Controversial England star Kevin Pietersen says he’s not arrogant ahead of 100th Test but regrets mistakes he’s made throughout his career.
Regrets, Kevin Pietersen has a few.
But in the end, the England cricket star did it his way.
Pietersen, 33, looked every inch the rock star as he sauntered into a Brisbane press conference ahead of this week’s Ashes opener – his 100th Test.
He then inadvertently compared his upcoming milestone with Indian great Sachin Tendulkar’s recent swansong.
And at one stage he turned the tables on the media when pressed on a text scandal that threatened to derail his international career.
However, Pietersen made no apologies for his perceived arrogance before celebrating the rare milestone in Thursday’s first Ashes Test at the Gabba.
“I can’t help people thinking I’m arrogant,” he said.
“I think a lot of great sportsmen out there have that little bit something special to them that makes them want to be the best.
“I call it confidence. You guys call it arrogance.”
Australia batsman David Warner was typically forthright when asked for his take on Pietersen.
“He’s already talking his garbage, but that’s how he is,” Warner said on Tuesday.
“He lets his ego take over and he thrives on that.
“We’re here to spoil it (Pietersen’s 100th Test) and I reckon we will.”
While Pietersen could not fathom why some had tall poppy syndrome, he was no shrinking violet on Tuesday.
Especially when questioned by an English journalist about sending “those” texts.
Pietersen was stood down by England after sending disparaging texts about teammates, including then captain Andrew Strauss, to South African rivals last year.
He insisted England’s team culture was strong again and revealed he had dined with Strauss this week in Brisbane.
But when pressed on the scandal, Pietersen said: “Have you ever made a mistake?”
The reporter replied: “We’re asking the questions.
Pietersen fired back: “Well I’m asking questions to you back.”
But he then added: “We (England) squad are all getting on, we’re all winning together and these things happen.
“We all make mistakes, we are a really good bunch and we are going really well.”
Still Pietersen may again put a few noses out of joint after mentioning cricketing royalty in the same breath of his milestone match.
“It (his 100th Test) is quite surreal, you look at what happened last week with Sachin Tendulkar (retired Indian great),” he said.
“When it’s you, I will look back at it and see it as something quite special, but at the moment I see it as an important Ashes series, one we have come to win.”
The devastating batsman said he wasn’t sure whether he was widely despised in the cricketing community because he was born in South Africa and moved to England.
“I had to fight some tough battles and be single minded in what I had to achieve,” he said.
“I can’t help people thinking I’m arrogant.
“I call it confidence, confidence in my ability, wanting to perform every single day. It doesn’t get documented how hard I train every day.”
Many have speculated Pietersen might retire after this Ashes series, however he has made it clear he has unfinished business over coming years.
Pietersen wants to retire with 10,000 Test runs (he currently has 7887), he wants to win the 2015 World Cup with England and he wants to score a Test ton in his country of birth, South Africa.