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Axed England Batsman Pietersen Bought for $1.45 Million in IPL

Ousted England batsman Kevin Pietersen is set for his first full season in the Indian Premier League, cricket’s richest competition, after re-joining Delhi Daredevils for $1.45 million.

It will be Pietersen’s fourth season in the annual Twenty20 league. The 33-year-old’s international career was ended last week even though he was England’s highest run-scorer in the recent 5-0 defeat by Australia in the Ashes.

He played for the Delhi side in 2012 as well as for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2009 and 2010. Until now his England duties have prevented from playing a full IPL season.

“So happy to be back with the Delhi family! Lovely start to the day,” Pietersen said today via the Twitter social-networking website.

The South African-born player’s fee was topped by Delhi’s $2 million signing of Indian wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik, as an auction of up to 514 players got underway in Bangalore. So far, the most expensive player in the two-day sale is Indian all-rounder Yuvraj Singh, who signed for Royal Challengers Bangalore for $2.25 million.

Fueled by sponsorship deals, broadcast revenue and ticket sales, the IPL is worth $3.67 billion, according to London-based Brand Finance Plc. Top IPL players can earn around $125,000 for a single three-hour match, Forbes magazine says.

This will be the seventh season of the 20-over format league, the sport’s newest and shortest format. The six-week competition, featuring eight teams, starts in April.

Mumbai Indians is the defending champion after beating Chennai Super Kings in last year’s final.

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