Devastated Pietersen adds to World Cup injury woes

NEW DELHI, March 7, 2011 (AFP) – England star Kevin Pietersen became the injury-cursed World Cup’s latest victim on Monday, his high-profile departure predictably dwarfing Canada’s low-key win over fellow no-hopers Kenya. Pietersen will head home to undergo a hernia operation that he had been hoping to postpone until after the competition.

But after looking troubled during Sunday’s six-run win over his native South Africa in Chennai, where he made just two off three balls, the 30-year-old will go under the knife immediately.

“I fly home tonight. Out of the WC & IPL (Indian Premier League). Absolutely devastated,” Pietersen wrote on his Twitter account.

“Sad to leave India. Love the people & the hospitality. Alvida doston (Goodbye friends).”

Pietersen is the 14th player to be replaced at the World Cup as the gruelling international schedule takes its toll.

He first complained of the problem after the 6-1 ODI defeat to Australia on the eve of the World Cup which immediately followed the Ashes triumph. Pietersen, who in common with the majority of his English colleagues has been on the road virtually non-stop for more than four months, played in all of England’s opening group games at the World Cup.