Image courtesy of: The Guardian
Pietersen will have to continue rehabilitation for the rest of his international career
Flamboyant England batsman Kevin Pietersen has revealed that he refused to have his knee surgically repaired in order to represent his country during the ongoing Ashes series.
Pietersen sustained his knee injury during England’s tour of New Zealand in March and ended up missing the New Zealand series, his beloved Indian Premier League (IPL) and the last ever Champions Trophy, in which England were beaten in the final by India by a nail-biting margin of five runs.
Pietersen admitted to thinking long and hard about going under the knife, but decided against it, even if it means that the pain still lingers and he has to continue rehabilitation for the rest of his international career.
“If I’d had surgery I’d have been out for nine months,” Pietersen said. “It was a big decision. My knee was a shambles. I could have had surgery but the Ashes means too much.
“Everyone wants to play in the Ashes. Everyone who has ever played cricket wants to play in the Ashes. It’s the big stage.
“I like to perform on the big stage when the team need me. I like to stand up and be counted. As an English or Australian player your career is defined in how you play in Ashes cricket.
“I think I’ll be in rehab for the rest of my career with my knee. I still get pain sometimes. I have sore calves; I have sore hamstrings. I’m an old man. But I should be OK if I keep being as professional [with rehab] as I have been over the last three-and-a-half-months.”
The South African-born batsman has had an up and down Ashes series as he has been dismissed cheaply on many occasions, while, on the other hand, he also scored a breathtaking and match-saving century during the third Test at Old Trafford.
“It’s all part of the cycle of life,” Pietersen said. “Some days things are good for you and some days they are not. You just have to accept that.
“I don’t like to upset a dressing room by throwing and kicking things as other people have to bat and it doesn’t help them.”