Former England batting star Kevin Pietersen believes Pakistan cricket team will make a statement when their tour starts on Thursday with the first Test against Alastair Cook and co.
Pietersen, who participated in the inaugural Pakistan Super League (PSL) and represented Quetta Gladiators, says after watching their cricket closely he has understood that the nation takes the game very seriously.
“Pakistan will want to come here and make a statement given the last tour was such a disaster,” he wrote. “They are a proud nation. They love their cricket and the sport is watched by millions in Pakistan. I know the Pakistan players want to put on a great show for their fans at home. We can see from the PSL that they have a depth of talent in their game.”
However, the 36-year-old thinks that Pakistan does not have enough potential in batting to beat the hosts.
“It is going to be a great series but I don’t believe Pakistan can beat England,” said Pietersen. “Their batting is not strong enough and England have a bowling attack that, in home conditions, can beat the best in the world.”
Some of you might disagree, but guess how much I care...? DON'T CHEAT IN ANY SPORT - https://t.co/86te38Q8Mp. 💉 or 💵 = 🖕🏻!— Kevin Pietersen🦏 (@KP24) July 12, 2016
Meanwhile, he also revealed that he was approached by the Pakistan Cricket Board for a role as a batting consultant for their tour to England.
“I wish Pakistan luck and I have a big respect for their game after playing in the PSL, so much so that I was honoured when they approached me to help them out as a batting consultant on this tour,” he said. “But my schedule is too busy at the moment and my loyalty to England that means at this stage I would not want to work against them. This series is there for England to win.”
Broad fears Amir can cause 'some damage'
‘No second chances for cheaters’
Since Mohammad Amir is making headlines in England after his performances in the three-day matches against Somerset and Sussex, Pietersen also gave his opinion on the case.
“Any sportsman or woman caught match fixing, spot fixing or taking drugs should be banned for life,” he said. “They have broken the rules, should pay the price and not be given a second chance. If you cheat the system either by taking drugs or money to under-perform then you are mugging the spectators, your team-mates and a sport that has been around a lot longer than you.”
Pietersen also differentiated life from sports and said one should not expect second chances as a professional athlete.
“People always deserve a second chance in life but sport is different,” he claimed. “We are paid to play a sport we love and are damn lucky to lead the life of a professional cricketer. To try and gain an advantage by taking drugs or devaluing your sport by being bribed is breaking the 11th and 12th commandments. There can be no way back.”
Moreover, the right-hand batsman thinks the focus of the media will shift away from Amir after the first Test match.
“The focus will shift off Amir eventually,” said Pietersen. “Once the first Test is out of the way the media will move on. The crowds at Edgbaston and Old Trafford will probably give him some stick but people will quickly realise Amir is an unbelievably good bowler.”
Pietersen heaped praise on the left-arm pacer by saying: “I faced him in the Pakistan Super League in Dubai earlier this year. Yes, he was bowling with the white ball but his skill levels are as good as they were before the ban.
“He is just as quick, and as competitive as ever. He is a star bowler because he has this ability to change angles over and around the wicket. He can swing the new ball late and has a very good bouncer. He is in your face and it is very hard to get on top of him.”
Kevin Pietersen wrote for The Telegraph
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