Former English batsman Kevin Pietersen has hinted that he is contemplating retirement from cricket after the conclusion of Big Bash League (BBL) 2017-18.
In a conversation with Cricket Australia website (www.cricket.com.au), Pietersen, who plays for the Melbourne Stars in BBL, admitted the upcoming season of the tournament might very well be his final appearance on a cricket field.
"I am definitely coming to the end of my playing time," Pietersen was quoted as saying.
"So I am definitely going to enjoy the last few digs."
When asked if the BBL 2017-18 might be the final opportunity for fans of the right-handed maverick to see him in action, Pietersen replied, "Possibly."
If indeed Pietersen makes the BBL his final stoppage, it would bring down curtains on almost a two decade long career that started in South Africa.
Ever since Pietersen made his first international appearance in the 2005 Ashes series, he became a darling of England fans for his scintillating strokeplay and his rebellious streak, exemplified by his colourful hairstyles. However, the same qualities that made him such a hit, also caused him troubles with English cricket authorities. Pietersen had a love-hate relationship with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) throughout his international career.
The relationship ended after the 2013 Ashes campaign, where Pietersen was unceremoniously sacked in an attempt to rebuild the squad after the 5-0 thumping Down Under.
Pietersen ended up playing 104 Tests for England, scoring over 8,000 runs with an average close to 50. He also played 136 ODIs and 37 T20I for his country.
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A target of 160 was within Ireland's reach but they lost wickets steadily, with Bjorn Fortuin and Tabraiz Shamsi taking three apiece.
In a joint statement with the Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA) on Friday, the governing bodies reiterated their desire for the five-Test series to be played at the highest possible standard. Meetings with Cricket Australia (CA) are set to occur in the coming weeks.
Follow live score and updates from the 3rd T20I between Ireland and South Africa on our blog.