T20 competition.

This followed a distinct lack of runs and sacking by England in February last year after a disastrous Ashes series, and then the public fall-out with ex-teammates which was ignited by the publication of his controversial autobiography.

England’s one-day skipper Morgan was sold for his base price of around £156,000 and Bopara £100,000, as both players look set to prioritise IPL commitments over Test match ambitions post-World Cup.

The IPL is a six-and-a-half week tournament which begins on 8 April and coincides with the domestic season as well as England’s tour of the West Indies.

BIG DEALS

■ Yuvraj Singh sold to Delhi Daredevils for £1.6m
■ Dinesh Karthik sold to Royal Challengers Bangalore for £1.1m
■ Angelo Mathews sold to Delhi Daredevils for £785,000
■ Zaheer Khan sold to Delhi Daredevils for £419,000
■ Trent Boult sold to Sunrisers Hyderabad for £398,000
■ Amit Mishra sold to Delhi Daredevils for £367,000
■ Aaron Finch sold to Mumbai Indians for £335,000
■ Murali Vijay sold to Kings XI Punjab for £314,000
■ David Wiese sold to Royal Challengers Bangalore for £293,000