England batsman Kevin Pietersen has blasted the Cricket World Cup schedule,saying that the six-week fixture is too long and playing matches with six-day intervals is ‘ridiculous’.
“It’s far too long. How can the England team play once and then in six days’ time play again,and then in six days’ time play again?” Pietersen asked.
“It’s ridiculous but there’s nothing we can do about the schedules,” he added.
The outspoken cricketer also slammed England’s hectic schedule leading up to the World Cup,starting on February 19 in the sub-continent.
England fly out for the showpiece tournament just three days after arriving back from the current tour of Australia,which began back in October last year.
“Our schedule is ridiculous going into this World Cup. It has been for England teams for a very long time and that’s probably why England have not done well in World Cups,” Pietersen told ‘Sky Sports’.
“I wouldn’t say we’re going to be knackered because it’s going to be the World Cup and we all want to win this World Cup. I know what I’ll be doing (in the three-day break) – lying on my couch.”
Pietersen,however,would not skip the Indian Premier League which begins immediately after World Cup. Should England reach the April 2 final in Mumbai,the players would have been away from home for all but three days in five and a half months.
“I don’t know about second thoughts about IPL. When you are in a good thing,you know it’s a good thing and you enjoy it,I was always going to be putting my name in the hat for it. It’s such a relaxed environment as much as the intensity is electric,the intensity is 100 per cent on the field,” said Pietersen,who was bought for USD 650,000 by Deccan Chargers.
“Away from the field it’s so relaxing,you get to meet and mix with different players and this is an opportunity to go to another team with different players.
“But it’s going to be tough. The hardest part is not going to be able to see my family. I’m not going to take Dylan to India. I will be definitely going home after the World Cup and before the IPL,100 per cent,even if it’s only 24 hours,” said Pietersen.
Pietersen’s price dropped this year after he was bought by Royal Challengers Bangalore for a then record USD 1.55 million two years ago. Still,Pietersen said he felt “fortunate” to be paid such a sum to play cricket.
“It’s not a mere USD 650,000. I’ve always said whatever you get in the IPL is an absolute bonus. We’re fortunate enough to have six or five weeks,and who earns that kind of money in five weeks?
“Nobody,unless you’re Rooney or Lampard or Ronaldo or John Terry. You look at it and just go,we’re very fortunate and in a very fortunate position,so if I got 200,300,400,you do whatever it is you need to do,and enjoy the five weeks. It’s relaxed,fun cricket.”