New Delhi, Feb 6: Kings XI Punjab has said Kevin Pietersen's surprise retirement has changed the dynamics of the upcoming IPL players' auction as his availability for the full season now makes the swashbuckling English batsman the most sought after player.
Pietersen's international career came to an abrupt end on Wednesday (February 5) after he was left out of the country's upcoming tour of the West Indies and the subsequent World Twenty20 Championships in Bangladesh.
"Kevin Pietersen is such an awesome player that every franchise would like to have him in the team. A lot of teams would be looking for him and we are one of them," Anant Sarkaria, Head, Cricket Operations, KXIP, told PTI.
"The availability of English players for the whole duration of the IPL has always been a problem for most of the franchises. They have international commitments to fulfill. Pietersens retirement changes the dynamics of auction. Now he will be available for full season. We are looking for a well-balanced team this season of the IPL," Sarkaria added.
IPL franchises have always been reluctant to select England players, knowing that they will not be available for the whole tournament.
Pietersen's sensational announcement to bring the curtains down on his illustrious nine-year-long career is likely to attract eye-catching offers from IPL franchises because of his popularity and his status as one of the worlds most exciting Twenty20 batsmen.
Pietersen is among 10 England players who have put their names down for IPL auction, seeking a new franchise. He was not retained by Delhi Daredevils for the seventh edition of the league after DD opted not to retain any of their players from last season.
The middle-order batsman, who has featured in 104 Tests and 136 ODIs for England, has been listed at the highest base price of Rs 2 crore.