Kevin Pietersen gave a MAK Pataudi lecture recently and remembered the former South African captain Hansie Cronje. He said that his life came to a standstill during a match-fixing scandal. Pietersen highlighted the relevance of some of the test cricketers in addition to the late Hansie Cronje and some of the names including Shane Warne, Sachin Tendulkar, Steve Waugh, Malcolm Marshall and Kapil Dev. Cronje was trapped in the 2000 match fixing scandal when he confessed about taking bribes to fix matches along with other players. After a few years later, he died in an air crash and people suspect that he might have been killed with a master plan by his rivals.

Pietersen, the only overseas cricketer was invited to give a lecture in the honor of Indian captain Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi. Referring to the cricketers he named above, each one played his share of matches at the one-day. However, when you look back on their special achievements and best performances, especially when they were dressed in white, it gives a great feeling and passion for the game. The trousers and caps stained with grass, sweat and blood at times indeed prove the depth and fondness the players had for cricket.

Kevin Pietersen reckons that Phillip Hughes always entertained people when he was out there on the wicket batting. Hughes passed away last week after getting seriously injured playing first class cricket back in Australia and the whole cricket community has been taken aback by that.

Hughes was very popular among his opponents too. He always used to have a smile on his face and that’s why he was so much loved. He never got into any kind of sledging or controversy with anyone.

And, it’s not only Hughes’ attitude, his batting was pretty likeable too. He was not the most elegant batsman that ever played the game. He was awkward in his batting stance. He had his own technique. He never looked good while playing his shots, but, he was as effective as anyone else.

At the age of 20, the left hander was asked to play a test match against a destructive South African pace attack. He had just passed his teenage. He did not have too much first class appearance. He was back to the hut on duck in his first innings, but, his next three scores were 75, 115 and 160.

It tells certain things about his mentality. It’s never easy for a young man to face the kind of attack that South Africa had at that time. Steyn was fast and furious. He still is, but, at that time, he was express. However, Hughes just kept cutting him past gully for numerous boundaries.

The South Africans knew that Hughes had a weakness there, outside the off stump, but, the youngster from New South Wales just did not let them exploit that.

Speaking about Hughes, Pietersen said, “Phil always entertained people. Whenever he was at the crease, things happened. He was a superstar.”