Kevin Pietersen’s career has verged on the extraordinary at every turn. From shunning the South African quota system, to returning to his homeland with three ODI centuries and securing the Ashes with his maiden Test ton. All that came within his first year as an England player, but that was just the start. He quickly became the team’s best batsman, and a leading light in world cricket, consistently dominating attacks. His transition from interloper to full Englishmen appeared to be complete when he accepted the England captaincy following Michael Vaughan’s resignation and began with a string of wins against South Africa.
But his reign lasted barely five months and early in 2009 he resigned after a very public row over the suitability of Peter Moores as coach. People came to expect the mind-boggling from KP, but this caught everyone off guard.
Born in Pietermaritzburg, Natal, South Africa, Kevin Pietersen made his debut for Natal Cricket Club in 1997 before moving to England to further his opportunities for playing at international level. 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 immediately into the England national side.
Kevin Pietersen made his England debut in 2004 where he averaged 104 in 3 innings on tour in Zimbabwe and followed this with 3 centuries in 5 innings against his homeland of South Africa in 2005.
His phenomenal talent and self belief can never have been more evident than hitting 158 on the final day of the last test at the Oval in the 2005 Ashes securing England a first Ashes triumph in 18 years.
He has a highest test score of 226, averages over 50, and is one of the fastest ever English batsmen to reach 4000 test runs. His incredible reverse sweep for 6 off Muralitharan at Edgbaston has developed into his trademark switch hit, another element of his game that keeps him in the highest echelons of the World Class Batsmen.
In 2009, Kevin Pietersen became one of the World’s most expensive cricketers in the IPL auction.