Kevin Pietersen had sent shock waves in England Cricket with a shocking interview post scoring a ton versus South Africa at Leeds in 2012.
Kevin Pietersen batted like a marvel to notch-up his 21st Test century with a sublime 149 against the Proteas in August 2012, thereby also reaching the milestone of 7000 Test runs for England. That century meant that he was only behind Wally Hammond, Colin Cowdrey and Geoff Boycott to have scored maximum Test tons for England.
Cut to the end of the Test match, and the 32-year-old comes up with a shocking interview after being awarded the ‘Man of the Match’.
But before coming to that, only a few months earlier, in May 2012, the star right-handed batter had announced his retirement from ODI and T20 Cricket over an ECB central contract issue which stated that he must be available for both formats of the game.
He however, wished to play in the ICC Twenty20 World Cup that was due to commence in September that year.
“I am immensely proud of my achievements in the one-day game, but still wish to be considered for selection for England in Test cricket. For the record, were the selection criteria not in place, I would have readily played for England in the upcoming ICC World Twenty20,” Pietersen said in a statement.
Having signed a lucrative contract with the Delhi Daredevils in the IPL, fans and experts were more than certain that it was money over nation that was the root cause in the lead up to the decision, although Pietersen denied any such motive repeatedly.
But, it was England’s tour of South Africa in August that year, that brought out the ugly side of it all, leading to a long standing controversy involving Pietersen and his fellow team mates in the English side.
— England’s Barmy Army (@TheBarmyArmy) December 16, 2014
Kevin Pietersen interview
Post scoring the aforementioned ton in the first innings of the 2nd Test at Leeds, Kevin Pietersen came up with an unexpected interview. He hinted, or rather threatened to retire from Test Cricket. Reason?- It would later unfold in the form of a clear case of rift between him and a few England cricketers.
“It’s tough being me, playing for England,” the 32-year-old told reporters after the century in Leeds.
“It’s absolutely 100 percent not about money … there are clear things that I’m discussing but there are other issues that need to be sorted. You’ll find out soon enough.”
When asked if the following third and the last Test at Lord’s could be his last, he said: “Anything’s possible. It would be a huge shame. I love playing test cricket for England but … we’ll see.”
“For me the saddest part about all this is that the spectators just love watching me play – and I love playing for England.”
A month later, after being dropped from the Third Test at Lord’s and from the 30-probables list for the Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka, Pietersen pressed ECB to carry out a serious investigation into his suspicion that his England team-mates Graeme Swann and James Anderson were feeding information to a certain ‘KP Genius’ parody Twitter account.
The above mentioned account, was followed by several members of the team and he explicably stated that private conversations between him, Anderson and Swann were referenced in various tweets.
All these allegations by the right-hander came after his messages to the players of the South African team were leaked, which allegedly contained contents of private conversation between him and former England skipper Andrew Strauss. The South African players, however had termed the conversation as part of a mere banter between them and Pietersen.
Although Pietersen regained the central contract in January next year following an apology from his side to his team mates, the relationship amongst them, especially with Andrew Strauss ended on a sour note.
On top of it, ultimately it was Kevin Pietersen himself, failing to provide any evidence pertaining his allegations regarding the ‘KP Genius’ parody account, who came out as the one causing all the unrest and troubles within the English dressing room.