England great Kevin Pietersen to bid goodbye to professional cricket after third edition of PSL

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One final hurrah for the England maverick.

Kevin Pietersen is set to bid goodbye to all forms of professional cricket following the conclusion of the third edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) which gets underway on Thursday in Dubai.

The equally loved and hated former England batsman took to Instagram to post an emotional message describing how tough it had been for him to make this call.

“Countless goodbyes to Jessica Liberty and my kids as a cricket player and this one this evening is the last one I’ll ever have to do.  I’ve hated every goodbye but also known it’s work so just gotten on with it,” he wrote.

“The journey has been absolutely amazing & for the next 3/4 weeks I’ll be a current professional & then it’s chapter closed!  Had my time & loved it but the endless goodbyes & travel needs to calm down now.

“Cricket has been the best!”

The South Africa-born 37-year-old played 104 Tests, 136 ODIs and 37 T20Is for England after making his debut for the Three Lions in a one-dayer against Zimbabwe in 2004. His last appearance for the national team came in the 5-0 2013-14 Ashes series whitewash against Australia.

Having scored 8,181 runs in Test cricket, including 23 tons and 35 half-centuries, Pietersen remains one of the greatest batsman England have ever produced. In 2013, he had become England’s highest-run scorer across all formats.

A batsman who captured the imagination of cricket lovers with his delicious stroke-making, Pietersen is mostly fondly remembered for his contribution in his maiden Ashes for England in 2005, where he helped the hosts recapture the urn with a superb 158 on the final day of the series at the Oval.

Pietersen's maiden Ashes series was one to savour.

Pietersen’s maiden Ashes series was one to savour.

However, his tenure with national team had been fraught with controversies ranging from run-ins with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), former coaches Peter Moores and Andy Flower, along with teammate Andrew Strauss.

His relationship with the ECB never really recovered and that has been the main cause for his exclusion from the side since the start of 2014.

The gifted batsman has since been plying his trade with various T20 franchises around the globe while also doing some television punditry.

Representing the Quetta Gladiators in the PSL, Pietersen has guided the side to two finals in the previous editions though they have ended up on the losing side on both occasions. It would only be fitting if he can take them over the line finally in his last hurrah with professional cricket.

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