Kevin Pietersen: Technology has helped cricket, from analysis to umpiring

Pietersen Batting At Lord's - 2011

It’s definitely helped me.

How has technology influenced how you train?

I like to visualise things as I prepare for an international match. So when we started getting computer and video analysis on each and every player who you’re going to play against, it helped me visualise what I was going to expect the next day. Then again, those players also have the same information on you. So it’s a double-edged sword. People know how to exploit your weaknesses.

And how do you feel about how technology’s influenced umpiring?

I’m very happy with it. Sport moves forward, the world is moving forward, so anything that helps bring the game up to date is good.

What would you think of a “smart” bat and ball recording details of a match?

I’m happy with the bats and balls we use. I’m afraid that’s a bit too 22nd century for me.

How has technology changed how you interact with fans?

Social media is a huge bonus in terms of how sportsmen can portray themselves and how we interact. It’s good for setting the record straight, and it also helps to get good messages out there, like raising awareness for different charities and foundations.

Which social media do you like to use?

I use lots of different platforms but at the moment the one I’m spending most time on is BreatheSport [Kevin Pietersen has recently joined Breathesport’s team of sports personalities]. I’ve already been on there 10 times this morning to check sports updates and breaking news. It’s good fun because I can comment on what’s happening and interact with fans there too.

Twitter caused a few problems when you were playing for England – how do you feel about it now?

I blow hot and cold with it. I prefer Instagram these days, it’s simpler to use. Plus there’s a few more keyboard gangsters on Twitter than there are on Instagram.

To be fair, one of those gangsters is your friend Piers Morgan.

He’s amazing on Twitter. He is absolutely brilliant. People might not like the things he says but everybody follows him!

What apps are on your phone?

I’m not one of those people who likes to have three or four pages of them, so I don’t have very many. I check the weather every day, so I’ve got the weather app. I’ve got Snapseed for my pictures, GoPro, and then I’ve got some property ones like PrimeLocation – they’re getting used quite often at the moment – we’re always on the lookout. I’ve also got all the kids games I play with my son Dylan.

How often do you Google yourself?

When I was playing for England I did it occasionally. The last time was when all the nonsense was going down with the ECB last year [when Pietersen was dropped from the England team], just to check up on all the stuff that was going on. It’s good to see what’s been written but nowadays I’ve got literally no interest in what the media have to say.

What’s the first thing you’d make on a 3D printer?

(Long pause) An aircraft.

Go big?


So would you like your own private jet taking you around the world?

I think that is every boy’s dream.

What’s your choice computer game?

The only one I have is one on my phone. Dylan and I compete against each other on Subway Surfer, and if I haven’t practised for a while Dylan cleans me out.

Do you want to be a pilot?

If I wasn’t a cricketer I’d have been a pilot. My wife bought me a flying lesson so I have done quite a bit. I’m not sure I want to be flying one by myself but I do have a fascination for planes.

What’s your most expensive pieceof technology?

My car, I’ve just bought the new Tesla. Now that is technology. It’s the most amazing car I’ve ever driven, it’s incredibly fast and silent, I think it’s a stroke of genius.

Would you like a driverless car?

No. I was given a Mercedes-Benz to drive the other day while I was in Australia and it has the parking technology where you don’t have to steer the car. I never used that function once. I like to park my own car.

Sat nav or map book?

Sat nav. I was in Barbados last week and we hired a Jeep that didn’t have satnav and I was all at sea. Almost literally! It’s quite hard to get lost on an island like Barbados, small as it is, but we did a good job of it.

Would you keep your phone on the table at dinner?

We banned it in our family last year. I don’t think it’s very sociable having a phone beeping all the time, and I do spend quite a lot of time on there because of the businesses I run. Our dinners are a lot more sociable now.

If you had a time machine when would you travel to?

I’ve got this fascination with how long it’s going to take before cars will be able to convert into planes. I’ve seen they’re making them in America at the moment. I’m wondering whether our skies are going to become pretty busy in 70, 80 years time. I’d like to see that.

Powered by article was written by Emma John, for The Observer on Saturday 7th March 2015 10.00 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010