Kevin Pietersen's 100th Test

Pietersen promises tribute to deceased friend

George Dobell in Brisbane

November 20, 2013

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Kevin Pietersen has a sit down during net practice, Hobart, November 5, 2013
Kevin Pietersen: "I had to go and do a eulogy at his funeral on the Saturday when the guys were already here. I was a shambles there." © Getty Images
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Kevin Pietersen has promised any success he has in his 100th Test to the memory of a boyhood friend who died recently.

Pietersen, who will become the 10th England player to reach the 100 Test landmark when England begin their Ashes campaign in Brisbane on Thursday, was granted compassionate leave at the start of the tour to fly to South Africa to deliver the eulogy at the funeral of Jon Cole-Edwardes who died from a rare form of cancer on September 27 aged just 33.

"I got to say goodbye to him 18 hours before he passed away and left us," Pietersen said. "He left his wife and twins behind.

"He was my best mate who I grew up with as a kid and losing him has really hurt me over the last month or so. It has been bad. I grew up with this guy since I was a baby and every single holiday we went on together, literally he is like my brother and saying goodbye to him 18 hours beforehand was just so tough.

"I will be thinking about him if I get a big one here, I've been thinking about black armbands and stuff, but I don't want to get the violin out and all that. I'd rather just concentrate on things. I've been speaking with his mum and yesterday she said 'Jon will be watching'."

Pietersen admitted the bereavement had put his cricketing career into perspective.

"This cricket malarkey is simple," he said. "I had to go and do a eulogy at his funeral on the Saturday when the guys were already here. I was a shambles there."

He also admitted there had been times during the 'text-gate' episode in 2012 when he thought he would never represent England again. Now, though, he insisted the dressing room environment was "fantastic" and, as well as crediting improved communication, also accepted that all parties had "grown up".

"There probably were a few occasions [when I thought I may not play again], yes," Pietersen said. "Emails were flying around and telephone conversations were being had. I think this stuff is for when I finish my career. I will give a very good explanation as to how things were and how things weren't when I'm done.

"It's a nicer environment now I think. I've seen comments from the players that we all made mistakes last year. And we've all grown up and actually grown a lot tighter.

"If you look at the environment now it's absolutely fantastic and I'm not lying I'm being dead straight. We're all having so much fun and that front page [of an Australian tabloid which suggested Pietersen was unpopular with his England teammates] was so funny because 10 hours before that we'd all had an amazing team dinner. We all had such a great time in Sydney, such a great time together, that when you see a front page like that it just makes me laugh.

"Last year there was a bit of treading on eggshells and pussy-footing around, whereas now the boys have acknowledged that it is time to do some business as an England team and that is what we are here to do."

While Pietersen reiterated his desire to play on until at least the 2015 World Cup, he accepted he may require minor knee surgery at some stage as an indirect result of the bone bruising he suffered in New Zealand early this year. "Clearly the knee is something that I will have to get looked at and get sorted," he said. "But if it does need an op it won't be a big one because the bone damage is all sorted. It's just a little bit of niggly bits and pieces, which is actually minor. It just causes a bit of discomfort on delivery when I bend down but since I've had the injection it's been fine. That just masks the issue so it's up to me to make sure I do all the hard yards and all the bits and pieces to keep me good.

"I want to enjoy the next two or three years of international cricket for England because last year wasn't fun. I can make it a lot more fun and so can the team, and we're all doing that at the moment."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Headbandenator on (November 21, 2013, 12:28 GMT)

@pitch_curator You are of course correct about the empty stands during the 2010/11 Ashes, but an empty stand is not an indicator of what the attendance was. Plenty of Australian fans did not bother turning up for the last test, but the match was still sold out. The attendance is calculated by the number of tickets sold, not the empty seats. On 'gods', I suspect most would be more interested in a competitive league match between club sides than an over promoted and mostly uninspiring test series in India or Australia - or anywhere else.

Posted by   on (November 21, 2013, 8:03 GMT)

KP may think everything is all right in the dressing room but I reckon post career the truth will come out.

Posted by indianzen on (November 20, 2013, 20:11 GMT)

What would have been a splendid career, KP lost just because of his mouth and attitude. Young guys have come in, but he is a real good talent...

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (November 20, 2013, 19:23 GMT)

What a great guy KP is. Now he's got an extra reason to play another magnificent innings and hammer the Aussies once again.

Posted by Ajronald on (November 20, 2013, 19:08 GMT)

Some how the team is glued together ... All the best for the Ashes. But remember glues don't last forever

Posted by   on (November 20, 2013, 15:57 GMT)

wow 100 test to k.p. after lara and S.R.T my fav test batsman. congratulations

Posted by pitch_curator on (November 20, 2013, 15:45 GMT)

@ Vishnu27 - You can use your hyperbole on qualitative things but get your facts right. Ashes is not the series which has the highest attendance. In terms of attendance(even if it is a test series) any series involving India would draw the maximum crowd. All you need to do is to check the 2010-11 ashes to see empty stands in Australia. So, factually you are not correct. You can continue with your hyperbole though - with statements like All the gods would be granted leave to come and watch the ashes etc. Afterall these statements can not be PROVED wrong and you can argue.

Posted by The-love on (November 20, 2013, 14:52 GMT)

Hi Guys....I don't see any reason behind the negative comments not only for this series but any series.From India,I will also be following this series as I followed the last one too.As a neutral fan,I will be supporting Aussies as England seem to be the favorites this time.Same I did in 2005 for England as Aussies were the favorites that time.Go guys,show some competitive cricket and entertain us.

Posted by   on (November 20, 2013, 13:55 GMT)

Cricket seems to have become far more popular than Shakespeare. Even in the land of Oxford & Cambridge!

So. "To be, or not be " is no more the dilemma. (Sorry, Late Prince Hamlet". "Hey 22 yards; Urn, or Urn-nal" is the real dilemma. In this Ashes, majority seem to be predicting a repeat show, though. So, hopefully, the dilemma is resolved :-)

Posted by Naresh28 on (November 20, 2013, 10:15 GMT)

I like Pieterson's batting style - its one of the best i have seen. He just seems to hit the ball hard and along the ground. Bottom hand play with timing? He has a big stride as well. Without him England could be exposed.

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