Friday 8 August 2014 

Kevin Pietersen Interview - CPL Is Helping Caribbean Cricket

Kevin Pietersen
Kevin Pietersen tells us that there is an 'incredible positive vibe' around the Caribbean Premier League
© Caribbean Premier League
 
Tom Moody, CPL International Director of Cricket, and Matthew Maynard, manager of the St. Lucia Zouks greet Kevin Pietersen on his arrival in St Kitts
Tom Moody, CPL International Director of Cricket, and Matthew Maynard, manager of the St. Lucia Zouks greet Kevin Pietersen on his arrival in St Kitts
© Caribbean Premier League
 

As he prepares to make his Caribbean Premier League debut for the St Lucia Zouks, Kevin Pietersen chatted to Cricket World about his time in the West Indies, Twenty20 cricket and life in general.

Pietersen, fresh from helping Surrey reach the semi-finals of the NatWest T20 Blast in England, will play St Lucia's final two games of the regular season at Warner Park in Saint Kitts.

Already, he is settling in well, telling us that he feels at home with the way that cricket is played in the Caribbean.

Listen To The Full Interview:

"It's relaxed, chilled out, there an incredible positive vibe about the tournament and you're out here to have fun," he said.

"All the good things about cricket happen out here - the enjoyment, the relaxation, the fun and the competitiveness...I love the Caribbean way of life.

"The fans here are fanatical and it's brilliant that the CPL has come here to St Kitts," he added.

Plenty of runs were scored as the CPL headed to Warner Park last night (7th August), and although the ground is small, and Pietersen has had success there in the past, he is taking nothing for granted.

"I love the ground at Warner Park, but that guarantees nothing. I've scored hundreds all around the world but probably scored ducks at the same grounds as well.

"It doesn't matter what you've done or what your record is, you start on nought every single day.

"I'd like to contribute this weekend but you are guaranteed nothing in cricket."

Being guaranteed nothing is something he stresses throughout and it is certainly something that many starting out in the game would do well to take on board.

But what about the young West Indians getting a chance to play alongside and against some of the greats of the modern game?

For Pietersen, this can only be a good thing for the development of cricket in the region, as he argues it has been for India since the launch of the Indian Premier League in 2008.

"The IPL was set up a few years ago, and have a look at the youngsters coming through playing for India now, and that's because of these incredible environments to learn.

"They are great acadamies for the game. When you put youngsters alongside international players , stars form around the world, and iconic players from their respective countries, and they do the business on a daily basis, there is no better academy than that.

"It helped the game in India and it is helping the game in the Caribbean - 100 per cent."

And finally, he says is ready to go out and perform for the Zouks against the Jamaica Tallawahs and the Guyana Amazon Warriors, but again, he is taking nothing for granted.

"I feel in good form, I've been getting 20s and 30s the majority of the time I batted in England.

"I improved throughout the IPL after a slow start because of my (broken) finger but Twenty20 cricket is what it is...sometimes you take risks that come off, sometimes they don't.

"I'd love to go out and get some runs this weekend but like I said, you are guaranteed nothing in life."

He may well be right, but given what has gone before in this year's competition there is a strong case for saying that you are guaranteed entertainment as the Caribbean Premier League 2014 heads towards its final stages.

And Pietersen will be hoping he can provide some of it himself.

Kevin Pietersen will be representing the St. Lucia Zouks in the Caribbean Premier League. The Biggest Party in Sport has landed in St. Kitts as it builds up to the final on August 16th. See CPLT20.com for more details.

© Cricket World 2014