Cricket is my sport, I love playing it: Pietersen

Published: Wednesday, May 3, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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London:Kevin Pietersen is a maverick who loves to swim against the tide rather than flow with it and the strapping England bat said burnout maybe a problem for other cricketers but he is least bothered and hopes to continue for another decade at least.

''For some players it is a problem, but for me, I'm just a batter, I go out and score runs. I'm going to play for 10 years, and when I'm finished I don't want to think oh, I wish I'd played a bit more in 2006.'' ''I don't mind playing cricket. I love it. It's my sport, it's my hobby, it's something I love and crave, so burnout doesn't bother me,'' he was quoted as saying by The Guardian.

On the contrary, Pietersen adds, he would work overtime to evolve as a utility part-time bowler.

''I did a bit more than turn my arm over this winter and I think it's something I'm definitely going to have to do more of, for the good make-up of the team,'' said the South African-born cricketer.

Pietersen has been religiously sweating it out in the nets since his return from the tour of India and scored 98 off 73 balls in his first knock in the domestic season for Hampshire against Essex.

''I was hitting balls pretty well towards the end of the Indian trip, as well as I've hit them in my whole career, so I think it's really beneficial for me to hit more balls than most right now just to keep myself in tune.'' He also felt that with a number of frontline players battling injuries, it was for the youngsters to grab the opportunities with both hand and prove their mettle.

''All the injuries are a concern but it gives opportunities to other players. The guys who got their chances in India took them, Owais (Shah) did well, Alastair Cook, Liam Plunkett, they're all good cricketers and they'll do a fantastic job.''

On personal front, Pietersen said, ''I want to be successful in every game I play, and have a job to do for Hampshire on Sunday, and then for England next Thursday.'' ''My life has changed and it still does so daily, but one thing it hasn't done is hamper my cricket. All the other stuff, yes, it happens, it's part and parcel of the life I lead now, but it's still all about cricket to me, and it always will be,'' he added.

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