Pietersen was born to an Afrikaner father and English mother in Pietermaritzburg, Natal Province, South Africa. He made his first-class debut for Natal in 1997 before moving to England in 2000, after voicing his displeasure at the racial quota system in South African cricket. Being of English ancestry, Pietersen was eligible for the England team so long as he first served a four-year qualifying period in English county cricket. He was called up by England almost immediately after he completed four years with Nottinghamshire. He made his international debut in the One Day International (ODI) match against Zimbabwe in 2004 and his Test match debut in the 2005 Ashes series against Australia. Pietersen left Nottinghamshire for Hampshire in 2005, but the England team's subsequent reliance on him resulted in Pietersen making only a single first-class appearance for his new county between 2005 and 2010. In June 2010, Pietersen announced his wish to leave Hampshire; he joined Surrey on loan for the remainder of the season, then moved permanently in 2011.