Whilst cricket fans will not see Kevin Pietersen at the World Cup playing in the colours of England they will still have an opportunity to hear him commentate on games during the tournament.
England’s all-time leading run-scorer has agreed to join up with the BBC’s Test Match Special commentary team from the quarter-finals of the World Cup onwards and will no doubt prove to be a great addition to the programme.
Speaking to the BBC, Pietersen was excited about the announcement of his new role: "I really enjoyed having a go at some commentary during the Big Bash"
"It will be good to return to Australia for the climax of what should be an exciting tournament."
BBC’s head of radio sport Richard Burgess is also keen to hear Pietersen commentating. He said: "This is an ambitious year for cricket on BBC radio - with 5 live leading the way with its biggest ever offer.
"I'd also like to welcome Kevin Pietersen to the fold for the Cricket World Cup and look forward to hearing him on TMS."
Interestingly Pietersen will join up with a number of characters who are also known for their strong opinions on English cricket, Yorkshiremen Michael Vaughan and Geoff Boycott to name just two.
But more controversially he will be in a line-up that includes ex-teammate Graeme Swann who he was critical of, amongst others, in his recent book published at the end of last year.
There will most likely be an expectation for listening figures to improve because of Pietersen’s appointment and, quite possibly, they will. The former England captain will have plenty to say, and there may perhaps be more TMS converts now he will have the mic in hand.
What will be particularly interesting is to hear Pietersen’s views about English cricket. Will he be reserved in his judgements because he is live on air or, more typically, the forthright Kevin Pietersen that we know best?
An England future?
There no doubt will be questions to arise over his future, and his past, and it will be good to hear his own views rather than those in newspapers or other forms of media, which are not necessarily true.
The BBC should not try and censor him and try to leave him to say what he sees and thinks, within reason. He will not be shy in coming forward, just like his batting.
By the time Pietersen starts his commentary stint it could be possible that England will already be out of the tournament. Hopefully this will not be the case though and he gets the opportunity to commentate on some of his former team-mates and. And with commentary more of an instant reaction to the game, rather than a considered approach, we may well get to know Pietersen a lot better.
If England do well will Pietersen be made to eat his own words about his criticism of the team and certain individuals, or will there be more clamour to reintroduce him back to the side the team fails miserably once again?
Whatever happens the BBC have achieved a real coup for cricket on the radio, whilst Pietersen may well have unearthed a new future for himself once his playing days are over.
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