June 13, 2012

English cricket

'Pietersen reminds me of a Muhammad Ali'

Carlyle Laurie

In his review of the Test series between England and West Indies, Viv Richards told BBC that he was impressed by Andrew Strauss' captaincy and that Kevin Pietersen reminded him of Muhammad Ali.

Pietersen reminds me of a Muhammad Ali. Folks came to see Ali get beaten because he had said one or two things that had upset people, but at the end of the day they just marvelled at what he achieved. Some people love him and some people hate him but Kevin Pietersen puts bums on seats - he is that talented. If he is firing well, he can take any attack apart and that is what great batsmanship is about. If he can do that against South Africa, England are in with a great chance.

Ian Botham, writing in the Daily Mail, says Pietersen's limited-overs retirement leaves a gap for a new English star to emerge.

I would rather look back at what KP has done for us. He's been magnificent. There's no point in saying you have to play, if his heart isn't in it. This will give an opportunity to someone else. KP has gone, so now is the chance for a new KP. Players like that don't come along every day. But he feels the time is right - so be it.

Alec Stewart, writing for the BBC, says Ian Bell, who replaced Kevin Pietersen in the one-day side, must play his natural game because he is technically England’s best player.

I'm possibly Bell's biggest fan from the first time I saw him play as an 18-year-old for Warwickshire and have followed him closely ever since, watching him mature into a world-class batsman. He has all the attributes to be a top-class one-day opener, but I want to see him bat like Ian Bell and not try to be someone he is not.

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