What's the story?
In a statement that is set to draw a tear or two from every English fan, legendary batsman Kevin Pietersen has announced that the third edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) would be his final stint as a professional cricketer.
Pietersen is set to join the Quetta Gladiators, but just prior to his departure from home, posted an emotional picture of himself hugging his son on Instagram with a message announcing his intentions to end his playing career.
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Whispers surrounding Pietersen's retirement surfaced when he was quoted saying to cricket.com.au during the Big Bash League, “I am definitely coming to the end of my playing time. So I am definitely going to enjoy the last few digs. It’s fairly close. It’s the practice that you look at and you just think, ‘do I want to do it?’ I’ve still got the energy at the moment but it’s dwindling.”
That energy seems to have finally been drained, with the former England cricketer making it clear that his time is now up.
Pietersen donned the English whites 104 times, striking as many as 23 centuries to go with his 9 ODI tons. Despite his obvious talent, Pietersen constantly divided opinion, and his controversial omission from the 2013/14 Ashes sent his career spiralling.
The heart of the matter
Pietersen's Instagram post reads as follows:
“Countless goodbyes to @jessicalibertyx & my kids as a cricket player & this one this evening is the last one I’ll ever have to do. I’ve hated every goodbye but also known it’s work so just gotten on with it. The journey has been absolutely amazing & for the next 3/4 weeks, I’ll be a current professional & then it’s chapter closed! Had my time & loved it but the endless goodbyes & travel needs to calm down now. Cricket has been the best!”
The 37-year-old, ever since his ousting from the national team, has turned in to a T20 mercenary of sorts, featuring for sides all across the globe.
Pietersen will head to the UAE to feature for the Quetta Gladiators in the PSL, but it remains unclear whether he will travel to Pakistan if his side qualifies for the playoffs.
It has been a roller-coaster ride for Pietersen, whose dynamic batting style was a treat to watch in his heydays. A versatile batsman who could never balance out his equation with England's cricket board, Pietersen's journey from a Test star to a T20 mercenary highlighted a career that promised to achieve more than it eventually did.Published 20 Feb 2018, 19:36 IST