Kevin Pietersen still open to owning a team in the SA20
by Vijay Tagore • Last updated on Thu, Feb 9, 2023
Kevin Pietersen wanted to own a team in the SA20, he ended up being a commentator instead. He knows why he could not buy a side but has not given up hope. “Yes, I was one of the bidders,” the South Africa-born former England captain concedes. “I wanted to buy one of the teams but I wouldn’t have enough money to own a team.”
He declares that he would grab an opportunity if it came his way from any of the six teams through an offer of partnership. “It’s a space that interests me. I don’t know if that’s a possibility. But it interests me yes,” the England cricket legend, here in South Africa as a commentator for Sports 18, further says.
He is happy with the success of SA20 and credits it to the changes in rules which, he says, have made the games interesting. A Bonus Point, for instance, is earned when a team wins a game with a run rate that is 1.25 better than the opposition. The captains are also allowed to nominate 13 players before the toss and select their final XI later. No byes are given when a batsman is bowled off a free-hit and the ball ricochets off the timber.
“The new rules are very, very good. The toss doesn’t play too much of a role. I like the innovations. Bonus point is also a great idea. You can see bonus point has played a role here (in identifying the semifinalists). I mean, you want to change the rules to make it more entertaining for everybody. Why not? Keep progressing. Keep changing the game. Keep making it entertaining. And keep also the players on their toes,” he advises the administrator.
Besides being a champion of Test cricket, Pietersen remains a fan of T20 cricket but thinks the 50-over cricket cannot be dispensed with despite the format becoming long and boring. “We can’t say that cricket would be better off without ODIs because we’re not there yet. We may see it in the future though the World Cup is such a valuable item. In my career I was able to win everything except for the 50 over World Cup. We won the Ashes, we beat India in India, we won the T20 World Cup. I never got the 50 over World Cup. So, it’s one of those regrets.”
He says ODI cricket is ailing because it does not provide instant gratification like T20Is. “Earlier, once we boarded a plane we would not know what was happening to a game. Now we’re on an aeroplane and I’m speaking to people in three different planes in three different places talking about work. So that instant gratification is what is actually, I think, hurting the longer format of the games. I think it’s hurting 50 over cricket in particular.”
Pietersen, who played 104 Tests, 136 ODIs and 37 T20Is, says the mindset of the England team has changed and that is the reason for their recent successes. He also feels the Indian team is also capable of playing such attacking cricket. “I think it’s a mindset. I think they’ve got a coach that is making sure that they’re not scared of failing. They don’t care about getting out, they just go out and play.
“I think India should follow it. I think India bats too slowly despite having the players. They have the players but still… I think they must go out there and emulate what England are doing. You saw what Australia used to do in cricket all those years ago, people started to match Australia or England or change the way the shortest form of the game was played. Even Test match cricket can be played that way by the Indian team