The Kevin Pietersen saga today took a further twist when the one-time England batsman announced he would play just three weeks of the IPL if the ECB allowed him to participate in the newly announced India vs Pakistan ODI series in December. Pietersen, who was due to return home from Nagpur earlier that month after the completion of England's four Test matches in India, is believed to have negotiated a multi-million dollar deal with both the BCCI and PCB whereby he will bat in place of Virat Kohli during the first ODI, bowl instead of Ravi Jadeja in the second, and take over the role of the back-in-favour Kamran Akmal boosting Pakistani team spirit and togetherness for the third. The deal would see Pietersen available for all of England's crucial two Test series against a New Zealand second XI ahead of next summer's Ashes.
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"This is not about ego or money or doing what is best for Kevin Pietersen," said Kevin Pietersen to Kevin Pietersen. "But it's pretty obvious no one's going to be interested in this India vs Pakistan series unless it gets a bit of the old KP razzmatazz. The good news is that if the ECB allows me to turn out, I will from now on commit unreservedly to playing for England in all formats whenever I can. Although, having said that, I have actually got a haircut booked for this Thursday I need to speak to Andy about."
Although most Indian supporters are delighted at the Jadeja news, the bombshell has been met with a mixed reaction from England fans, with many thinking Pietersen has now gone too far in his picking and choosing. The Surrey man, however, denied he wanted to have everything on his own terms: "Is Kevin Pietersen competing in The Open Golf Championship this weekend? No, he'll be playing for England. Is Kevin Pietersen doing the pole vault at the London Olympics? No, he'll be playing for England. Honestly, some people really are blinkered."
Speaking from Lord's, ECB chairman, Giles Clarke, unsurprisingly expressed disgust at Pietersen's decision: "First he holds us to ransom over the IPL, now he wants to actually turn out for a different country," he said whilst offering sweets to George Dockrell. "I was actually talking on the phone earlier to an old chum in Texas about how cricketers only seem to be interested in one thing these days. We couldn't speak for long but we did agree we were both appalled at all these money-grabbing mercenaries. Honestly, I don't know where they get it from."