• KP’s views on SA

    The Pietermaritzburg-born Kevin Pietersen’s telling autobiography ‘KP’, released this month, features several damning remarks about his former England team-mates.

    But substantially friendlier comments about other cricket personalities from his country of birth – and South Africa in general – have been less publicised. Here, SA Cricket magazine, evens the scales …

    On his heritage: ‘Whatever passport I carry, I will always have South Africa in my heart. One big mistake was not respecting South Africa and what it stands for. When I scored my first century there, I should never, ever, have kissed the England badge on my helmet.’

    On former South African all-rounder Clive Rice: ‘Clive was a great early influence on me. He gave me incredible self-belief and encouragement. Notts sacked Clive Rice while he was at home in South Africa looking after his dying father. I absolutely hated the way the sacking was done. I thought it was totally disrespectful.’

    On the Cape Town-born Jonathan Trott’s battle with depression: ‘The day we travel after Trott goes home, Andy Flower comes to me and shakes my hand. He says: “Can I shake your hand please?” I was like, “what?” And he says: “Can I shake your hand?” He says: “I should have listened to you.” And just there and then I was like, “ugh, go away.”‘

    On criticising the Johannesburg-born Andrew Strauss to then Proteas captain Graeme Smith: ‘The thing is, I did call Strauss a doos in that text to Graeme. It is Afrikaans for monkey. Harbhajan tells me that’s no big deal. I regret being involved in conversations like that, and I shouldn’t have been, but mentally I was totally broken.’

    On the Johannesburg-born Matt Prior: ‘He is one bloke that quite a few – I could count on more than one hand – have said, “Please can you tell the world what that guy’s like.’ Prior was jealous that I had hair and he didn’t. Trott didn’t seem to mind. Prior really got annoyed when I gave everyone a Nena and Pasadena cap, but not him.’

    On Cricket South Africa versus the England and Wales Cricket Board: ‘I left South Africa because of the quota system, only to find the ECB have a quota system as well. No personalities.’

    On his coach at Nottinghamshire, Mick Newell: ‘I don’t think he enjoyed a little South African kid coming to Notts, doing so well and being looked after by Clive.’

    On contentious all-rounder Paul Franks: ‘I needed some good friends when there were guys like Franks, who enjoyed going around singing ‘I’ve never met a nice South African’. I’m not trying to bag Franks here, I think he genuinely thought it was funny. And maybe for the first hundred times or so it was. But I did feel that I stuck out like a big sore South African thumb, and so those friendships meant a lot.’

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