In recession, England celebrates a high

English newspapers are awash with reports and special features on Andrew Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen becoming “world’s first million-pound cricketers.”

Interestingly, one newspaper even ran a fantasy auction write-up on all-time greats where Garry Sobers was valued at £2 million and Vivian Richards at £1.8 million.

Guardian columnist David Hopps cleverly linked his article with the fall of pound. He writes, “Thanks to the parlous state of the pound, we all woke up today to discover that Andrew Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen had become the world’s first £1 million cricketers.”

Because sterling is bumping along at about 1.46 to the dollar, they squeeze in at about £1.06 million. “If Flintoff and Pietersen had been sold for £1.55 million this time last year, we might all have shrugged and said: ‘Yes, well, it might well be a record, but it’s only worth £800,000. It’s awfully kind of Gordon Brown to preside over such a run on the pound so that we all have something nice to celebrate.”

Writing for the Daily Telegraph, Nick Hoult says, “The ageing hippies, who made Goa their home in the 1960s, must have been choking on their pipes of peace as some of the world’s richest people lavished millions on England’s Flintoff and Pietersen.”

The writer also seems to have enjoyed the fact that “only two Australians were bought and their combined value was lower than the $650,000 Kolkata Knight Riders paid for a Bangladesh bowler, Mashrafe Mortaza.”

A write-up in Daily Telegraph by Simon Briggs wondered what would be the possible IPL price for some of the legends of the game such as Bradman, Sobers, Richards and others. Bradman was valued at £1.2 million. “Bradman scored at a ferocious rate. The only trouble, from an IPL perspective, is that he almost always hit the ball along the ground. So while Bradman would surely improve a team’s winning record, he might not bring too many six-seeking punters through the gates,” he writes.

The Times provided an interesting trivia: Flintoff and Pietersen’s hourly earnings are £24,000.

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