Stokes should be playing in the playoffs – Kevin Pietersen

Former England captain Kevin Pietersen has criticised the ECB’s decision to call back their players before the IPL playoffs for a training camp.

Players like Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler, who are part of franchises that have made it to the playoff stage, will be attending a training camp in Spain in preparation for their upcoming ODI series against South Africa. Post the bilateral series, England are set to host the Champions Trophy, and are widely regarded as one of the favourites to lift the trophy.

“I think it’s pathetic. An absolute shambles,” said Pietersen on the ECB’s decision while appearing as a pundit on Sky Sports. “Stokes should be playing in the semi-final, and the final. The last week of the IPL is a huge occasion.

“Just speak to him, speak to Jos Buttler, they’ll talk about how much it has helped their development being out there.

“What are they going to Spain for? To field a couple of balls? He should be playing in the IPL.

“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 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.”

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