Kevin Pietersen retires from cricket to save rhinos
With his body no longer able to handle playing, the 37-year-old former England Test cricketer is planning to throw himself into conservation work.
Kevin Pietersen has confirmed his retirement at the age of 37, citing fitness concerns among his reasons for walking away from cricket and statting that he will be throwing his weight behind the international campaign to prevent the extinction of rhinoceros in the wild.
Pietersen appeared to announce he was quitting the sport with a social media post on Friday that read: "BOOTS UP! Thank you!"
And the South African, who represented England at international level, has now confirmed the Pakistan Super League was his final tournament.
Quetta Gladiators advanced to the play-offs and play Peshawar Zalmi in an eliminator on Tuesday, but Pietersen will not be playing.
"I've had enough," Pietersen told ITV. "Twenty overs of fielding feels like playing a Test match, so it's time to hang up the boots.
"I've got better and bigger things to go on to now. I've had a wonderful career but I just don't think I've got it in me to keep improving or try to improve."
Someone just tweeted me to tell me that I scored 30000+ runs including 152 fifty’s & 68 hundreds in my pro career. 4 Ashes wins. Home & away! T20 WC win. Beaten India in India. Home & away 100’s in all major Test nations apart from Bangladesh. All dedicated to my family who have just been the most unreal supporters through thick & thin! I’m super proud of everything! Thank you for all the quite lovely msgs! I loved entertaining you all! Ciao, cricket! I love this game!
Pietersen scored 8181 runs in 104 Tests and the destructive batsman was named Player of the Series after leading England to the World Twenty20 title in 2010.
But his international career came to an end in 2014 after Pietersen was involved in a rift with his team-mates.
"Being a South African in an English dressing room is occasionally frowned upon but I felt incredibly accepted and I loved my career," Pietersen said.
"I didn't mind pressing buttons to try and achieve really good things and to get the best out of people I had to press buttons they didn't like.
"Unfortunately or fortunately that's my character. I strive to be the best I can possibly be and help others be the best they can be and sometimes I rubbed them up the wrong way, I said things they were uncomfortable with.
"It is what it is. I had a pretty cool time doing my job and it really is one of the greatest things calling yourself a professional sportsman."
Lots asking what I’m going to do next...I’m going to take the same passion & hard work into trying to save rhinos from extinction.— Kevin Pietersen (@KP24) March 17, 2018
If we all help, it’ll be greater than any of our achievements in any walk of life!
Let’s do this, team! #SORAI
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