Batsman says family life could distract him June 15, 2007

'Burnout could cut short my career' : Pietersen


December frolics could terminate Kevin Pietersen's march to greatdom © Getty Images
Kevin Pietersen has warned the hectic international cricket schedule and the prospect of impending fatherhood could cut short his England career.

The 26-year old batsman is due to wed his pop star fiancée Jessica Taylor in December. But before then he is likely, if fit, to play in 11 Tests, the Twenty20 World Cup in his native South Africa and several ODIs.

So congested is England's fixture list that they are due to fly to South Africa the day after their seventh ODI against India in September. "There is a lot of cricket being played these days and time will tell how fatherhood changes my attitude," Pietersen, who would like to start a family, told July's edition of the Wisden Cricketer magazine.

"I don't like spending time away from my family, I don't like it at all, especially since I met Jessica. All these future tours that just get chucked in here and there, they don't make me happy.

"There are so many exciting things to look forward to in life other than cricket and I've changed a heck of a lot both as a person and a player."

However, he insisted he still had ambitions as a cricketer. "I've always said I want to be a great player - the best I can possibly be - and if that means I end up as one of the best players around then that's just how it is.

"A lot of people have criticised me for getting ahead of myself but it's just my ambition. That's the way I've been brought up, to challenge myself."

Pietersen, who scored a Test-best 226 in the second Test against West Indies at Headingley last month, is set to play in the the fourth and final Test of the series starting at Chester-le-Street on Friday.