Lalit Modi believes the England pair could earn as much as £1million (Dh7.5m) in the Twenty20 competition.
Pietersen and Flintoff have big potential
NEW DELHI // Lalit Modi, the commissioner of the Indian Premier League, believes Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff could earn as much as £1million (Dh7.5m) in the Twenty20 competition. But he has repeated his warning that county sides risk being overlooked for the proposed Champions League. Modi also welcomed the growing interest in a rival English Premier League and insists there is enough of a market for both events in the world game.
But it is his admission that the likes of Andrew Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen could earn a seven-figure contract with one of the eight IPL franchises which will win the ear of the England and Wales Cricket Board. The Hampshire skipper Dimitri Mascarenhas was the only English representative in the inaugural edition but when asked about the possibility of a million-pound deals for more box-office names, Modi said: "Hypothetically yes, that is a possibility.
"We have salaries at the moment of around £750,000 and £800,000. It depends if a franchise thinks Kevin Pietersen or Andrew Flintoff is worth it," he told Radio Five Live's Sportsweek programme. "From what I hear from the franchises, and from us as organisers, we would like representatives from all countries, but there may be timetabling issues. "But we in no way depend on the English players, our league is up and running and we have sponsorship and funding for 10 years."
But after the success of Middlesex in yesterday's Twenty20 Cup final, there were familiar warnings about the forthcoming Champions League. The board's position that no sides using players with Indian Cricket League links would be welcome does not appear to have softened. That could become a problem with the beaten finalists Kent joining Middlesex as England's qualifiers. The 2007 champions have consistently used ICL-connected players such as Azhar Mahmood and Justin Kemp.
Modi reflected: "We hope the ECB will be part of it (the Champions League) but if they are unreasonable or unable to adhere to the rules and regulations of the tournament then it will be unfortunate but they will not be able to participate." Modi also welcomed the decision to re-assert Pakistan's right to host the forthcoming Champions Trophy and trashed rumours that the boards will send second string teams.
"Terrorism is not restricted to Pakistan. It is a global phenomenon," he said. "So far, I am told the matches will go forward and we have all signed contracts that we will put our best teams forward. "If we don't do that, the name of the Champions Trophy will be compromised." * PA Sport