London: Flamboyant England batsman Kevin Pietersen, who is returning from an injury, sounded a warning to his critics, saying the appetite for runs still
exists and he can play international cricket for another five years.
30-year-old Pietersen, who flew home from the 2011 World Cup due to hernia, was under fire after he had made an appearance at a London nightspot shortly after his return from the sub-continent.
"I had a really bad hernia on the left side and when they opened me up on the right side they realised I had a double hernia so it wasn`t any surprise I was in the amount of pain I was in," Pietersen told the media on the eve of the first Test against Sri Lanka in Cardiff.
"But that`s gone, done and dusted, I`m not worried about that, I`m fully fit and ready for a bumper summer with England."
"So many people have been saying that I don`t have the bug and that cricket is not my thing anymore. But I have only achieved half of what I want to achieve in the game."
Pietersen said he is serious about his cricket and intends to represent England for another five years at least.
"I`m 30 years of age and I want to try to play for another five years. If I get a fair crack at it, I want to be the best player I can possibly be, and there`s nothing that
detracts me from that. I`ve always said I want to challenge myself against the best players in the world and nothing has changed."
The hard-hitting batsman further added,"I cannot stress how important cricket is to me; I love cricket and playing for England.
"I still want to get 10,000 Test runs and I`m six hundreds away from scoring the most by an Englishman," said Pietersen.
Pietersen, who experienced a lean phase after giving up captaincy following a spat with then coach Peter Moores in 2009, came back with a bang that includes scoring an Ashes double.
"I had a bad couple of years. I went away in September last year to go and do some soul-searching, to sort myself out, to find out what really ticks and to go and work with people who know me inside out.”
"I came away from that and a month later I got a double hundred in Adelaide and averaged 60 in the Ashes. And I`m back playing as well as I`ve ever played. So I`m just happy where I am as a cricketer at the moment."