Pietersen to lead Daredevils

Axed England batsman Kevin Pietersen will captain the Delhi Daredevils in this year's Indian Premier League.

The 33-year-old, who played in 104 Tests before being jettisoned by England following their disastrous Ashes tour of Australia, will lead the side with wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik as vice-captain.

Pietersen will link up with Daredevils coach Gary Kirsten, the former South Africa batsman and coach who ruled himself out of the running to replace Andy Flower as England coach.

"I feel incredibly honoured to have been asked to captain the Delhi Daredevils in this year's IPL," Pietersen said.

"I am very much looking forward to working alongside Gary Kirsten.

"We have a fantastic squad with a good blend of youth and experience and a brilliant coaching set up."

England's record run scorer is free for a full IPL season for the first time

after his adopted country controversially severed all ties with him and

effectively ended his international career last month.

Pietersen, who missed last season's competition through injury, joined the Daredevils in 2012 and was retained by the franchise for 880,000 at the IPL auction on February 12.

He previously represented the Royal Challengers Bangalore and Deccan Chargers in the 20-over tournament.