Kevin Pietersen says IPL auction is a ‘slap in Test cricket’s face’

Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen says Monday’s auction for the Indian Premier League Twenty20 competition was “another slap in Test cricket’s face”.

England duo Ben Stokes and Tymal Mills were bought for £1.7m and £1.4m by Rising Pune Supergiants and and Royal Challengers Bangalore respectively.

Pace bowler Mills only plays Twenty20 cricket because of back pains.

“A T20 specialist becomes one of the current England team’s richest players,” said Pietersen.

Pietersen has not played an international match since he was sacked by England in 2014.

He has since become a T20 specialist and played in competitions in Australia, India, South Africa, the West Indies and in the Pakistani T20 tournament held in the UAE.

“I embraced [T20] eight years ago and it’s what caused me my P45,” said the 36-year-old on social media. “I absolutely love how all these youngsters are now benefiting.

“I love how T20 is growing the game. I’m just saying that Tests are falling way behind at the moment. The ICC [International Cricket Council] needs to act and quick.”

England players Chris Woakes, Eoin Morgan, Jason Roy and Chris Jordan were also bought in the auction, while Jos Buttler and Sam Billings were retained by their franchises.

The fee paid for 25-year-old all-rounder Stokes made him the the most expensive overseas player in IPL history.

“It’s a life-changing amount of money,” said Stokes. “I’m struggling to put it into words.

“I hadn’t thought about how much I would go for. I guess having more than one team wanting me was probably the best position to be in.

“I just wanted to get picked up and play. I haven’t been able to play in the past so that was the main thing, anything else was just a bonus.

“I’m looking forward to getting out there and getting involved.”

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