Kevin Peter Pietersen MBE (born 27 June 1980 in Pietermaritzburg, Natal, South Africa) is an English cricketer. He is an attacking right-handed batsman and occasional off spin bowler who plays for Hampshire County Cricket Club, England, and was captain of the Indian Premier League team Royal Challengers Bangalore. He was captain of the England Test and One Day International teams from 4 August 2008 to 7 January 2009. He resigned after just three tests and nine One Day Internationals, following a dispute with England coach Peter Moores, who was sacked the same day.
He made his first-class debut for Natal in 1997 before moving to England after voicing his displeasure at the racial quota system in place in South Africa, and to further his opportunities for playing at international level. His English mother gave Pietersen eligibility to play for England, and after serving a qualifying period of four years playing at county level, he was called up almost immediately into the national side. He made his international debut in the One Day International match against Zimbabwe in 2004, and his Test match debut in the 2005 Ashes series against Australia the following year.
Pietersen became the fastest batsman to reach both 1000 and 2000 runs in One Day International cricket, and has the highest average of any England player to have played more than 20 innings of one-day cricket. He has the second-highest run total from his first 25 Tests, behind only the Australian Donald Bradman, and was the fastest player, in terms of days, to reach 4,000 Test runs. He became only the third English batsman to top the ICC One Day International rankings, doing so in March 2007. In July 2008, after a century against South Africa, The Times called him "the most complete batsman in cricket". Shane Warne, a close friend, in a September serial for the same newspaper, wrote, "I don't think he has an obvious flaw in his technique."