Kevin Pietersen — Kevin Peter Pietersen is a South African-born English cricketer. He is a right-handed batsman and occasional off spin bowler who plays for England and Surrey. He had also played for Indian Premier League team Royal Challengers Bangalore for its second and third seasons, captaining the side in his first, prior to being bought by the Deccan Chargers for the fourth season of the competition. He was captain of the England Test and One Day International teams from 4 August 2008 to 7 January 2009 but resigned after just three tests and nine One Day Internationals, following a dispute with England coach Peter Moores, who was sacked the same day. He is regarded as one of the best batsmen in the world, and is certainly the most destructive, as he is capable of taking on any bowling.
Pietersen was born in Pietermaritzburg, Natal, South Africa. He made his first-class debut for Natal in 1997 before moving to England after voicing his displeasure at the racial quota system in place in South Africa. His English mother gave Pietersen eligibility to play for England, and after serving a qualifying period of four years playing at county level, he was called up almost immediately into the national side. He made his international debut in the One Day International match against Zimbabwe in 2004, and his Test match debut in the 2005 Ashes series against Australia the following year. The England team’s subsequent reliance on Pietersen since his debut has resulted in only one first-class appearance for Hampshire since 2005, which resulted in Pietersen looking to leave the club in 2010. He subsequently joined Surrey on loan for the remainder on the 2010 English county cricket season after being dropped by England due to a poor run of form, soon before joining the club permanently from the 2011 season onwards.
Pietersen became the fastest batsman to reach both 1,000 and 2,000 runs in One Day International cricket, and the quickest in terms of time to 5,000 Test runs. He has the highest average of any England player to have played more than 20 innings of one-day cricket. He has the second-highest run total from his first 25 Tests, behind only the Australian Donald Bradman, and was the fastest player, in terms of days, to reach 4,000 Test runs. He became only the third English batsman to top the ICC One Day International rankings, doing so in March 2007. In July 2008, after a century against South Africa, The Times called him “the most complete batsman in cricket”. Shane Warne, a close friend, in a September serial for the same newspaper, wrote, “I don’t think he has an obvious flaw in his technique.”
- He became only the fourth English batsman to top the Reliance ICC ODI rankings in March 2007.
- He was the fastest batsman to 1000 and 2000 runs in ODI history.
- He has the highest ODI average of any England player to have played more than 20 innings.
- Scored 444 runs, at an average of 55.50, at the ICC CWC 2007.