Kevin Pietersen hasn’t ruled out international return with South Africa

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.

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