Kevin PIetersen (left) with wife Jessica Taylor (Image courtesy: Getty)
Kevin PIetersen (left) with wife Jessica Taylor (Image courtesy: Getty)

Kevin Pietersen, one of England’s greatest batsmen, has not played international cricket since the 2013-14 Ashes where England were hammered 0-5. He was dropped on disciplinary grounds and his “bloated ego” was termed amongst prime reasons for his unceremonious exit. He tried his best to make a comeback. He scored runs in County cricket, even preferring it over IPL in 2015 in bid for a comeback. However, Andrew Strauss’s appointment as Director of Cricket only made things worse for KP. Strauss put a large lock to the shut door. ALSO READ: Kevin Pietersen to play for South Africa?

Pietersen, not Alastair Cook, would have raced to 10,000-mark in Test cricket first, had the Pietersen’s been prolonged. Cook, the then captain, did not want Pietersen either: he had labelled Pietersen a disruptive influence. However, after all these years of turmoil, Pietersen revealed that the axing came as a blessing in disguise as it helped him save his marriage with Jessica Taylor. He also admitted his mistake of trying too hard to be an Englishman and that he cares a lot about his ‘African roots’.

“England did me a favour in sacking me in 2014 because it has helped me with my relationship with my kids no end. I didn’t want to be a lousy dad. For the birth of my son Dylan in 2010 I had to fly back from playing in the Caribbean, see him being born then get a helicopter to Gatwick the next day to play in a semi-final for England. I was absent,” Pietersen was quoted as saying by news.com.au.

“Jess has been a rock to me but we’ve had tough times. People don’t understand the pressure that goes on between the four walls of home when it’s all going wrong, like it did for me on a daily basis for a year. We’ve put up with a hell of a lot while I was playing for England,” he further added.

‘Worst year of my life’

Pietersen, born in South African, had once aspired to play cricket for his nation of birth. He had even played First-Class there. His career with England took off in 2004-05 and though it witnessed propelling success, controversies came at galore too. His stint as captain of England wasn’t smooth at all and he had a rocky relationship with coach Peter Moores.

He terms the year (2008) as the worst of his life as he did not get to see his son Dylan enough. He led England in 3 Tests and 12 ODIs during that phase.

He confessed: “I was under strict protocols. They tell you where you have be, you have to ask to do this and that. I had the best time playing for England. I wouldn’t live here if I didn’t love England. There have been hurdles. I was under the microscope. When I was captain, it was the worst year of my life. I took stock and gauged what and who was important.

That massive fallout I had with England raised my profile and assisted and enabled me to turn a bad thing into a good thing. People think, ‘Cricket, cricket, cricket’. Well, stuff cricket. It means that what Jess and the kids have now is so special. I’ve got such a wonderful life. I wouldn’t want to be back on that England treadmill. It becomes monotonous.”

Pietersen, 37, revealed that it is his last year playing cricket in England’. He had earlier mentioned that he aspires to play the 2019 World Cup with South Africa. However, he knows it will not be an easy task.

“That sacking and the hullabaloo it caused for six months has been the best thing for my life. Now I wake up with the kids, put them to bed, take them and pick them up from school. I watch most of Dylan’s sport. I will hands down see my kids more than a lot of people. I’m now hopefully being the best dad my kids could have. All I care about is my family and my African roots,” he added.

“I am a South African”

Pietersen tried hard being an Englishman and he just tried too hard. So hard that he even sports a Three Lions tattoo.

“I tried too hard to be English when I played for England. I always got annoyed when people said I was South African. I concerned myself all the time with what can I say, can I talk differently? But you have to accept, you are what you are. When I played for England I played to win and I was proud to wear the Three Lions but am I English? No, I’m South African,” Pietersen made a bold statement here.

A charitable person, Pietersen is concerned about the butchering of rhinoceroses that are headed towards extinction. He has made it a mission to save dying rhinos in Africa.