Kevin Pietersen has been named captain of Indian Premier League outfit Delhi Daredevils for their 2014 campaign.
Just a month after the controversial batsman was axed from England in an acrimonious display of ECB politics, KP has come back with a bang and will be given a chance to show that while his international career may be over, he has no intention of throwing in the towel.
The move is likely to spark another war of words between Pietersen and England’s embittered selectors, who stripped him of the Three Lions captaincy in 2009 for his role in former head coach Peter Moores’ departure.
Australia’s Shane Watson has come out in praise of Pietersen’s appointment as Delhi skipper, while insisting his absence from the upcoming T20 World Cup is a “shame” for both England’s chances, and international cricket as a whole.
After suffering the humiliating indignity of an Ashes Whitewash in the winter, Pietersen will be looking to kickstart his game again in India. His time in the IPL to date has admittedly been hit and miss. He joined the Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2009 as the league’s joint highest-paid player (alongside his former England team-mate Andrew Flintoff); since then, however, he won just two out of his six matches as Bangalore captain and after a spell with England, joined Deccan Chargers, for whom he failed to make a single appearance.
Those with a keen eye on the domestic cricket scene in England will also be hoping that Pietersen’s ousting from the England camp signifies a return to the Surrey fold when the County Championship starts again, as he could provide a much-needed boost for interest in the ailing county game.
KP has been on the Delhi books since 2012, but his promotion to captain will no doubt prove an important statement for the most egotistical of batsmen.
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