The modern-day game at the highest level is not as fulfilled as it used to be from the presence of "superstars" and genuine "entertainers", thinks former England batsman Kevin Pietersen.
The 38-year-old, who recently retired from all forms of cricket after scoring 8,181 runs in 104 Tests, 4,440 runs in 136 ODIs as well as 1,176 runs in 37 T20Is for England, was an amazingly gifted and flamboyant cricketer himself. But, Pietersen feels that there are possibly not enough cricketers around these days, like in the past, who can actually fill stadiums through their excellence.
Although, Pietersen said that Indian Captain and arguably the best batsman in the world, Virat Kohli, "stand-out" but he maintained that the same is not true for the rest.
"I really struggle to see entertainers, they're lacking in the game," Pietersen told BBC Radio 5 live's Sportsweek, "Pure entertainers and superstars are not in the game and that's a big worry."
Pietersen further said, "Maybe it's a generational thing but the sad part is that quite a few of those former players are commentating but they are not in the game of cricket," and added, "You want those superstars attached to franchises, national sides and academies so that youngsters get inspired to be those people."
To be precise, it is the quality of skills - the ability to bowl and counter swing, seam, spin and turn with the bat across conditions - is what the game lacks these days. This is where, Pietersen suggested that some of the former greats can be employed, by boards around, as coaches to help current players.
"They have to get paid more because the money for commentary, which is a pretty easy gig, is fairly good," said Pietersen, who understands the reality of it, being a commentator himself since 2014, "The boards have that money and they maybe need to get their fingers in their pockets," he signed off.