Former England batsman Pietersen calls time on playing career
Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen appeared to have brought the curtain down on his cricket playing career on Saturday, announcing his decision to step away from the game in a series of messages on social media.
Pietersen, 37, who briefly captained England in 2008-09, was told in 2014 that he was no longer in the national side’s plans and spent the latter part of his career playing for a number of club teams across the world.
The South Africa-born player represented Quetta Gladiators in the Pakistan Super League this season and scored seven runs in his last match against Islamabad United on Thursday.
“Boots up! Feet up! Family, animals, golf…! H O M E,” the swashbuckling batsman tweeted, before following it up with another message to his 3.65 million followers.
“Just been told that I scored 30,000+ runs which included 152 fifties & 68 hundreds in my professional career. Time to move on.”
Pietersen played 104 tests for England after making his debut against Australia at Lord’s in 2005. He scored 8,181 runs at an average of 47.28 and struck 23 centuries and 35 fifties.
A hard-hitting batsman who often made playing unorthodox shots look easy, Pietersen featured in 136 one-day internationals — scoring almost 4,500 runs with nine centuries and 25 fifties — as well as 37 Twenty20 Internationals.
It was in the shortest format of the game that he delighted audiences in India, representing Delhi Daredevils and Royal Challengers Bangalore among other teams in the lucrative Indian Premier League.
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) March 17, 2018
Pietersen was part of England’s Ashes-winning side in 2005 and also helped them win the 2010 World T20 title.
His England career ended in controversial circumstances in 2014 as the England and Wales Cricket Board sacked him and stated that then captain Alastair Cook needed to be able to trust and rely on the support of all his players.
“Well done @KP24 on a fantastic career … Not Everyone’s Cup of Tea but you will do for me … Best Batsman I had the pleasure to play with … 1st England batsman that put fear into the Aussies .. #WellDone,” former skipper Michael Vaughan tweeted.
“Well done Kidda what a career,” former England paceman Darren Gough wrote in a tweet, while the England and Wales Cricket Board simply tweeted: ‘Thank you @KP24!’
Pietersen responded on Instagram by saying: “Thank you for all the quite lovely msgs! I loved entertaining you all! Ciao, cricket! I love this game!”
Lots asking what I’m going to do next…I’m going to take the same passion & hard work into trying to save rhinos from extinction.
If we all help, it’ll be greater than any of our achievements in any walk of life!
Let’s do this, team! #SORAI
— Kevin Pietersen (@KP24) March 17, 2018