Pietersen welcomes ECB move

Source - thenorthernecho.co.uk

Kevin Pietersen has welcomed talks over an Allen Stanfordbacked Twenty20 competition in the Caribbean involving English players.

The England and Wales Cricket Board are looking at different options as the number of centrally- contracted players expressing an interest in participating in the Indian Premier League continues to grow.

ECB chairman Giles Clarke has made it clear that no players on central contracts will be allowed to take part in the IPL.

But the pressure is growing on Clarke to bow to the wishes of England's top stars after captain Michael Vaughan admitted it was naive'' to think players will not be involved sooner rather than later''.

With ECB central contracts up for renewal at the end of the season, Clarke's position could be compromised by the possibility of some England players opting not to sign.

However, a possible English Premier League - with strong links to the IPL - could be the ideal compromise for the ECB and England's stars with Stanford's tournament satisfying the appetite in the interim.

American businessman Stanford already bankrolls a lucrative domestic Twenty20 tournament in the West Indies.

Pietersen, who previously called Clarke's decision to block IPL participation ridiculous'', was pleased that the ECB have started to investigate different tournaments.

Pietersen confirmed he would love to be involved in the IPL, but refuted suggestions he would put his central contract at risk.

The ball is in the hands of the ECB,'' Pietersen added.

I am not going to get into a slanging match with the people who employ me. I do not want to jeopardise my England career.

All I ever asked for was some space to play both.'' But England skipper Vaughan has suggested it will not be long before those in possession of an ECB contract will be taking part in the tournament.

I've heard so many people say that all the best players are in the world are there and you want to go and play in it,'' he said.
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