July 25, 2010

English cricket

A mess that needs sorting out

George Binoy

England made Kevin Pietersen available for Hampshire because he needed some batting practice ahead of the Tests against Pakistan. Hampshire, however, decided not to select him. in the Sunday Telegraph, Steve James says the situation needs to be sorted out.

You can see Hampshire's point. Pietersen has already said very publicly and very pointedly that he will not be a Hampshire player next season. Their chairman, Rod Bransgrove, is a good, proud man of strong principles. He feels let down. He was miffed that the England and Wales Cricket Board would not permit Pietersen to speak at a Q&A session the night before the Australia one-day international at the Rose Bowl. He is hardly a friend or ally of ECB chairman, Giles Clarke.

And, yes, Pietersen can sometimes be gauche. Whatever his inner thoughts and feelings, he should not have revealed them so soon. His commitment is questionable in the extreme ...

But is this snub right? Overseas players flit in and out of counties like partygoers trawling High Street pubs on a Saturday night. It seems bewildering that, amid the smorgasbord of county fixtures, Pietersen could not find some practice. Only in this country could this happen.

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George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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