Mumbai: Former England captain Kevin Pietersen is set to become the Indian Premier League's richest player when he is sold at the Indian Premier League auction on February, according to a report today.
It is claimed that the former England captain has a reserve price of $1.3 million in the auction, which takes place a week tomorrow, and that his fee is almost certain to go past the $1.5m paid last year by Chennai Super Kings for the India captain, MS Dhoni.
Dhoni's base price was $400,000 but his value rocketed amid a bidding war and Pietersen is expected to be similarly sought after even though he can play in the IPL for only three weeks of the six-week competition under a deal struck with the England and Wales Cricket Board.
He, and any other centrally contracted England players, will be paid on a pro-rata basis in the highly lucrative Twenty20 tournament. Andrew Flintoff, the England all-Irounder, is reported to have been valued at $900,000 at the aucion.
Pietersen held talks with a representative of the Bangalore Royal Challengers when England played a one-day match in the Indian city last November but at least two other IPL franchises are interested in signing him. Flintoff is likely to play for Mumbai Indian in the upcoming season.
England's centrally contracted players will be available for only 21 days of the IPL second season starting on April 10 and will be paid on a pro-rata basis.