England axing saved my marriage, says Kevin Pietersen
What's the story?
Kevin Pietersen's days as an England cricketer might well be over but the maverick batsman is not disappointed with the fact that he is unable to don the national jersey anymore.
In fact, he claimed that the move was a blessing in disguise as it helped save his marriage that had been on the rocks for over a year due to his international commitments.
He also added that time away from national duty has helped him focus on his dream of saving rhinos from poaching in Africa.
“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," Pietersen said. “England did me a favour in sacking me in 2014 because it has helped me with my relationship with my kids no end."
Talking about his future, he added: "It sounds crazy but I now want to try to save the 30,000 rhinos that are heading for extinction because of poachers. All I care about (now) is my family and my African roots.”
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Pietersen last featured for England during the 2013-14 Ashes series and there have been reports that he is contemplating a return to international cricket with the country of his birth, South Africa.
He is currently playing for Surrey in the Natwest T20 Blast but Pietersen has indicated that it could well be his last year playing cricket in England as he plans to move to the safari lodge he is building at South Africa’s Kruger National Park in the summer next year along with his family.
With over 13000 international runs to his name, Pietersen is undoubtedly one of England's greatest ever cricketers but his career with the national team was overshadowed at times by the volatile relationship he shared with some of his former teammates.
One of the most highly publicized spats was with Andrew Strauss and the former played a major role in bringing Pietersen's international career to an end after being named the Director of Cricket for the England national team.
While Pietersen did harbour hopes of returning to the national fold, offering a public apology to Strauss, the 37-year-old said that he has given up on a comeback with England and has instead shifted his focus elsewhere.
Family has taken priority as have his efforts to save the rhinos in Africa and Pietersen indicated it is something that he intends to carry on.
Pietersen is enjoying his phase as a loving father and is all set to take on the next big step of his career by stepping up his efforts to help prevent the extinction of rhinos.
At 37, Pietersen knows that time is running out if he plans to make an international return. With his England career well and truly over, he knows that moving to South Africa is the best possible move he could make for his career.
At the same time, his efforts to save rhinos are well-documented and thus moving back to his country of birth will be a good move in every aspect.