While England discard Kevin Pietersen, was picked up in the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction, by the Delhi Daredevils (the team that he actually represented in IPL 2013), for a record for an English player of £880,000, other English players failed to attract bidders, and will spend the early part of their summers playing county cricket, rather than T20 in India.
Although 154 players were purchased by the various franchises, during two days of auctioning, no other English player stirred the interests of the owners sufficiently to warrant a bid, leaving the likes of Alex Hales and Ian Bell and eight other Englishmen unsold.
The lack of bidders for the 25 year old Hales, was probably the biggest surprise in relation to the English players at least. Currently rated as the No.2 batsmen in international T20 cricket by the ICC, it would have seemed inconceivable that he would fail to generate a bid, before the auction started.
Hales himself has gone on record as saying that missing out on an IPL contract this season, is not the end of the world, and that he would now concentrate on England’s limited overs tour to the West Indies, and then the small matter of the World Twenty20 Tournament in Bangladesh, which is scheduled to take place between 16 March and 6 April.
Hales has admitted that he would have liked the chance to test himself in the unique playing conditions that are found on the Indian sub-continent, and against the best T20 players in the world, in the cauldron of the IPL, believing that it could only have benefitted him as a cricketer, as it would any other English player lucky enough to experience the competition.