Kevin Pietersen feared injury had finished his career

KEVIN Pietersen, England's premier batsman, feared his career might be over when he developed an infection after undergoing Achilles surgery 11 months ago.

"It was a pretty dark time," the 29-year-old said. "The infection was really bad.

"I was told by the surgeon it was career-threatening so for two days I sat there on a drip thinking: 'Where am I going to go from here?' Things looked pretty bleak."

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Pietersen took a while to recover before returning to the middle order for the tour to South Africa in November.

Although England regained the Ashes with a home victory over Australia, 2009 proved a less than perfect year for Pietersen, especially after he had quit as captain in January following a breakdown in his relationship with then-coach Peter Moores.

"After what I went through last year, I did fall out of love with the game," Pietersen said. "But I am back in love with it now."

The South African-born batsman is due to line up for England in Southampton on Tuesday for the start of a five-match series of one-day internationals against Australia.

• Pakistan have named five uncapped players in their Test squad for the tour of England but there was no place for former captain Younus Khan.

Younus is eligible again after having an indefinite ban was overturned for alleged disruptive behaviour on the tour of Australia at the start of the year.

Controversial fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar is included in the T20 team. Pakistan will first play Australia in two Twenty20 internationals and two Tests, followed by four Tests, two Twenty20s and five ODIs against England. The squad for the ODIs has yet to be named.

Test squad: Salman Butt, Imran Farhat, Yasir Hameed, Azhar Ali, Umar Akmal, Umar Amin, Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi, Zulqarnain Haider, Kamran Akmal, Umar Gul, Mohammad Aamer, Mohammad Asif, Wahab Riaz, Tanvir Ahmed.

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Twenty20 squad: Salman Butt, Shahzaib Hasan, Umar Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Umar Amin, Kamran Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Abdul Razzaq, Mohammad Aamer, Umar Gul, Shoaib Akhtar, Saeed Ajmal, Abdur Rehman, Wahab Riaz, Fawad Alam.

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