Kevin Pietersen has been bought by Delhi Daredevils for £880,000 (90m Rupees) in the 2014 Indian Premier League auction.
Pietersen, 33, was expected to go for a higher price as he is eligible to play the whole tournament this year after he was dropped by the national side. The ex-England batsman was the third highest price on the first day, behind Yuvraj Singh (£1.37m) and Dinesh Karthik (£1.26m).
Delhi were originally outbid by Sunrisers Hyderabad, but made use of their ‘Right to Match’ card to buy back a player who was contracted with them last year.
This will be Pietersen’s fourth IPL tournament, playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Daredevils in previous years. He has scored 634 runs in 21 IPL matches at an average of 42, including a stunning 64-ball century in 2012 against Deccan Chargers to win the match.
Pietersen missed last year’s tournament due to a knee injury during a tour to New Zealand with England. Delhi finished stone-dead last in the 2013 tournament and will be looking to Pietersen to lead from the front.
It was not such a good day for the other English players involved in the auction. Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Jade Dernbach, Craig Kieswetter, Luke Wright, Dimitri Mascarenhas, Rikki Clarke and Simon Jones all failed to sell.
England’s opening batsman Alex Hales, ranked as the second best 20/20 batsman in the world, was also left unsold much to the surprise of the cricketing world.
The seventh edition of this 20/20 tournament starts on April 8th and the final will be played on May 30th. During this time, the glitz and glamour of Bollywood will team up with the incredible passion of Indian cricket to ensure that the whole of the cricketing world is looking at India.