Former Australia opener Matthew Hayden has refused to blame the Indian Premier League for aggravating former England captain Kevin Pietersen's injury and said the Twenty20 tournament was the best opportunity to expand cricket globally.
Pietersen, who played for Royal Challengers Bangalore, underwent a surgery on his Achilles injury that ruled him out of the remaining three Tests of the Ashes series.
The physio of Royal Challengers had said last week that Pietersen had aggravated his injury during the IPL.
"I can sympathise with Kevin right now because he would not have wanted to miss the Ashes," said Hayden.
"We should not look at the IPL as a problem, we should see it as the best opportunity to expand the game globally.
"The crux of the problem is the game must address the amount of cricket being played. So we shouldn't be beating up individual athletes that may or may not have got injured at any given time," he was quoted as saying by 'The Sun'.
The 37-year-old Australian, who plays for the Chennai Super Kings in the IPL, had missed a tour of West Indies last year after his own.
Hayden was even docked pay by Cricket Australia for getting himself injured playing in the lucrative Twenty20 tournament.
"But that is professional sport and as a professional you always try to play with a niggle. Sometimes you can play with it, sometimes you can't," he said.
Hayden refused to believe that players were preferring money to national interests.
"It has nothing to do with money though, as cricketers want to play both for their franchise and their country.
"Look at football. David Beckham wants to play for England and wants to play for his club - but neither option is money orientated," he added.
Hayden also said cricket should learn to adjust to the huge sum of money in the game like it is in football instead of making it tough for players to make decisions.
"It's a very exciting time and the game must adapt because the sums of money on offer could soon start to match football.