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English players go unsold at IPL
Kevin Pietersen will be the only England-qualified cricketer at this year's Indian Premier League after 10 other hopefuls failed to attract a bid at auction.
Pietersen, controversially axed as an England player last week and therefore free to play a full IPL campaign for the first time, was retained for ¬£880,000 by Delhi Daredevils on day one of the set-piece spending spree.
But none of the eight franchises in the big-money Twenty20 league showed any interest in the best of the rest England has to offer.
Even short-format specialists Luke Wright and Alex Hales were unsold two days running.
The latter, however - like his Nottinghamshire colleague Samit Patel - might have paid the price for the deal struck with his county to ensure his IPL availability only if his maximum reserve was matched.
England players' evident unpopularity at the IPL contrasts with that of those from other countries, with 50 of the 154 sold over the last two days hailing from outside India.
Among them were Australian Ashes winners Mitchell Johnson and David Warner, and their compatriots Glenn Maxwell and Pat Cummins.
While almost a team's worth of England cricketers nationwide will be in attendance for their counties after all for the start of the domestic season, Essex's Holland all-rounder Ryan ten Doeschate will be in India.
The diminutive big-hitter will once again be in the Kolkata Knight Riders squad, and will earn just over ¬£110,000 for the privilege.
South Africa-born batsman Pietersen, meanwhile, may be set for a stint of IPL back in his native country if organisers decide next week to transfer part of the tournament there to avoid a clash with elections on home soil.
A disappointed Hales will not be dwelling on what might have been, but instead looking forward to the challenges of impending England tours to the Caribbean and then Bangladesh for the ICC World Twenty20.
"It's not the end of the world," the opener told nottsccc.co.uk.
"I have a good opportunity coming up in the Caribbean with the ODI side. I hope I'll get the chance to open the batting and show what I can do over 50 overs - and there's a big World Cup coming up.
"My focus is on that at the moment, and then the start of Notts' season in April. We have a pretty strong squad in all three forms of the competition, and I hope we can challenge."
Hales was a high-profile signing for the Adelaide Strikers in Australia's Big Bash tournament this winter, before joining England for a Twenty20 series there.
"Personally, I didn't do as well as I wanted to," he said.
"I went out there with high expectations and a degree of hype, and I really wanted to fare better than I did.
"It's the first lean patch in T20 I've ever had. People are always in and out of form, and it's more about how you bounce back from it."