India captain Virat Kohli. @ AFP
India captain Virat Kohli. @ AFP

Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen is worried that the game lacks superstars which could be detrimental. Pietersen, who retired from all forms of the game earlier this year, amassed 8,181 runs for England in 104 Tests. He also scored 4,440 runs in 136 one-day matches.

“I really struggle to see entertainers, they’re lacking in the game,” Pietersen told BBC Radio 5 live’s Sportsweek.

Virat Kohli is an exception, but otherwise pure entertainers and superstars are not in the game and that’s a big worry,” he said.

Pietersen, known for his flamboyant style of batting, recalled the likes of Muttiah Muralitharan, Curtly Ambrose, Courtney Walsh, Matthew Hayden, Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, Shane Warne, Adam Gilchrist, Andrew Flintoff, Wasim Akram and compared them to cricketers from the current generation.

“Maybe it’s a generational thing but the sad part is that quite a few of those former players are commentating but they are not in the game of cricket,” he said.

“You want those superstars attached to franchises, national sides and academies so that youngsters get inspired to be those people.”

Pietersen said countries’ cricket boards should engage their former players more and place them in coaching and administrative roles.

“They have to get paid more because the money for commentary, which is a pretty easy gig, is fairly good,” said Pietersen, also a commentator since he ended his England career in 2014.