Pietersen to break IPL bank
London - You want Kevin Pietersen? It'll cost you at least 1.35 million dollars.
That was the base price slapped on the controversial England batsman when the Indian Premier League (IPL) announced its list of 112 players to be auctioned next week for the second edition of the Twenty20 competition which has revolutionised the game.
England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff has been rated at a minimum of $950 000 in what will be the first IPL featuring leading England players after they were effectively barred from last year's tournament by national officials because of their international commitments.
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who played in the 2008 IPL, currently holds the record having cost Chennai Super Kings $1.5 million last year.
"We are very excited. I think it's important for world cricket and for the IPL that the English players are participating," IPL chairperson Lalit Modi told Sky Sports News on Thursday.
"I think that they are all very, very good players. Some are batting players and some are players who have great experience behind them and I think it will be very good for the second edition of the IPL.
"The prices are based upon the 14 league games. If they play 10 of the 14 games they get paid according to ratio. If they play seven they get half."
Modi later added on Setanta Sports News: "If you look at the base price it's close to $250 000 and $350 000 a week for each week he (Pietersen) plays, which is comparable to the top soccer players around the world."
"Andrew Flintoff has a minimum base price of $950 000, but he'll probably go for a higher figure. It'll be quite competitive. All the teams can afford it. Everyone's trying to get England's top players in their team."
England's centrally-contracted players will only be available for a three-week period at the start of the IPL, because of the first Test against West Indies at Lord's, and will be paid on a pro-rata basis.
The auction is set to take place in Goa on February 6 ahead of the Twenty20 tournament, which runs from April 10 to May 29.
Other England players include ex-internationals Darren Gough and Dominic Cork as well as current stars Monty Panesar, Steve Harmison, Paul Collingwood, Ian Bell, Matt Prior, Owais Shah, Ravi Bopara, Ryan Sidebottom, Graeme Swann, Luke Wright, James Anderson, Sajid Mahmood and Ed Joyce.
Modi added: "The players are happy they are all able to participate. They are all very good players and I think it will be very good for the second edition of the IPL."