Kevin Pietersen was the architect of some of England’s greatest triumphs in international cricket. A batsman par excellence, England were lucky to have a player like him. Pietersen, a South African by birth, chose to play international cricket for England, as his mother was English, and became a superstar in his own right.
He was part of several Ashes victories, and played pivotal roles in England 2010 ICC WT20 win and an era defining Test series victory in India in 2012. Pietersen was miles ahead of any other English batsman in limited overs cricket and that is the reason why he was snapped up by Royal Challengers Bangalore for a huge amount of money during the inception of the Indian Premier League.
Pietersen’s desire to play in the IPL didn’t go down well with other English players. This was one part of several other problems which finally led to the end of his international career with the English cricket team.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan in an interview with foxsports.com.au has said that the English players were jealous after Pietersen bagged a huge IPL contract.
“I think there was a lot of jealousy,” Vaughan said. “And the players will completely deny it now but I think there was at the time when Kevin was on a massive contract.
“There were all sorts of whispers and rumours of cliques in the team. There was a little band of a few; Graeme Swann, Tim Bresnan, (James) Anderson, (Stuart) Broad and Matt Prior. The whispers were they were on one side and Kevin was kind of standing on his own on the other side.
“It wasn’t anything other than that Kev around that time wanted to go to the IPL. That’s how it all started to blow up and that’s when those factions came into play.
“He was saying to the team he wanted to play because it would further the development of the one-day team and all the one-day players would get the chance to play there and improve their game. They deemed that he just wanted to go for the money. He was on a big contract while not many of the other players were even getting sniffed at.
“It was very much Kevin against the team in terms of that one.”
There was a fallout between Pietersen and then English captain Andrew Strauss after it was found out that Pietersen had messaged his friends in the South African team about his English teammates. This happened during South Africa’s tour of England in 2012.
It was reported that Pietersen had called Strauss names and was also alleged that he had given tips to a South African paceman on how to get him out.
Pietersen last played for England during the 2013-14 Ashes series which ended in an embarrassing defeat for the Three Lions.