Kevin Pietersen

Kevin Pietersen credits the SA20 with powering a Proteas revival. Photo: SA20, Sportzpics

Kevin Pietersen says South Africa is loving its cricket again

Kevin Pietersen believes that the 2022/23 summer has worked some magic for South African cricket.

Kevin Pietersen

Kevin Pietersen credits the SA20 with powering a Proteas revival. Photo: SA20, Sportzpics

Kevin Pietersen believes that the 2022/23 season worked some magic for South African cricket.

Pietersen was impressed by the Betway SA20 League and the Proteas performance afterwards.

Proteas rode the wave of SA20

The former England skipper feels the enthusiastic reaction to the SA20 had given the sport a shot in the arm.

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“[The Proteas] rode the crest of the wave that the SA20 has provided,” Pietersen wrote for Betway. 

“They kept sprits high and now they just need to do the business against the Netherlands to ensure that they’ll be there in India later in the year.

“They could have had a wobble against England, there were times in both of the first two matches where it could have gone either way, but 2-1 was a fair reflection on the series in the end.

“Something has definitely happened in the country in the last few weeks and it’s so good to see.

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“The crowds are back and people are coming out to see positive cricket. For the players, broadcasters, administrators and everybody else, it’s so good to see the grass banks full of enthusiastic supporters.The ODI series was excellent, with South Africa having that bit between their teeth with World Cup qualification on the line.”

Kevin Pietersen lauds England environment

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Jos Buttler England vs Proteas bats
Jos Buttler prepares to sweep the ball. Photo: Frikkie Kapp/BackpagePix.

Pietersen got a glimpse inside the England dressing room and described that environment as a world apart from the setup he was involved in both in terms of morale and professionalism.

“I got a message from Jos Buttler asking me whether I’d be interested in going to speak with the England squad before the ODI series last week.

I went along just to talk about whatever they wanted to talk about, be around, see the environment, and understand a little bit more about it for my purposes as well.

“It was very informal, a few conversations with some individuals about batting and a chance just to be around the guys in case they wanted a chat with an outsider about anything.

Transforming the game

“It was brilliant to get an outsider’s perspective on the culture and how they’ve transformed the shortest form of the game,” Pietersen said.

“The one thing that stood out to me is how supportive they all are of each other. That was an alien concept when I was involved, when everybody was just doing what they did for themselves. It’s so refreshing.

“There were a couple of players under pressure, particularly Jason Roy, but you can see the heartfelt encouragement that each member of the squad and the whole setup was giving him.

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“The camaraderie in the camp is magnificent to see and it massively helps their performance, too, because there’s no fear of failure holding them back. If someone’s on a bad trot, they have all the love and support and time to turn things around.

“I loved it, and it helped me understand how they’ve become a team that everybody fears.

“I said to Jos and Matthew Mott afterwards that if they want me to be around the team in future, I’ll be there. If it happens again, it happens again. All good by me.

“It’s a lovely environment to be around and I’m very happy to help out again if I’m asked.”