Kevin Pietersen goes for big bucks at the latest IPL auction

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Kevin Pietersen’s life as a T20 rent-a-bat took on official status after he was snapped up for the measly sum of £880,000 at the IPL auction.

Hot on the heels of the announcement that the exiled England man will be playing for Surrey in this season’s shortest format, Pietersen entered into the Indian version as the fourth lot to be bid on.

His former employers, the Delhi Daredevils, won the race to resign him having exercised their right to match any bid made by a rival for the tall right hander, gazumping the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the process.

However, the acquisition hasn’t done much to push them towards the skinny end of the IPL betting, with Ladbrokes rating the Daredevils as the fifth favourites to win the competition, at a price of 6/1.

An astonishing T20 player, Pietersen’s experience and record, which stands at 2402 runs from 85 games at an average of 34.31, makes him quite a catch for Delhi.

The player himself was chuffed with the news and was quick to express his delight at being snapped up, tweeting his excitement at rejoining the Delhi franchise. The South-African born batsman missed the entire 2013 tournament through injury, but topped the side’s batting averages in 2012 when he registered a mark of 61.00 from eight matches.

The Chennai Super Kings retained all five of their big gun players, including iconic skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, and are the 4/1 joint-favourites for glory with the Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore.

It’s hard to look beyond Chennai ,though, given their rich history in the competition. They’ve made the final in five of the six renewals since the IPL’s creation and won twice.

Mumbai, led by Rohit Sharma, are the defending champions but are without the retired Sachin Tendulkar for the first time, while Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers’ presence gives Bangalore an obvious threat.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.