Pietersen 'in shock' over Bafana call

Pietersen was named in Stuart Baxter’s team for the second leg of their 2018 African Nations Championship qualifier against Zambia, where South Africa need to score to progress after a 2-2 draw in East London on Saturday.

And Pietersen, who misses the opening three games of the new Absa Premiership season for Ajax due to suspension, admits he is overjoyed to have been given his chance to impress on the continent.

“I am still in shock, it is an honour to be called up to the national team,” Pietersen said on Ajax’s official website. “The red card in the last game of last season [was] a blessing in disguise, looking back right now.

“Yes , I am looking forward to the trip, I a have never been to Zambia before – no other African country for that matter – yes I know the first game ended in a 2-2 draw so it will be a difficult task away from home, but I am sure the guys will be up for it. The heart and fight will be there.”

Pietersen is also still celebrating his recent marriage and admits the national team call-up is the cherry on top of his wedding cake.

“Two very big weeks for me, if I could get married every week and get a Bafana Bafana call-up every international break that would be awesome, but we only get married once,” he added.

“Hopefully, though, this won’t be my last national team call-up.”