KP to strut his stuff at city’s Oval

2010-09-10 00:00

AND they say this city is boring!

Whoever said that Maritzburg is nothing but a pit-stop between Durban and the city of traffic has clearly not heard of one Kevin Pietersen.

In an amazing twist of fate, the great — but not of late — KP will re-launch his ascent to greatness at the PMB Oval, as that is where the first of his two Supersport Series matches for the KZN Dolphins is scheduled for from October 7.

Call it a clumsy home-coming if you will, but the jaded genius will prepare for the rapidly approaching Ashes in the shadow of his alma mater, Maritzburg College.

Pietersen has gone a helluva long way since his days in College greys and basher, but the dashing England batsman will come back to find some of the magic that he has lost in international cricket over the past 18 months.

Pietersen’s whistle-stop tour before the highly anticipated Ashes has been given the nod by Cricket South Africa, and all that is left is for the 30-year-old to show up with something approaching his A-game.

It is a peculiar set of events, but it seems that everyone will be a winner in all of this.

Pietersen, much to his credit, initiated the entire process and will gain the most should he spend sufficient time at the crease.

The Dolphins, who will probably be without Messrs Amla, Miller and Bosman, will gain the small matter of one of the world’s most dangerous players in their top-order.

The Inland cricket region should also profit from a crowd that should surely swell from the obligatory pop-in from caring girlfriends and procrastinating financial advisers.

The rare opportunity to see one of the world’s best players — for free — doesn’t come often, not even at a sports mecca such as our beloved town of Pietermaritzburg.

Pietersen’s sensible approach to being dropped — tempestuous tweets aside — should be applauded, especially as it was he who had suggested a few months ago that he didn’t see the point of playing county cricket.

His ramblings and continued failings with the bat have met with some sharp criticism from administrators and former players in England. They felt he needed to be dropped, needed to be taken down a notch.

So the relative serenity of Maritzburg — save for a few blue lights — should suit Pietersen to the ground.

Dolphins coach Graham Ford, who has always been in regular contact with Pietersen, was delighted with the confirmation.

“We started speaking about the possibility from the end of the Test series against Pakistan,” Ford explained last night.

“I think it is a brilliant idea for Kevin, and it will obviously be a massive boost for the Dolphins.

“You are talking about one of the best players in the world, so if one or a few of our youngsters spends a decent amount of time in the middle with him, it will be excellent for their progress,” Ford added.

Pietersen has already shown signs of a return to his annoyingly brilliant best.

He chalked up a free-scoring century for his latest county, Surrey, last week, and reports suggest his authority and confidence at the crease are returning.

So much for Sleepy Hollow.

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