ENGLAND batsman Kevin Pietersen has declared his intention to play on until 2016 as he prepares to win a 100th cap in tonight’s first Ashes Test.
The 33-year-old had been tipped by some commentators to retire at the end of this series, following a succession of knee problems and a turbulent history with England’s cricket chiefs. But Pietersen has a number of personal goals still to achieve – including winning the 2015 World Cup, scoring a century in his native South Africa and reaching 10,000 Test runs – and is determined to fulfil them before hanging up his bat.
“With this side, we’ve won everything. We’ve won a Twenty20 World Cup, Ashes home and away, we’ve won in India,” he said. “The World Cup 2015 [in Australia and New Zealand] is something I’d love to have a go at, and I’ve got home and away hundreds against each major nation, apart from South Africa. I think our tour to South Africa is in 2015/16. So if the old man can survive until then, I’d like to.”
Pietersen hopes to add to his 7,887 Test runs in Brisbane, where England begin their bid for a fourth successive Ashes series at midnight tonight British time, and would “love to” amass 10,000. Only last year Pietersen’s England future was in grave doubt, having fallen out with head coach Andy Flower and then-captain Andrew Strauss over text messages sent to friends in the South Africa team.
“Do you ever look at things and think why you’ve done things? We all make mistakes,” he added.
“You learn from the ups. You learn from the downs. We’re a really good bunch at the moment. I’m so lucky and so proud to be where I am.”