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'I might as well have been speaking to the vicar about gangsta rap'

Illustration: Kevin Pietersen ESPNcricinfo Ltd

Kevin Pietersen's career was as thrill-a-minute as it gets on the field, and off it his candor and tendency to never mince his words led The Times' Rick Broadbent to quip that he was "as subtle as colonic irrigation". KP has uttered, and been the subject of, so many memorable lines that it could be a sub-genre on our Quote Unquote section. Here is a selection of his most unforgettable quotes.

"I've seen 5-0 a few times before...it's not the end of the world, Brazil!"

Kevin Pietersen tweeted out a consolatory message for Brazil's football team after their 7-1 loss to Germany in the World Cup semi-final

"I might as well have been speaking to the vicar about gangsta rap."

Pietersen, writing in his autobiography about the difficulty of explaining his IPL commitments to Andrew Strauss

"It was as if he still writes to Santa Claus and puts a tooth under his pillow for the tooth fairy."

On Alastair Cook refusing to believe that the (now defunct) @kpgenius Twitter parody account was run by someone within the England dressing room.

"It's a Catch-21 situation."

KP struggled with the arithmetic while describing why he had to miss a 2005 tour to Sri Lanka

"You are not God, you are a cricketer, and I'm a better one."

Pietersen sledging Yuvraj Singh during England's tour of India in 2008. The stump mic was alert

"I had to ask if he was a batter or a bowler - I didn't really know who he was."

Liberty X singer and future wife Jessica Taylor, on then-fiance Pietersen

"He's a nice guy but like a human triple espresso - so intense."

On former England coach Peter Moores, during whose tenure Pietersen's England career came to a close.

"You've got Brett Lee running in at quarter to ten at night with the second new ball. I mean, it's just stupid."

Long before the first-ever day-night Test, Pietersen declared that he was not a big fan of the innovation

"And my tip to all bowlers - learn to bat! Bowling is for mugs."

If you can't stop them, become them: Pietersen had some advice for county bowlers before the 2013 season

"It's tough being me."

Pietersen did not envy Pietersen in the middle of all the controversy within the England dressing room in 2012, which led to a brief exile from international cricket

"I don't talk to Smith now. It's a waste of breath, because I don't have any respect for him."

Graeme Smith and KP never got along too well, and neither made any bones about it

"You've got world-class players who are sitting in England now wanting to play the IPL when you've got some second-rate Australians getting gigs here."

Aussie-baiting remained one of KP's favourite pastimes through his career

"I'm not interested in what he has to say. Who is he? He's a nobody."

Pietersen's response to John Buchanan's criticism about his personality could as well have come from his friend Shane Warne's mouth

"Some days they've got rain around and they've got to deal with the time and talk and talk and talk and talk."

Long before his foray into punditry, Pietersen did not take kindly to criticism from the Sky commentary team

"As a kid I always wanted to be the best, to win everything at school... Even now when I am driving, I don't like losing to people at the lights."

After a huge loss in an ODI against India in 2008, Pietersen put his competitive nature in perspective

"I must say, I'm very impressed with that Mr Pietersen. His life story is like Henry IV, V and VI all rolled into one."

Bruce Dickinson, the Iron Maiden lead singer, with his thoughts on England's newly appointed captain back in 2008

"Contagiously sour. Infectiously dour. He could walk into a room and suck all the joy out of it in five seconds. Just a Mood Hoover. That's how I came to think of him."

Andy Flower copped quite a bit of stick in KP's autobiography, especially this Zlatan-Ibrahimovic-on-Pep-Guardiola style takedown

"If we do everything we said in our team meeting, I'll be smoking a cigar at mid-off."

Pietersen offered a sneak peek into what was to come, just 24 hours ahead of his captaincy debut for England.

"I was thinking about doing that in bed last night', so the visualisation was there."

What KP told Paul Collingwood after unveiling his switch hit against New Zealand

"Look, it's your nation, not mine."

Pietersen revealed the extent of his Englishness, after stating in an interview that he gets sent pictures of naked women by fans

"The only real weakness he has shown so far in his England career is an ability to come up with some ridiculously stupid comments, which have added great value to the dressing room."

As early as July 2005, Andrew Strauss offered a taste of all that was to follow

"I'm not very good at Twenty20 cricket, am I?"

Pietersen's frank admission in 2009, about a format in which he would go on to make 5695 runs