Kevin Pietersen lashed out at the England and Wales Cricket Board for the "pathetic" decision to make Ben Stokes report for a training camp in Spain rather than showcase his talents in the Indian Premier League play-offs.
The England all-rounder has showed why Rising Pune Supergiant made him the most expensive overseas recruit in the IPL, making a big impact in his first season in the competition.
Stokes smashed a brutal unbeaten century against Gujarat Lions a fortnight ago and also impressed with the ball as Pune finished second to seal a play-off spot.
The 25-year-old will play no further part for Pune as he will fly out to Spain to prepare for the one-day international series with South Africa and the ICC Champions Trophy, but Pietersen said he would be better off in India.
"I think it's pathetic. An absolute shambles," the former England batsman said on Sky Sports. "Stokes should be playing in the semi-final, and the final. The last week of the IPL is a huge occasion.
"Just speak to him, speak to Jos Buttler, they'll talk about how much it has helped their development being out there. What are they going to Spain for? To field a couple of balls? He should be playing in the IPL.
"I'm going to be in Mumbai for the semi-final on Tuesday and I'm excited by that as a commentator - that stadium is electric.
"It's only going to be benefiting English cricket for that bloke to be playing on Tuesday, getting his team to a final on Sunday, and then possibly lifting the trophy. He is the kind of player that could do that.
"He has had the most brilliant campaign. I think everybody knew he was going to play well. He went for a big number but the big number didn't affect him.
"Cash is one thing, and I know in this country they like to talk cash, cash, cash with IPL, but for his development - have a look at the tweet that Buttler put out last night, how much he loved the experience - playing with those players, coached by Mahela Jayawardene.
"It's just incredible for your learning and your development as a player to play in these conditions. I promise you, you can learn a heck of a lot from playing in India.
"The one thing that all international players learn from is the ability to go to India, to have success in India, to have friends in India, which makes [it easier] travelling the sub-continent - which are big, big tours because the BCCI is where the money is at."