Former England pacer Darren Gough believes Kevin Pietersen could represent the Proteas
Former England speedster Darren Gough has expressed concern that the out of favour Kevin Pietersen could make an unlikely comeback to international cricket albeit for South Africa.
FoxSports reported the 45-year old warning England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) that the maverick batsman was attracted towards plying his trade in his country of birth and could skip the forthcoming county season in England.
He said, “I think he will be tempted, given the way he has been treated, or the way he thinks he has been treated over the past few years. He is not going to play county cricket this year unless somebody comes out of the blue and offers him a ridiculous fee. He definitely won’t play county cricket but he might play T20.”
Pietersen last represented his adopted country in the 2013-14 Ashes which turned out to be disastrous tour, both on and off the field for England’s team management. The 5-0 loss to their arch-rivals also led to an infamous fall-out in the dressing room with Kevin accused of orchestrating a coup against Head Coach, Andy Flower.
Despite being offered the role of a consultant by the new Director of Cricket, Andrew Strauss, the flamboyant stroke-maker declined the position publicly. Since then, he has been globe-trotting by turning out for different franchises in T20 leagues across the world.
He is quite high up in South African cricket: Gough
In the recently concluded Big Bash, Pietersen played a leading role in Melbourne Stars’ surge to the final by smashing 62 in the semis. Though his team lost the summit clash, the star won over audiences in Australia with his audacious strokeplay during crunch moments.
Gough who had taken over 400 international wickets for England added, “He’s played out in South Africa this year and did brilliantly. They absolutely love him out there. All these people who think Graeme Smith hates him (are wrong), they are like best mates. “He is quite high up in South African cricket. It wouldn’t surprise me if they tried to persuade him to play.”
It remains to be seen whether such a move transpires as Kevin’s temperamental issues came to the fore during Strauss’ final series against the visiting Proteas who subsequently went on to become the leading Test side in 2012.
Pertinently, he was known to be quite close to numerous South African players at the peak of his career.