Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler leave IPL to train ahead of ICC Champions Trophy: ‘Absolutely pathetic,’ says Kevin Pietersen

first_imgKevin Pietersen has slammed his Test teammate Ben Stokes and wicketkeeper Jos Buttler for their decision to leave the Indian Premier League mid way and join the England national team’s training session in Spain.Stokes was bought by the Rising Pune Supergiant for a record fee of 14.50 crore in the IPL 2017 auction, making him the costliest-ever foreign player in the IPL.Stokes was instrumental in guiding the Steve Smith-led Pune franchise to the IPL 2017 playoffs with his all-round performance.Stokes played 12 matches in this season, scoring 316 runs at an average of 31.60 and with a highest score of 103 not out. The 25-year-old also bagged 12 wickets.However, Stokes left India soon after Pune qualified for the playoffs following their victory over Kings XI Punjab in their last league game.Meanwhile, Mumbai Indians have also lost the services of Buttler, who along with Stokes, had to report for England’s training camp in Spain for the series against South Africa, which begins May 24.A HUGE thank you to everyone involved with @mipaltan. @IPL has again been an amazing experience. Good luck tonight boys! #CricketMeriJaan pic.twitter.com/qJgMhxo8Zo- Jos Buttler (@josbuttler) May 13, 2017Their early departures attracted an angry response from former England captain Pietersen, who lashed out at the England and Wales Cricket Board.advertisementAbsolutely PATHETIC that @benstokes38 & @josbuttler have to go drink a few beers in Spain instead of playing IPL finals!- KP (@KP24) May 14, 2017″I think it’s pathetic. An absolute shambles,” Pietersen said on Sky Sports.”Stokes should be playing in the semi-final and the final. The last week of the IPL is a huge occasion. What are they going to Spain for? To field a couple of balls? He should be playing in the IPL. Just speak to him, speak to Jos Buttler, they’ll talk about how much it has helped their development being out there.””I’m going to be in Mumbai for the semi-final on Tuesday and I’m excited by that as a commentator – that stadium is electric. It’s only going to be benefiting English cricket for that bloke to be playing on Tuesday, getting his team to a final on Sunday, and then possibly lifting the trophy. He is the kind of player that could do that,” He added.”He has had the most brilliant campaign. I think everybody knew he was going to play well. He went for a big number but the big number didn’t affect him.”Cash is one thing, and I know in this country they like to talk cash, cash, cash with IPL, but for his development – have a look at the tweet that Buttler put out last night, how much he loved the experience – playing with those players, coached by Mahela Jayawardene.”It’s just incredible for your learning and your development as a player to play in these conditions. I promise you, you can learn a heck of a lot from playing in India.”The one thing that all international players learn from is the ability to go to India, to have success in India, to have friends in India, which makes (it easier) travelling the sub-continent – which are big, big tours because the BCCI is where the money is at,” Pietersen further said.Both Stokes and Buttler will be vital cogs for England as they host the ICC Champions Trophy for the second successive time from June 1.Pietersen’s history with the England and Wales Cricket Board is well documented. The South Africa-born Pietersen scored over 8000 runs in 104 Tests for England at an average of nearly 48 including 23 hundreds. He also helped England win the 2010 World T20 in the Caribbean – still their only major international limited overs trophy.The mercurial batsman quit limited-overs cricket in 2012 saying he wants to let the younger generation come through but he stressed on the fact that he will keep on playing Test cricket. However, after a decent start to the South Africa tour the same year, he fell apart with then captain Andrew Strauss and coach Andy Flower. Following that he was dropped from the Test squad.He made a comeback in 2013 against New Zealand. However, a knee injury forced him to miss the return series in May. After that Pietersen played the 2013-14 Ashes, where England were whitewashed. He finished with 294 runs but he again fell out with the coach and team management and was dropped again. Since then Pietersen has not represented England in any of the formats.advertisementMeanwhile, the Rising Pune Supergiant and Mumbai Indians will clash off on Tuesday in the Qualifier 1 of the IPL. There is a lot at stake as the winning team goes straight into the final to be played in Hyderabad on May 21, while the losing side gets another chance in the second qualifier, to be played on May 19 in Bengaluru.Pune will desperately miss the services of their costliest buy this season, Stokes, who has proved his worth this season, both with the bat and ball whenever the situation demanded.Pune skipper Smith said other players would have to step up in Stokes’s absence.”We have a couple of options to replace Stokes. He has been magnificent and will be a big loss. Hopefully, the other guys will stand up for us,” he had said.last_img

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