Pietseren’s jab at South African-born cricketers in England team

July 17th, 2011 - 9:13 pm ICT by IANS  

London, July 17 (IANS) England’s maverick batsman Kevin Pietersen has stirred a debate over the prevalence of South African-born cricketers in the team by saying “I’m not English, I just work here.”

In a diary published by Australian cricketer Ed Cowan, the author claimed that during England’s match against Australia A, Pietersen reacted angrily to being called ‘English’ despite the fact that the South African sports a tattoo of the Three Lions, the symbol of English cricket, on his arm.

The Daily Mail reported that according to Cowan, Pietersen ‘was heard to exclaim, as he cast his eye over the lunch buffet: “What the **** is this?” ‘ Cowan told him that, being English, he should recognise bread-and-butter pudding when he saw it, to which he claims Pietersen replied: ‘I’m not ****ing English, Eddie. I just work here!’

The Pietermaritzburg-born Pietersen along with Test captain Andrew Strauss, Jonathan Trott, Matt Prior, Craig Kieswetter, Jade Dernbach and Michael Lumb are the sseven South African-born cricketers, who have been selected to represent England this summer.

Out of the seven, four cricketers, Pietersen, Strauss, Trott and wicketkeeper Prior, were selected Sunday morning in the England squad for the first Test against India at Lord’s starting Thursday.

While England are trying away from controversies and stay focus on the series, where they have a chance to wrest the No.1 Test tag from India, Pietersen’s claims will put them in a spot of bother.

Pietersen, however, has always admitted that he switched loyalties to England to realise his dream of playing in Tests. Pietersen felt that it was tough to realise his Test dream in South Africa because of their quota system following the collapse of apartheid.

Strauss also laughed off Pietersen’s comments, saying: “If he did say that, I’m sure he said it in jest.”

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