Published: Saturday October 20, 2012 MYT 9:37:00 AM
Cricket: Rain robs rusty Pietersen of batting practice
DURBAN: Recalled England batsman Kevin Pietersen was robbed of much-needed batting practice Friday when a Champions League Twenty20 fixture scheduled for Kingsmead was washed out.
Pietersen was part of the Delhi Daredevils team scheduled to play Auckland Aces in the Indian Ocean city, but steady rain over three hours forced the organisers to concede defeat 70 minutes before the cut-off time.
The batsman was added to the England squad Thursday for a November tour of India two months after being kicked out of the team for criticising teammates in text messages to South African opponents during a home Test series.
His only competitive action since came last Saturday near Pretoria when he scored 14 runs off 18 balls as the Daredevils defeated fellow Indian Premier League outfit Kolkata Knight Riders comfortably in a first round game.
The presence of Pietersen is one reason a star-saturated Daredevils squad are among the title favourites and their next fixture is against the Perth Scorchers at Newlands in Cape Town Sunday.
Often controversial Pietersen has been moving well below the radar since arriving in South Africa last week with few sightings of the 32-year-old by domestic media.
He was spotted in t-shirt and jeans walking alone in an upscale northern Johannesburg shopping mall with no sign of the mobile phone that triggered so much trouble during August.
"Could this be the same man who has made a career out of riling some of the people all of the time? Was this nondescript really KP, slayer of bowlers, both demon and dull?," asked the Johannesburg Times.
"It was. The expensive aroma of arrogance, even at 15 metres and after everything the world had done to Pietersen recently, was unmistakable," it added.
Pietersen was also seen at a plush nightclub in the same mall with Daredevils teammates, dancing, joking and showing a fondness for champagne.
Pietersen was the centre of attention at the packed club and proved he has more to offer than brilliant batting strokes as he hit the dance floor with Sri Lankan Mahela Jayawardene and Australian David Warner. - AFP