Innovator, game-changer and showman, he is one of the most captivating cricketers ever to pull on an England shirt.Â His blistering batting style has been at the heart of many of England’s finest performances in the past decade.
Controversy is never more than a switch-hit away for this South African-born EnglishÂ cricketer as his on-off relationship with the authoritiesâ€”which inevitably ended his international careerâ€” was fodder to the media.
He currently plays forÂ SurreyÂ as well asÂ Twenty20Â in theÂ Indian Premier League and theÂ Caribbean Premier League.
Kevin Peter Pietersen was born on June 27, 1980 n Pietermaritzburg to an Afrikaner father and English mother. He had a strict and well-disciplined childhood, along with his three brothers.
Pietersen attendedÂ Maritzburg College,Â Pietermaritzburg, and made hisÂ first-class cricketÂ debut in 1997.
The racial quota that was prevalent in the national team selection process highly made him think that it would be difficult for him to get into the national side and as a result, he shifted to England and because his mother is English, he was eligible to play for them after serving four years in domestic cricket.Â
He joined Nottinghamshire and played for them and enjoyed a stunning debut season. After he completed four years, he was immediately called up to the national side.
His England career began in a low-key one-day series in Zimbabwe in 2004Â where he averaged 104. In the following tour to South Africa, he produced three audacious centuries in the series, his unbeaten 100 in 69 balls becoming England’s quickest ODI hundred.
His test career began with the Ashes. He sealed the return of the urn after 17 years with a stroke-filled 158.Â The subsequent years were a whirl of exciting innings and occasional rash dismissals.
Soon it was time for his ill-fated tilt at the England captaincy. His tenure officially began with a victory over South Africa. However, in the dressing room, Pietersen’s relationship was deteriorating withÂ the coach. Pietersen recommended, rather too publicly, that the coach be removed and got his way, only to be summarily sacked as well.
Injuries made him miss out key tournamentsâ€” 2009 Ashes campaign and 2011 World Cup. However, his reputation of being Englandâ€™s greats stayed intact as he made a career-best 227 as England won the Ashes in Australia for the first time in 24 years and then went on to score 533 runs in England’s 4-0 home whitewashing of India that secured them the No.1 ranking in Tests.Â
Pietersen gained several awards for his performances in the 2005 season. He was named both theÂ ICCÂ ODI Player of the Year and Emerging Player of the Year in 2005,Â and was one of the fiveÂ Wisden Cricketers of the Year.
Along with the rest of the England team, he was decorated in theÂ 2006 New Year Honours list, being awarded the MBE for his role in the successful Ashes series.