Raisina Dialogue: Politics is a poisoned chalice, says KP

Former England skipper Kevin Pietersen says world is scary place and sport should be used to unite people

NEW DELHI | Updated: 03 March, 2023 11:40 pm IST
Kevin Pietersen joined former UK PM Tony Blair and EAM Dr S Jaishankar for a session

Known for his straight talk and his many brushes with the England and Wales Cricket Board, former England skipper Kevin Pietersen again played with a straight bat as he termed politics as a poisoned chalice.

Pietersen was speaking at a panel discussion titled ‘Turbulence, Temperament, And Temerity: Leadership In The Age Of Uncertainty’ at Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi on Friday, March 3. External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar and former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair were part of the panel discussion.

“I think it’s the poisoned chalice at the moment, but I think with the poisoned chalice comes incredible leaders,” Pietersen said when asked if he wants to take the plunge into politics.

The South African-born cricketer, who was also known as one of the most captivating cricketers to have donned the English colours, also said that “the war, conflict and pandemic have made the world a scary place”.

Pietersen referred to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the COVID-19 pandemic, and geopolitical tensions and said the world is, at the moment, a scary place.

One of the most talked about English cricketers, who is also famous for his bold strokeplay, Pietersen, said that if sport can be used to unite and bring people together, it should be used for that purpose.

“The war is scary. Pandemics and future pandemics are scary. So when we talk about cricket and the opportunity to unite, sport should be used. I think that sport can be used in some sort of fashion to be able to try and mend it (the world),” he said.

Pietersen also said politics should not merge with sports in a manner where it picks teams and favours different people. “Right now, any opportunity to unify and unite, whether it’s countries or people, needs to happen,” he said.

“The last couple of years have been chaos for all of us. So if there are new opportunities and we need to change the way that we think, I think now is the right time to do it. And if cricket or sport is something that can be used in a conversation, why can’t we use it,” he added.

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