|Nick Name:||KP, Kev, The Ego, FIGJAM, Kelves and Kapes|
|Current Team:||Quetta Gladiators|
|Height:||193 cm (6' 4'')|
|Birth Day:||June 27, 1980|
|Birth Place:||Pietermaritzburg, South Africa|
|Height:||193 cm (6' 4'')|
He made his professional cricket debut with Natal B in 1997, at age 17.
In the first test of the series he was dismissed for 26 again chasing a wide one when looking set also after 4 centuries were scored by England batsmen in the innings at Lord's, he then scored a hundred in the second innings when England were looking to accelerate. Pietersen posted his highest score of 226 in the second Test at Headingley (it was scored in 262 balls, with 24 fours and 2 sixes), surpassing his previous best of 158 which he had achieved three times. With this score, Pietersen moved ahead of Everton Weekes and Viv Richards to be the batsman with the second-highest run-total out of his first 25 Tests (behind Don Bradman). It is also the highest Test score for England since Graham Gooch scored 333 against India in 1990. This innings subjected the West Indies to an innings and 283 runs defeat, their largest against any team. Pietersen, the Man of the Match, said, "I believe the recipe for success is hard work. I've been criticised for throwing my wicket away, and I tried to make it count here".
Pietersen attended Maritzburg College, Pietermaritzburg, and made his first-class cricket debut for Natal's B team in 1997, aged 17, where he was regarded predominantly as an off spin bowler and a hard-hitting lower-order batsman. After two seasons, he moved to England for a five-month spell as the overseas player for club side Cannock CC, helping them win the Birmingham and District Premier League in 2000. This first spell away from home did not leave him with fond memories for England, in particular "those horrible Black Country accents" referring to a dialect of the West Midlands, living in a single room above a squash court, and working in the club bar. However, he returned to newly renamed KwaZulu Natal side a better cricketer; a lack of opportunities to bowl had improved his batting.
He impressed members of Nasser Hussain's England side when playing for KwaZulu Natal in 1999; he took four top-order wickets and, despite batting at number nine, scored 61 not out from 57 balls, hitting four sixes. Hussain then recommended that Pietersen secure a contract with an English county side.
In 2000, Nottinghamshire coach Clive Rice, who had seen Pietersen play in 1997 in South Africa at a schools week, heard that Pietersen was playing club cricket for the Cannock Cricket Club and offered him a three-year contract to play for the county. His maiden first-class century came on his Nottinghamshire debut against Loughborough UCCE. In his first season, he made 1,275 runs with an impressive batting average of 57.95, including 218 not out in an unbroken sixth-wicket stand of 352 with John Morris at Derby in July, after having been out lbw for a duck in the first innings. These performances led to praise in the Wisden Cricketers' Almanack: "If he can maintain his first season's form, the name of Pietersen should be pencilled in for future Test squads." This form did indeed continue into the following year: he made another unbeaten double-century, against Middlesex, taking part in a partnership of 316 for the fourth wicket with Darren Bicknell. This period proved to be a purple patch for the batsman, scoring four consecutive centuries (254 not out, 122, 147 and 116) in one week in August.
Despite the praise from the England side, Pietersen claimed he was dropped from the Natal first team. Pietersen felt that this was due to the country's racial quota system, in which provincial sides were required to have at least four black players. Pietersen's view was that players should be judged on merit, and described it as "heartbreaking" when he was left out of the side, although he later reflected "it turned out it was the best thing that could have happened". However, in the 1999-2000 Supersport series, from four matches Pietersen only averaged 10.75 with the bat, and took 10 wickets at an expensive 37.50, which were not enough to cement his place in the KwaZulu Natal side. Nonetheless, Pietersen has since firmly criticised the quota system, which he feels forced him out of the country of his birth. He has also criticised Graeme Smith, who became captain of the South African side in 2003, calling him "an absolute muppet, childish and strange" and that his behaviour "leaves a lot to be desired". Smith opposed this, saying, "I'm patriotic about my country, and that's why I don't like Kevin Pietersen. The only reason that Kevin and I have never had a relationship is because he slated South Africa". Pietersen's outspoken views published in his autobiography, Crossing the Boundary, in September 2006, and in an interview for the South African edition of GQ magazine, led to unsuccessful calls for an ICC investigation regarding bringing the game into disrepute.
In 2003, Pietersen scored 1,546 first-class runs, and 764 runs in limited overs cricket. He was selected for the 2003/04 ECB National Academy tour of India, and had a successful tour scoring 523 runs including three centuries in his six first-class innings to record an average of 104.60, and making 131 in a one-day match against India A in Bangalore.
After Nottinghamshire were relegated in 2003, Pietersen requested a release from his contract, saying "I haven't been happy for a while....The pitch at Trent Bridge has been one of my problems... I could have done so much better if the wicket had been good." This led to a public row with club captain Jason Gallian, where Gallian allegedly threw Pietersen's kit off the Trent Bridge balcony and broke his bat:
Pietersen was made to honour the last year of his contract at Nottinghamshire, but "didn't enjoy it at all". In October 2004, he joined Hampshire under the captaincy of Shane Warne.
Pietersen is eligible to play for England as he has an English mother. After a qualifying period of four years playing at English county level, he was called up almost immediately for his international debut against Zimbabwe in 2004.
Pietersen was part of England's 15-man squad for the 2011 World Cup hosted by Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka between February and March. In the warm-up matches he was asked to open the batting in anticipation that he would assume the position for the whole tournament. He had opened the batting just six times in one-day games and never for England, although had done so for England A in 2004. Pietersen returned home early due to injury. A hernia required immediate surgery and the recovery time of around six weeks meant he would miss the rest of the tournament and potentially the IPL. Eoin Morgan took Pietersen's place in the squad. Pietersen earned some criticism after being sighted at a nightclub in London while injured, however he dismissed the criticism as unwarranted.
After becoming a regular in the national side, Pietersen rarely got an opportunity to play domestic cricket. Having an England "central contract" meant that Pietersen was only released to play for Hampshire at the discretion of the national coach. After being left out of the national side to face Bangladesh in May 2005, Pietersen had several good innings in the English County Championship, including two centuries. He only played twice for the county in 2006, and appeared just once in 2007, with an unbeaten 66 against Ireland. Pietersen's last first-class match for Hampshire came in the 2008 County Championship against Somerset, where he scored 100 runs in Hampshire's first innings, and following the birth of his son, a desire to stay in London led to him announcing he would leave Hampshire at the end of the 2010 season.
Pietersen gained several awards for his performances in the 2005 season. He was named both the ICC ‘ODI Player of the Year’ and ’Emerging Player of the Year’ in 2005, and was one of the five Wisden Cricketers of the Year (alongside team mates Simon Jones and Matthew Hoggard) for his role in the successful 2005 Ashes series against Australia. Along with the rest of the England team, Pietersen was recognised in the 2006 New Year Honours, being appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire for services to cricket. He also played for the ICC World XI in the 2005 ICC Super Series against Australia.
In March 2006, Pietersen played in the three Tests against India, which England drew 1–1. In the first innings on 15, another rash shot brought his downfall. He pulled a ball from Sreesanth onto his stumps. His 87 in the second innings of the first match came during England's acceleration period, helping push the required target over 300. England then declared overnight, and India successfully batted out the final day to secure a draw. This half-century was followed by another in the first innings of the second Test. Again, he gave his wicket away on 64 when he offered Munaf Patel a return catch. The second innings was not so good, facing just 13 balls before being given out caught behind off a Harbhajan Singh delivery. The unhappy Pietersen was later fined 30 percent of his match fee for shaking his head and showing signs of dissent. Replays demonstrated that the ball that had dismissed him had brushed his forearm, not his glove, before ballooning up into the hands of Rahul Dravid at slip. But umpire Darrell Hair gave him out for 4 as England collapsed on the fourth afternoon. Pietersen posted a score of 39 in the first innings of the third test before he got a beauty from Sreesanth which moved and took the edge of the bat before being caught by Mahendra Singh Dhoni. In the second innings, he posted 7 again being caught and bowled, this time by Anil Kumble via a leading edge. Despite a quiet match for him, England won comfortably after a dismal 100 all out in India's second visit to the crease.
In May 2006, Pietersen matched his highest Test score of 158 in the first match against Sri Lanka. His innings was ended when he was lbw to Chaminda Vaas. In the second test he made 142 at Edgbaston. He made almost half of England's runs. After he made his hundred, his third six saw the introduction to the Switch hit, when he turned out and played a switch hit sweep off Muttiah Muralitharan. This took him past the milestone of 1,000 Test runs, in his 12th Test match, and he became the first batsman since Graham Gooch in 1990 to score a century in three successive Test innings on English soil. This performance moved Pietersen into the top ten of the ICC cricket ratings. In the third test, he was twice removed by Murali. In the first innings, on 41, he top edged a sweep to short fine leg. In the second innings with England chasing 325, he was caught at short leg for just 6. Despite this, his performances in the first two tests earned him the England (Test match) Player of the Series. In the first and second tests of the Pakistan series, he got starts with the bat but did not get past 50. He was out lbw, offering no shot, in the first innings at Lords for 21. In the second innings, when England were pushing on, he played some nice strokes in his 41 before being stumped of the bowling of Shahid Afridi. In the second test, he made 38 when he hit a half-volley loosely to point. In the third Test at Headingley, he hit 135 runs from England's total of 515. In the final controversial test at The Oval, on a horribly wet pitch, he got the second golden duck of his Test career when he edged behind. In the second innings, he made 96 before edging behind again before the test came to an unexpected early end.
In the first ODI of the NatWest series, Pietersen hit two sixes by "switch-hitting" en route to 110 not out. While facing the bowling of medium pace Scott Styris, Pietersen turned his body around and switched hands (effectively batting as a left-hander) hitting two sixes over cover and long off. Because Pietersen not only reversed his hand position (as some batsman do while playing the reverse sweep), but changed his stance by rotating his body, these "switch-hit" shots were immediately followed by calls to outlaw them from the game. Although a similar shot was played when Pietersen reverse-swept Muttiah Muralitharan for six in Sri Lanka in 2006, in this case he switched hands and executed "the switch" before the ball was bowled.
Kevin Pietersen published his autobiography: Kevin Pietersen: Crossing the Boundary in early 2007. A second biography: Kevin Pietersen: Portrait of a Rebel written by journalist Marcus Stead, was published in the autumn of 2009. This book includes a detailed account of the controversies of Pietersen's reign as England captain. A revised and updated version of Stead's book, now titled 'KP – The Biography' , which brought his story up-to-date, was published in July 2013. KP: The Autobiography was published in October 2014, ghost written by Irish sports journalist David Walsh.
Pietersen is married to former Liberty X singer Jessica Taylor. The couple married on 29 December 2007 at St Andrew's Church in Castle Combe, Wiltshire, with former England team-mate Darren Gough acting as best man.
In the 2007 Cricket World Cup, England started in Group C with a game against New Zealand in which KP made 60 before holing out. He made another 50 against Kenya but disappointedly made just 5 against Canada as England sealed qualification. He made 48 in the unconvincing win against Ireland. Pietersen made 58 against Sri Lanka before being caught and bowled by Murali. England lost that game by 2 runs before losing the next game against Australia by 7 wickets. Pietersen crafted 104 runs off 122 balls against Australia. It was the first World Cup century by an Englishman since 1996, and the first ever against Australia. His efforts in the World Cup helped him achieve the status of International Cricket Council number-one ranked batsman in the world for ODIs. He then failed making 10 against Bangladesh and 3 against South Africa. England lost to South Africa meaning that England did not reach the semi-finals. In England's final match of the World Cup against the West Indies, Pietersen made 100 from 91 balls, and effected the run-out of retiring captain Brian Lara. This century took him past 2,000 ODI runs, in doing so equalling the record 51 matches set by Zaheer Abbas. He finished the tournament with 444 runs, at an average of 55.5, and was described as shining in the England team "like a 100 watt bulb in a room full of candles". He was named in the 'Team of the Tournament' by Cricinfo.
In January 2009, following England's losses in India, the media reported that Pietersen had asked the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to hold emergency meetings to discuss Moores' coaching role with the team. Days later, Pietersen made remarks to the media about there being an 'unhealthy situation' that needed to be resolved in the England camp. The media speculated that Moores would shortly be replaced if there was a Pietersen–Moores rift. Moores and Pietersen were believed to be in disagreement on several issues, including the team's training regimen, and the possible selection of former England captain Michael Vaughan for the upcoming tour of the West Indies. On 7 January 2009, Moores was removed as England's coach by the ECB, and Pietersen unexpectedly resigned as captain. In the immediate aftermath of Pietersen's resignation, several commentators connected with English cricket indicated that they believed that Pietersen had miscalculated by openly advocating for the removal of Moores, particularly in making their dispute public. In an interview several days after his resignation, Pietersen revealed that he had not intended to resign as captain, but was told by ECB officials that he was resigning. Dennis Amiss, the vice-chairman of the ECB, went on record backing up Pietersen in his statement that the story of the rift with Moores had not been leaked to the media by him, saying, "We don't believe Kevin Pietersen leaked the information, we understand his frustration at it being leaked by other parties." Pietersen was captain for three Test matches, and 10 One Day International matches. It was announced that Andrew Strauss would take over the captaincy.
In February 2009, Royal Challengers Bangalore of the Indian Premier League bought Pietersen for US$1,550,000, which made him the highest-paid IPL player along with Andrew Flintoff. The following month RCB owner Vijay Mallya announced that Pietersen would succeed Rahul Dravid as captain. He won two out of his six matches in charge before leaving to fulfil his international commitments with England; Anil Kumble took over the captaincy and led the Bangalore team to the IPL final. Kevin Pietersen was later bought by Deccan Chargers for the 2011 season and was sold to Delhi Daredevils in the 2012 season without having played a single game for the Chargers.
Pietersen began 2009 with questions over his form, where many pundits viewed him to be in a slump. He was dismissed first ball in the first Test against the touring West Indies side dismissed by the full, swinging ball (a delivery which he seemed to struggle against), but in the second Test made a quick 49 before falling to an attacking shot. He then suffered what seemed only a minor right Achilles injury and was subsequently ruled out of the ODI series, which England also won. In June 2009, Pietersen played in England's World Twenty20 warm-up match against Scotland, registering an unbeaten 53 in a six-wicket England victory. He also appeared in the news after accidentally hitting a 15-year-old school boy with a cricket ball from a straight-drive after the boy had bowled to him. Pietersen left the boy, from Suffolk, with a signed bat as compensation.
Pietersen joined the England Ashes squad in June 2009 for the upcoming 2009 Ashes series. Despite failing to surpass single figure scores during a warm-up match against Warwickshire, he helped England to a score over 400 on 8 July during the first day of the first Test at the SWALEC Stadium, Cardiff with 69 before being dismissed by Nathan Hauritz, top-edging a sweep to a ball outside off stump; the dismissal was heavily criticised. He also seemed to flare up his Achilles injury again suddenly which hampered his batting a bit. In the second innings he was bowled for 8 after leaving a straight ball from Ben Hilfenhaus. Many pundits thought the criticism of England's key batsman from the first innings possibly affected him. In the first innings at Lords, after proving his fitness, he came at 222–2 and played some trademark shots before being caught behind off Peter Siddle. In the second innings he came in when England had a lead of almost 300 and he and Ravi Bopara batted for time. Pietersen limped when he ran and many shots ran off the inside edge which raised serious doubts for the rest of the series. He actually did well to reach 44 before being caught behind off Siddle again. After struggling in the field as England won, Pietersen was ruled out of the rest of the series with an Achilles injury. This brought to an end 54 consecutive Test matches. As his recovery slowed, Pietersen was not included in the 2009 ICC Champions Trophy and Andy Flower speculated that due to an infection of the wound Pietersen "may miss this winter's tour of South Africa because of slow progress in recovery from surgery."
Jessica gave birth to the couple's first child, a son, in 2010. Pietersen travelled back from touring with the England side in Barbados to be present at the birth. He arrived at the hospital just in time for the birth. Their second child, a daughter, was born in 2015. Pietersen took leave from playing for the Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League in Australia to be present for the birth.
Pietersen then joined Surrey on loan from Hampshire for the remainder of the 2010 English county cricket season. He scored a century in his first Clydesdale Bank 40 appearance against Sussex, with 116 off 105 deliveries. It was his first limited overs century since 2008, and his first century of any kind since March 2009. He subsequently signed permanently for Surrey from the 2011 season onwards. Pietersen had also rejoined his old team in South Africa, the Dolphins, for a short stint in October 2010.
He returned from injury for the home series against Sri Lanka in May 2011. Pietersen was also picked to play against India in July 2011, and scored 202 not out at Lord's in the 1st Test. During the innings, Pietersen passed 6,000 runs in Tests. The feat took exactly six years, which is the fastest in terms of time taken, and 128 innings. In the fourth Test he scored 175 runs and shared a partnership of 350 runs with Ian Bell. Pietersen was rested for the ODI series against that followed the Tests.
Pietersen played a pivotal role in England's tour of Sri Lanka. By scoring a century in the second of two Tests, not only did he move to 20 centuries for England, but he levelled the series at 1–1, ensuring England retain their No.1 Test Ranking status. On 10 April, Pietersen started his first match in the 2012 Indian Premier League for his new team, the Delhi Daredevils. He scored his maiden century in that format during the tournament.
In May 2012, Pietersen was fined for a Twitter outburst against ex-England opener, Nick Knight. He commented "Can somebody please tell me how Knight has worked his way into the commentary box for Tests? Ridiculous" and despite attempts by Cook to "downplay" the incident, the ECB elected to uphold the fine. It was Pietersen's second controversial use of the social media system following the incident in September 2010 where he announced his own dropping from the one-day team, for which he was also fined.
On 31 May 2012, Pietersen announced his retirement from one-day international cricket. Although he intended to still play Twenty20s for England, and especially the World Twenty20 tournament in September 2012, the terms of his central contract meant that he had to retire from both forms. Remaining available for Test cricket only, Pietersen said that "with the intensity of the international schedule and the increasing demands on my body, I think it is the right time to step aside and let the next generation of players come through to gain experience for the World Cup in 2015." This announcement came on the back of his 80 against the West Indies at Trent Bridge as England took an unassailable 2–0 lead in the three-Test series. However, on 9 July 2012, Pietersen reversed his decision and suggested that he may return to ODIs in the future.
In October 2012, ECB confirmed that they had a process which could lead to Pietersen's return to the English cricket team. This led to Pietersen's selection as part of the Test squad later that month. He toured India with a successful England team under Cook, scoring 338 runs in four Tests including a century and two fifties. The century, in the second of four Tests, took Pietersen to 22 Test hundreds, level with the England record. That century was named as third best Test innings of the decade by Wisden in 2019.. Cook, however, proceeded to break the record by scoring his twenty-third hundred during the same series. Pietersen also featured in the tour's ODI series, scoring 185 runs across a five-match series that ended in an English defeat.
Pietersen featured in the three-Test series in New Zealand in February 2013, scoring 73 in the second match. A knee injury forced him to miss the return home series in May that year, however, and prompted fears over fitness for the upcoming 2013 Ashes series. Though he did not play against New Zealand, the ECB remained hopeful over his ability to play against Australia come the summer. On 3 August 2013, Pietersen not only scored a century in the third Ashes series match in the first innings, he became the highest run scorer for England across all forms of cricket combined.
In February 2014, Delhi Daredevils of Indian Premier League bought Pietersen for US$1.5 million for the 2014 Indian Premier League season, and he captained the team for that season. Pietersen had previously played for the Delhi Daredevils during the 2012 Indian Premier League Season.
In July 2014, he played for the Rest of the World side in the Bicentenary Celebration match at Lord's.
Pietersen was signed by the Melbourne Stars in 2014–15 Big Bash League season, with a contract for 2 years; he was seen as a "big hit" for the 2014–15 Big Bash League season. On 18 December 2014, Kevin Pietersen played his first match in 2014–15 Big Bash League season as the no.3 batsmen, and scored 66 runs off 46 balls. In 2016, he helped the team beat two-time defending champion Perth Scorchers and advance to their first Grand Final and their fifth consecutive Finals series appearances. Pietersen also signed a two-year extension that took him through to the 2017–18 season. Pietersen also played T20 cricket in the Caribbean Premier League, having signed for St Lucia Zouks for the 2014 Caribbean Premier League season.
His return Ashes tour over the winter of 2013–14 was less successful, however. In a series which England lost 5–0, Pietersen averaged only 29 and passed fifty only twice in ten innings. He made his 100th Test appearance in the first Test. During this game Pietersen was dismissed by a widely reported catch taken by Chris Sabburg, who entered the field as a substitute fielder. He remained nevertheless England's leading run scorer with 294 runs. He also bowled during the fifth and final Test. Once the tour had ended, and the fallout had contributed to the removal of Flower as head coach, there was much media speculation on the nature of Pietersen's relationship with the team management. The ECB met and announced on 4 February 2014 that Pietersen had not been selected for the upcoming tour of the Caribbean, a decision they described as "unanimous". Media announcements immediately began stating that Pietersen's career was over. Pietersen himself released a statement which read "Although I am obviously very sad the incredible journey has come to an end, I'm also hugely proud of what we, as a team, have achieved over the past nine years."
In the 2015 Indian Premier League auction, Pietersen was bought by Sunrisers Hyderabad for 2 Crore Rupees. However, Pietersen was released by Sunrisers Hyderabad prior to the start of the tournament, although he could play in the later stages of the 2015 Indian Premier League season. Instead, Pietersen rejoined Surrey to play County Championship matches, with the aim of playing for England again, although new England director Andrew Strauss said that it would not happen. In May 2015, Pietersen scored his highest first-class score of 355*, before injury prevented him going to the IPL.
On 19 July 2017 Pietersen returned to English domestic cricket when he joined Surrey for the NatWest t20 Blast. He scored 52 runs, including four consecutive sixes. He was replaced by a substitute fielder in the second innings. On 29 July Pietersen announced that he had decided to donate all his earnings towards rhino conservation efforts.
On 26 August 2017 Pietersen announced his exit from Surrey after his team lost in the quarter-finals to Birmingham Bears in the Natwest T20 Blast. This led to the end of his career in English cricket.
Pietersen is a prominent advocate for the welfare and conservation of endangered animals in South Africa. In 2018, he opened Umganu Lodge, a luxury resort at the edge of Kruger National Park. The resort serves as both a retreat centre and as a means to foster greater awareness of endangered species in South Africa. He also established Saving Our Rhinos Africa & India (SORAI), an Australian charity supporting rhinoceros conservation.
On 6 January 2018 Pietersen announced he would retire from all forms cricket at the end of the 2018 season.
In 2019, BBC Radio 5 Live featured Pietersen in the Beast of Man podcast. The programme profiled his role in combating illegal poaching, particularly that of rhinoceros.
Kevin has a son named Dylan with wife and pop singer Jessica Taylor, whom he married in 2007.
Currently, Kevin Pietersen is 42 years, 7 months and 11 days old. Kevin Pietersen will celebrate 43rd birthday on a Tuesday 27th of June 2023. Below we countdown to Kevin Pietersen upcoming birthday.
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