TELFORD VICE, Cape Town
KEVIN Pietersen put enough bite where his bark was in last season’s franchise T20 competition to prompt the Dolphins to secure his services again.
Pietermaritzburg-born and schooled Pietersen will play five games for the KwaZulu-Natalians in the second half of the tournament and would be available if they reached the knockout stages, the franchise said in a statement on Wednesday.
“He is a world class player in all formats of the game and in T20 he is no doubt one of the best there has ever been,” the statement quoted Dolphins coach Grant Morgan as saying.
Pietersen is indeed among the most sought after T20 mercenaries, and he showed why last season by reeling off 115 not out, 100 not out, 68 and 59 in consecutive innings to power the Dolphins to the semi-final – which they won to reach the decider.
Then, perhaps betrayed by his South African blood, he underperformed when it mattered most and put just 10 runs – the lowest score of his seven innings in the tournament – into the kitty.
But Morgan was confident Pietersen would be more than just another hired gun in his dressingroom.
“It’s a privilege to have a player join us at the Dolphins who has such an impact on the squad, the tournament as well as the fans and we look forward to him having a huge impact on our team, and indeed the whole competition,” Morgan was quoted as saying.
Pietersen said the decision to sign up for the Dolphins again was easy because he had “really enjoyed the team, the camaraderie and the competition”.
The release did not disclose how much Petersen will earn for his few weeks’ work, but he is able to command a high price among T20 suits.
The Dolphins will hope Pietersen’s play is as pretty as the penny they will pay him.