An accolade for us all - Pietersen
Kevin Pietersen hailed his England team-mates after their historic ICC World Twenty20 final victory over Australia in Barbados.
Pietersen was named man of the tournament after scoring 248 runs, including 47 off 31 balls in England’s seven-wicket victory over their old enemies in today’s final at the Kensington Oval.
"It’s been a pretty interesting week for me,” said Pietersen, who flew back to London last weekend and became a father for the first time this week before returning to the Caribbean.
“It is incredible really. It’s one that will only sink in in a few weeks’ time.
“I had a little kid on Monday and this trophy here. But this trophy goes to all the lads.
“They support each other and share each other’s success. The more you play, the more you win and the more it becomes a habit, like the great Australians. This team is hungry for success; we want to win.
“What a great, great tournament, good for the boys. It's never easy playing Australia, but our bowlers did a great job this morning and 150 wasn't enough.
“To contribute to this, there’s no greater feeling. “To do what we have done here in the past two weeks - priceless.”
Craig Kieswetter, who was named man of the match for his destructive 63 off 49 deliveries, tasted success in his first competition as a member of England’s Twenty20 team.
The 22-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman said: “It’s been a bit of a roller-coaster ride for the past couple of months, so to be sat here having won a World Cup is obviously a dream come true.
“It’s been a great experience. To play against the Australians in the final makes it all much better. I wouldn’t say it was easy, but it’s nice to get runs in a final.”
Kieswetter and Pietersen dovetailed effectively during a one-sided final, putting on 111 for the second wicket in 11.2 overs.
Although Kieswetter outscored Pietersen, the newcomer paid tribute to his more experienced team-mate.
“It makes it a lot easier for me. It takes the pressure off and allows me to play quite freely,” Kieswetter said.
Pietersen was only too happy to return the compliment, having been pleasantly surprised by Kieswetter’s clean hitting over the last fortnight.
“I have been really impressed with Kiesy since he has come in. I hadn’t seen him play; I didn’t know what he did,” said Pietersen.
“I knew he hit the ball hard. But on Monday when I was at home, I watched the game for an hour or so and I saw how still he keeps his head and how he plays - and I was really, really impressed.
“What a great start, coming into the team and winning a World Cup - and he has been such a great part of it.”
“All the lads have taken to him and he’s done a fantastic job. Long may it continue in his career.”
Eoin Morgan, who was at the crease when captain Paul Collingwood hit the winning runs, paid tribute to Kieswetter and Pietersen.
“It was a magnificent knock from Craig and Kevin and I didn’t have much to do at the end,” he said.
“We’re pretty happy with the performance and delighted with the win. It’s been fantastic, something I’ve always dreamed of.”
Stuart Broad added: “It’s such a special occasion for us. We played well throughout the whole tournament.
“It’s a huge thing to win a World Cup but the way we won it was so special as well.”
Ryan Sidebottom, who took 2-26 off four overs, said: “I just can’t stop laughing. It’s absolutely amazing.”