Trio hold jackpot key
Robert Key says England's hopes in Antigua rest largely on the shoulders of Kevin Pietersen, Andrew Flintoff and Steve Harmison.
Last Updated: 23/10/08 1:27pm
Robert Key believes the onus is on Kevin Pietersen, Andrew Flintoff and Steve Harmison if England are to enjoy a cash windfall in Antigua.
The Kent captain says England's resurgence in limited-overs cricket under Pietersen's leadership can be largely attributed to the return to form and fitness of Flintoff and Harmison.
England's players have the chance to set themselve up for life on November 1 in Antigua when they take on the Stanford Superstars - a West Indian select XI - for a winner-takes-all prize of $20 million.
Each player on the winning side stands to take home at least $1m with other big money prizes - all funded by Texan billionaire Sir Allen Stanford - on offer for the man-of-the-match and the team's coaching staff.
"I think without a shadow of a doubt when Pietersen took over all of a sudden they transformed themselves into what looked to be a very good one-day team," said Key.
"They're playing well and as long as Harmison, Flintoff and Pietersen are fit and firing on all cylinders we'll win this match.
"With those three fit and on fire, England can almost go in against Australia as favourites for the Ashes next year.
"Pietersen is one of the best players in the world. He's a rare match-winner with the bat and also seems to hold the key to England's success when they are batting with the way he scores his runs.
"Not only does he get them, he gets them at a decent rate. When he bats well then generally England perform.
"Having Freddie (Flintoff) in the side makes life so much easier for everyone else involved.
"He's like Pietersen in that he can carry the team. He's a match-winner with both bat and ball. Once again he will be key to England's success.
"There is not a batsman in the world that enjoys facing Harmison when he bowls well and he'll be the first one that anyone looks out for from the opposition team sheet and doesn't want to see playing.
"On his day he can be the nastiest bowler to face but he's also a bowler that can get you out if you are on 150 or you are slogging it out in a Twenty20.
"You can't take liberties with him. On his day he is the best bowler in the world."