England batsman Kevin Pietersen will remember his friend Jon Cole Edwards as he begins his 100th Test match.
South Africa-born Pietersen joined up with the England squad in Australia a few days late last month after attending the funeral of his childhood friend Edwards, who died following a long battle with cancer.
It has been tough on Pietersen, whose century of Tests will take on a special poignancy when he takes the field for the first match of the Ashes in Brisbane.
“I lost my best mate who I grew up with as a kid and losing him has really hurt me over the last month or so,” said Pietersen.
“It has been bad. I got to say goodbye to him 18 hours before he passed away and left us. He left his wife and twins behind.
I will be thinking about him if I get a big one here. I’ve been speaking with his mum and yesterday she said, ‘Jon will be watching’.”