"England batsman Kevin Pietersen has sparked a new controversy about his South African connection and British citizenship after announcing ‘I am not English, I just work here.’
Pietersen’s comments have rekindled the debate over the prevalence of South African-born cricketers in the England set-up, The Daily Mail reports.
Pietersen, born in Pietermaritzburg in South Africa, will be one of four players from South Africa — alongside captain Andrew Strauss, Jonathan Trott and wicketkeeper Matt Prior — included this morning in the England squad for the first Test against India at Lord’s which starts on Thursday.
Pietersen has always acknowledged that he first came to England to further an ambition to play Test cricket, which he could not realize in his native land because of their quota system following the collapse of apartheid.
But his feelings about which country he calls home have again been called into question following publication of a diary by Australian cricketer Ed Cowan.
In his book, Cowan writes of an incident involving Pietersen during England’s match against Australia A. 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!’
Pietersen’s agent, Adam Wheatley has said that Cowan’s claim ‘does not really warrant a response’.