Kevin Pietersen, on Wednesday (July 19), revealed that he is open to the idea of making an international return with his native South Africa.
After a series of conflicts with the England and Wales Cricket Board, Pietersen was effectively sacked following the 2013-14 Ashes defeat. Since then, he has been playing in various domestic T20 leagues over the world. Now, aged 37, Pietersen will be eligible to play for the Proteas in 2019 – ahead of the World Cup.
“You are talking about in two years’ time. Would I? Who knows? We’ll have to wait and see where I am. I’m in a happy place right now,” Pietersen said. “I’m going to be playing a lot of cricket in South Africa over the next two years, so we’ll see.
“The issue with (playing in) England next year is I’m building a lodge in Africa and the time I’ll be there with my family and doing stuff in Africa is over this period, so I won’t be in England next year. And then I don’t think at 39 I fancy warm-ups in the summer,” he added.
Pietersen’s comments came after smashing a half-century which helped Surrey to a 10-run win over Essex in the Natwest T20 Blast. This was the first English domestic game he was playing in over two years. However, after completing his knock, a calf injury prevented him from coming out to field in the run-chase. And Pietersen hinted that his fitness will be a prime concern if he were to return.
“I love batting: I will bat for as long as I love the art of batting,” he said. “I do at the moment, but I’m an old man now, I’ve just hurt my calf, I didn’t field. If I had gone out there and started sprinting I could have done a lot of damage to it.”
Pietersen has plenty of international experience with 8181 runs from 104 Tests, 4440 runs from 136 ODIs, and 1176 from 37 T20Is.