If you’re relatively new to cricket, you might think Kevin Pietersen came to prominence because of a shit haircut and an Ashes-winning hundred. You’d be wrong and not just because cricket series are won by bowlers and not by batsmen ensuring a draw in the final Test of a series.
No, Kevin Pietersen came to prominence because some of his first international matches were in a one-day series against the country of his birth and they booed his arse off. These weren’t coy, knowing, silent boos, but big, full-on, red-blooded-South-African-man boos. These were boos that could skin a gazelle and dry its flesh into sticks of dried salted meat. Duncan Fletcher called the crowd reaction ‘abnormal’.
Pietersen promptly hit 22 not out, 108 not out, 33, 75, 100 not out and 116. That last innings had an alarming change of gear. After hitting 34 off 73 balls up to the 35th over, Pietersen then hit 82 off the next 37. England still lost. Obviously.
But as he left the field, the South African crowd actually gave him a standing ovation. If you can go into that situation and not just endure it but win those people over, that’s quite something.
Asked about the booing this week, KP said it was ‘nothing personal’ which is the most inaccurate comment ever made. It is 100 percent personal. That is actually the only reason behind it.