June 1, 2012

English cricket

'Pietersen must prove he's committed to Ashes cause'

Carlyle Laurie

Kevin Pietersen’s decision to retire from limited-overs cricket has prompted a strong reaction from former England captain Michael Vaughan. Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Vaughan says that Pietersen must now prove to Andrew Strauss and Andy Flower that he is committed to England's Ashes cause.

If I was a member of the England management I would want a written promise from Kevin Pietersen that he is committed to playing in the next two Ashes series. If he has got any thoughts of quitting Tests in the next 12 months he has to be honest and tell Andrew Strauss and Andy Flower now so they have time to bed in someone else.

Jonathan Agnew, writing for bbc.co.uk, says that considering the amount of international cricket being played throughout the year, Kevin Pietersen should not be blamed for retiring from the limited-over format.

Tours are very time-consuming, Pietersen has a young family, he's pushing 32 and he's making lots of money playing in the IPL. You can see that playing one-day cricket is the last thing he wants to do. This matter could have been managed behind closed doors. England could have rested him for some one-day cricket this summer, let him play in the World Twenty20, and then he could have packed it in. Only the ECB and Pietersen will know why this hasn't happened.

Paul Newman, writing for the Daily Mail, says that Kevin Pietersen’s decision to retire from limited-overs cricket could lead to doubts over his test future.

Now he will be able to play for his third IPL side in the Champions League without any concerns over clashes with England and will hope to spend more time at IPL 6 next year, even though he will still have to return early for the first Test next summer. Or will he? The announcement will accelerate his Test demise.

Mike Selvey, writing for the Guardian, says that with Kevin Pietersen retiring from limited-overs cricket, he is freeing himself for Australia's Big Bash and maybe any of the new leagues in the future.

Should he renew his England contract in September, on a Test-only basis (and it is by no means a given that he will), then there is no reason to suppose he will play any more IPL next year than he did this, when there are Tests against New Zealand in this country in May. Andy Flower would require him to be back and playing county cricket for Surrey in preparation. But in opting out of England's ODI tour to India in January, and the limited-overs part of the New Zealand tour that follows on, as well as being opted out of the T20 match that rounds off the Test tour of India before Christmas, he is freeing himself for Australia's Big Bash and maybe any of the new leagues that will pay top dollar for a fellow of his capabilities.

Former England captain Nasser Hussain, writing in the Daily Mail, says that no one should judge Kevin Pietersen’s decision to retire from limited-overs cricket - until it becomes clear what his motives were.

"If, as he says, his body needs a break, and if he wants to spend more time with his family in what is a punishing schedule, then I don't have a problem - although it's only fair to point he's not 32 until later this month, he's one of the fittest guys in the world game, and he recently spent three weeks at the IPL, when he could have been resting his body," Hussain said.

RELATED LINKS

RSS Feeds: Carlyle Laurie

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.