English cricketers can "forget" about the shorter format unless they embrace the Indian Premier League, according to the maverick Kevin Pietersen, who says his efforts to get his countrymen to play in the IPL have fallen on "deaf ears".
England have not been able to consistently make a mark in limited-overs cricket, their problems compounded by a 1-3 defeat to India in the just-concluded ODI series, which has left a huge question mark about their plans ahead of next year's World Cup.
"Looking into the future, until we let our young players appear in the IPL we can forget about the shorter form of the game. I have tried for years to get England players playing in the IPL but it has fallen on deaf ears," Pietersen wrote in his column in the Daily Telegraph.
‘English cricket's view is that if you play in the IPL you are a mercenary’
The 34-year-old England star, whose contract was torn up some time back ending his national career prematurely, added: "English cricket's view is that if you play in the IPL you are a mercenary. But in the IPL guys learn to hit sixes.
"They learn that any target is gettable. The bowlers learn variations and different tricks. They learn new tactics from opposition players and guys in their own teams."
Pietersen said the cash-rich league helps in understanding the sport from a different prospective.
"They build friendships with players from around the world and understand cricket from a totally different perspective. England is the only country where the players have no idea what is going on in the rest of the world."
‘This young Indian side has been brought up in the IPL’
Pietersen believed the experience of playing in IPL has made young Indian batsmen battle-ready to face the best bowlers in the world.
"This young Indian side has been brought up in the IPL. These young kids are hitting guys like Dale Steyn, Mitchell Johnson and Morne Morkel for sixes day in, day out in the IPL.
"When they get to face guys like James Anderson and Stuart Broad in one-day cricket do you think they are scared or worried? Of course not, because they have attacked the best in the world playing in the IPL.
"Going forward we need players who are confident in the knowledge they have whacked these guys around in other tournaments. If that happens, they then go out and play international cricket and face the best bowlers in the world with more confidence."
Decent World Cup side
The batsman though felt England still have enough talent in their ranks to make a decent team for the ODI World Cup.
"England actually have the core of a decent World Cup side already. It would just take three or four changes which, if made now, could make the difference," he said.
Pietersen had, following India's 1-3 defeat at the hands of England in the five-match Test series, said it was "cheap shot" to blame the IPL.
"It is a cheap shot to blame the IPL and portray the young Indian player as being uncaring about Test cricket," Pietersen had said.