The story came about after ex-England fast bowler Darren Gough told UK radio show TalkSport that Pietersen would be tempted to play for South Africa if he’s omission from the England team continues.
The 35-year-old South African-born batsman last played for England on January 3, 2014 in an Ashes Test against Australia, and has been on the outside ever since, especially after former captain Andrew Strauss became the director of cricket of the national team, as Pietersen had a fall-out with him over “SMS-gate” – having sent SMSes in the past to South African players complaining about Strauss.
International Cricket Council rules state that a player has to wait four years after representing a Test-playing country before he can turn out for another Test-player country, which would mean Pietersen would be eligible to play for South Africa on January 4, 2018.
“I think he will be tempted, given the way he has been treated, or the way he thinks he has been treated over the past few years,” Gough told TalkSport.
“He is not going to play county cricket this year, unless somebody comes out of the blue and offers him a ridiculous fee. He definitely won’t play county cricket, but he might play T20.
“He’s played out in South Africa this year (for the Dolphins in the RamSlam T20 Challenge) and did brilliantly. They absolutely love him out there. All these people who think Graeme Smith hates him (are wrong), they are like best mates. He is quite high up in South African cricket. It wouldn’t surprise me if they tried to persuade him to play.”
But Du Plessis played with a dead bat when asked by an English journalist at Newlands on Thursday, ahead of Friday’s T20 against England, whether Pietersen would be welcomed into the Proteas set-up.
“That’s a very Sky Sports question! They don’t ask those questions in South Africa. No, look, KP’s played a great career for England, but certainly from a South African perspective, he’s English,” Du Plessis said.
Pietersen was asked on Twitter if he had any statement on the matter, and he tweeted: “No statements. You know everything in the media is TRUE!” And in response to a BBC story stating he was “unlikely to play for South Africa”, the right-handed batsman tweeted: “Unlikely?!”
Pietersen played 104 Tests and 136 ODIs for his adopted country between 2005 and 2014.
@IndyCapeSportKevin Pietersen is English, not South African. That was the word from Proteas T20 captain Faf du Plessis.
Original source: KP is English, not South African - Faf