English cricket August 7, 2012

Will the mandarins snuff out Pietersen?

Girish Menon
It appears that Pietersen appears poised to lose his battle against authority, and English cricket will have driven away another talent while the men in authority continue in their unrepentant ways
65

Kevin Pietersen's latest comments, immediately after producing a super human performance in the Headingley Test against South Africa, is a cry for help against the faceless managers of the ECB, who appear hell bent on driving this flamboyant superstar away from English cricket. It appears that Pietersen, like so many illustrious sportsmen before him, appears poised to lose his battle against authority, and English cricket will have driven away another talent while the men in authority continue in their unrepentant ways.

This is a problem not peculiar to team sport and can be found in other areas of endeavour where functional specialists are considered mere commodities and are divorced from managerial decision making. This trend is definitely dominant in the National Health Service and in the education sector, where managers schooled on efficiency ideas interfere in the daily work of trained doctors and teachers.

So why does this problem arise? In this writer's view, the Pietersen problem has arisen because of the ECB's irrational and obsessive pursuit of standardisation of player contracts. Why can't the ECB offer a tailor-made contract to an England player who demands one? Pietersen today is a global brand that definitely deserves a separate contract and should be treated differently from say a Strauss or a Cook. It is high time the ECB recognised Pietersen as another Tendulkar and dealt with him the way the BCCI has done with the Indian maestro.

There is also a bit of the Little Englander culture affecting the treatment of Pietersen. Unlike the melting-pot culture in the US, the English media and selectors have reluctantly admitted but never truly accepted the 'outsider'. In an article on this site, Rob Steen talked about the unique pressures Mark Ramprakash, a player who did not live up to his potential, faced in the England dressing room. The same pressures may have also adversely hounded the performance of Hick, Panesar and Bopara.

Those who refute my Little Englander argument will readily point to the achievements of Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis. Fortunately for these athletes they excelled in sporting areas where individual endeavour was all important and so they were cocooned from the team pressures faced by 'outsider' cricketers like Ramps.

Pietersen's experience as team captain is an excellent example of a man who was not given a fair chance at the helm of the team. Pietersen's personality may be brash, cocky and arrogant, but he is an exciting batsman who draws in the crowds. Also, as a batsman, he realises that he is only three quick dismissals away from being ousted from the team. So he needs to make the maximum amount of money to help him lead the rest of his long life.

So I do not grudge him his mercenary attitude, instead I demand that the mandarins in the ECB should offer him an individual, tailor-made contract. He is a pleasure in full flow in a team that has to otherwise rely on Matt Prior to score quick runs. So power to you Pietersen!

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Girish Menon on August 16, 2012, 6:54 GMT

    It's been nearly 10 days since I wrote this piece and it appears that there is a ganging up against Pietersen. The writings of Swann, the tweeter friends of Broad and Hales have all been ignored while Pietersen has been dropped from the Lords Test. If this is not the Little Englander in action then what is?

    I admit that I missed out the cases of Nasser Hussain and Alan Lamb who did well in the Test team.

    And more importantly why has the ECB been unable to solve this problem? So what are the managers doing?

  • John Egglestone on August 14, 2012, 10:50 GMT

    There is a price to pay for a talented cricketer. These days you can have the best team in the world - just pay the right price. KP is the difference in this series with England still being 0 - 1 as opposed to 0 - 2. He is also going to be the reason that it stays either 0 - 1 or becomes 0 -2 instead of 1 - 1. Without him England don't have a chance of retaining the no. 1 spot. And what's the price they had to pay (too late now) - all they had to do was massage his ego. But the toffee nose Old Farts (to quote Will Carling) are too inflexible to do it. That all of England is going to pay in igmony in losing the No 1 status is just tough - at least they can say they kept their ego in tact. How pathetic - they would have won the battle but lost the WAR.

  • USMAN ALI KHAN on August 14, 2012, 9:06 GMT

    LET THE GAME OF CRIC BE THE WINNER....KO DRAWS CROWDS COZ OF HIS EXCITING BATTING AND FLAMBOYANT PERSONALITY....RULES ARE MADE FOR BETTERMENT OF THE TEAM...SO FLEX THE RULES AND ACCOMODATE KP...FLUSH OUT THE UNEASINESS...

    GAME NEEDS KP..

  • SAZ on August 13, 2012, 21:44 GMT

    I can see the irritation of some English fans ready to brand KP as a mercenary. If you care to take a closer look these Mercenaries ( KP,Trott,Morgan,Kieswetter,Lumb) have got you where you are. English media and fans will gloat all the time about their number one status but fail to acknowledge the real reason behind their ascent. Without these players England team is as mediocre as 90's team.

  • Paul Mathew on August 13, 2012, 17:02 GMT

    Praps he could get into the Indian team?

  • Earl Joseph on August 13, 2012, 15:36 GMT

    I find that the individuals in charge of most cricket nations are unable to perform at a high level.They all with maybe the exception of S.Africa..and they had their problems... are terrible.W.Indies we all know about.The dismissal of players like Haynes,Lara,Roberts,Gayle.In Australia they want to get rid of Pointing who is still head and shoulder above all except Clarke.Look at how they treat Khawaja.If KP is treated the same as Bell then something is wrong.KP has his faults,but the good players need to be handled different to fringe players.The press were complaining about Bopara and praising Bell in the first test.Bell was plodding along and should of been out for less that Bopara.I do not think that there is one batsman on England's team that other nations fear other than KP.There is a reason for that.

  • Bajanguy on August 13, 2012, 14:51 GMT

    What a ridiculous attempt to justify Pietersen's "attitude" or maybe it is to create discussion. Sir Viv is NOT an example to use, his off-field antics left a lot to be desired, David Gower, Sachin yes. Is it practical to have a special contract for KP? Who 'decides' which other players are 'special'? Silly theory guaranteed to create divisions in the team. Nope KP just has to recognise he is mortal and not expected everyone to give in to his every demand. Grow little fellow, you are talented but there are limits.

  • John James on August 13, 2012, 0:44 GMT

    I think that Hugh Morris and Giles Clarke and the other faceless men who dictate to England cricketers just hate the fact that no one is interested in them but every cricket fan in the world has heard of Pietersen and recognizes his unique talent. The above mentioned gentlemen have not a single test hundred between them and know nothing of the strain of playing top class international cricket day after day in three formats.

  • danoz on August 12, 2012, 12:39 GMT

    people pay money to watch the best cricketers play,not to watch the administrators stuff the standard of test cricket up.

    look at chris gayle as soon as he rejoined the west indies he straight away changed the team for the better,who ever kept him out of the game should be sacked.

    test cricket and english cricket will suffer if pietersen doesent play,he is one of the best batsmen in the world,one of the best to watch on his day,in world cricket thier are a handful of batsmen who can punish bowling attacks.

    pietersen is one of cricket personatilies(characters) which the game needs,warne and gayle are of the same style,usain bolt does the same thing for sprinting.

    i do belive in team spirit but i also belive in the individual,and letting team mates be themselves.and enjoying the game and the team

    crickets a game about 11 individual performancers.

    keep the personal character attacks out of the media,get the officals out of the game.

    and focus on winning cricket games

  • Sudheer Deoli on August 11, 2012, 19:35 GMT

    The so called Pride and Prejudice concept of Nationality is debatable after exceeding limits. You feel pride on your achievements based upon your parameters of either individuality or collectivism. Do good which makes you happy, satisfied and be proud. Don't be over egoistic and biased on the things like Nationality, religion and caste. These things are always set before our birth. So cant be jingoistic about being an Englishman, an Indian or an Africans. Pieterson and his decision to play for england breaks that traditional jingoism. So don't make a case of him longing for SA National team. He is not a fool to waste next four years of his life for vying to play for SA team.The problem is due to ECB.

  • Girish Menon on August 16, 2012, 6:54 GMT

    It's been nearly 10 days since I wrote this piece and it appears that there is a ganging up against Pietersen. The writings of Swann, the tweeter friends of Broad and Hales have all been ignored while Pietersen has been dropped from the Lords Test. If this is not the Little Englander in action then what is?

    I admit that I missed out the cases of Nasser Hussain and Alan Lamb who did well in the Test team.

    And more importantly why has the ECB been unable to solve this problem? So what are the managers doing?

  • John Egglestone on August 14, 2012, 10:50 GMT

    There is a price to pay for a talented cricketer. These days you can have the best team in the world - just pay the right price. KP is the difference in this series with England still being 0 - 1 as opposed to 0 - 2. He is also going to be the reason that it stays either 0 - 1 or becomes 0 -2 instead of 1 - 1. Without him England don't have a chance of retaining the no. 1 spot. And what's the price they had to pay (too late now) - all they had to do was massage his ego. But the toffee nose Old Farts (to quote Will Carling) are too inflexible to do it. That all of England is going to pay in igmony in losing the No 1 status is just tough - at least they can say they kept their ego in tact. How pathetic - they would have won the battle but lost the WAR.

  • USMAN ALI KHAN on August 14, 2012, 9:06 GMT

    LET THE GAME OF CRIC BE THE WINNER....KO DRAWS CROWDS COZ OF HIS EXCITING BATTING AND FLAMBOYANT PERSONALITY....RULES ARE MADE FOR BETTERMENT OF THE TEAM...SO FLEX THE RULES AND ACCOMODATE KP...FLUSH OUT THE UNEASINESS...

    GAME NEEDS KP..

  • SAZ on August 13, 2012, 21:44 GMT

    I can see the irritation of some English fans ready to brand KP as a mercenary. If you care to take a closer look these Mercenaries ( KP,Trott,Morgan,Kieswetter,Lumb) have got you where you are. English media and fans will gloat all the time about their number one status but fail to acknowledge the real reason behind their ascent. Without these players England team is as mediocre as 90's team.

  • Paul Mathew on August 13, 2012, 17:02 GMT

    Praps he could get into the Indian team?

  • Earl Joseph on August 13, 2012, 15:36 GMT

    I find that the individuals in charge of most cricket nations are unable to perform at a high level.They all with maybe the exception of S.Africa..and they had their problems... are terrible.W.Indies we all know about.The dismissal of players like Haynes,Lara,Roberts,Gayle.In Australia they want to get rid of Pointing who is still head and shoulder above all except Clarke.Look at how they treat Khawaja.If KP is treated the same as Bell then something is wrong.KP has his faults,but the good players need to be handled different to fringe players.The press were complaining about Bopara and praising Bell in the first test.Bell was plodding along and should of been out for less that Bopara.I do not think that there is one batsman on England's team that other nations fear other than KP.There is a reason for that.

  • Bajanguy on August 13, 2012, 14:51 GMT

    What a ridiculous attempt to justify Pietersen's "attitude" or maybe it is to create discussion. Sir Viv is NOT an example to use, his off-field antics left a lot to be desired, David Gower, Sachin yes. Is it practical to have a special contract for KP? Who 'decides' which other players are 'special'? Silly theory guaranteed to create divisions in the team. Nope KP just has to recognise he is mortal and not expected everyone to give in to his every demand. Grow little fellow, you are talented but there are limits.

  • John James on August 13, 2012, 0:44 GMT

    I think that Hugh Morris and Giles Clarke and the other faceless men who dictate to England cricketers just hate the fact that no one is interested in them but every cricket fan in the world has heard of Pietersen and recognizes his unique talent. The above mentioned gentlemen have not a single test hundred between them and know nothing of the strain of playing top class international cricket day after day in three formats.

  • danoz on August 12, 2012, 12:39 GMT

    people pay money to watch the best cricketers play,not to watch the administrators stuff the standard of test cricket up.

    look at chris gayle as soon as he rejoined the west indies he straight away changed the team for the better,who ever kept him out of the game should be sacked.

    test cricket and english cricket will suffer if pietersen doesent play,he is one of the best batsmen in the world,one of the best to watch on his day,in world cricket thier are a handful of batsmen who can punish bowling attacks.

    pietersen is one of cricket personatilies(characters) which the game needs,warne and gayle are of the same style,usain bolt does the same thing for sprinting.

    i do belive in team spirit but i also belive in the individual,and letting team mates be themselves.and enjoying the game and the team

    crickets a game about 11 individual performancers.

    keep the personal character attacks out of the media,get the officals out of the game.

    and focus on winning cricket games

  • Sudheer Deoli on August 11, 2012, 19:35 GMT

    The so called Pride and Prejudice concept of Nationality is debatable after exceeding limits. You feel pride on your achievements based upon your parameters of either individuality or collectivism. Do good which makes you happy, satisfied and be proud. Don't be over egoistic and biased on the things like Nationality, religion and caste. These things are always set before our birth. So cant be jingoistic about being an Englishman, an Indian or an Africans. Pieterson and his decision to play for england breaks that traditional jingoism. So don't make a case of him longing for SA National team. He is not a fool to waste next four years of his life for vying to play for SA team.The problem is due to ECB.

  • Abhi Deshpande on August 11, 2012, 14:54 GMT

    I am no fan on ECB but the writer is taking extremely one-sided view. For all talk on Little Englander, its conveniently forgotten that ECB gave all so-called 'outsiders' a chance to play for the national side, some like Nasir Hussein and KP were also made Captains. KP is the same for EBC as Shahid Afridi is for PCB and Chris Gayle for WICB.

  • ashish on August 11, 2012, 2:40 GMT

    He should reject the next contract that is offered and play as free lancer.There is no way he should be given special priveleges ..

  • Anonymous on August 10, 2012, 21:47 GMT

    Interesting article. The analogy with the NHS is very true- as a doctor formerly in the NHS I should know. Idiotic managers with little clinical knowledge run the show. Pietersen is an 'outsider' in that he is gifted and does things in an unconventional way but does it well-an average of almost 50 with a strike rate of >60 with great performances against the likes of Warne, McGrath and Steyn support that. The England management (I'm not including Flower who was a very good player)comprising relatively average former players and non players probably prefer more introverted and conventional players.

  • Jack K on August 10, 2012, 17:46 GMT

    Complete and utter rubbish, Bopara and Panesar have never made it because they are not good enough. Hick and Ramps because they did not have the mental strength. Plenty of other so called 'outsiders' like Lamb, Hussein and Butcher did fine.

  • Fahad on August 10, 2012, 17:22 GMT

    I don't get why people only argue for/against Pietersen's demands. IMO the issue here really is if ALL players should be allowed to pick and choose which series to play. If KP is allowed to skip this and play that, so should Cook, Bell and co. Which means you can say goodbye to any long term team planning. Assume that player A has taken off to play is some XYZ league. He's replaced by a young gun (YG) who turns in a great performance. After he's done with his league, is it right for him to just waltz back into the team and displace said YG? If not, and he gets dropped because of it, he can always come back and say he was discriminated against for playing in XYZ league. So whats the solution? Perhaps there should be two types of contracts, 1 - central contracts which offer security to less established players and 2 - Open contracts which don't offer the security of central contracts but give more freedom to look elsewhere.

  • Tom J on August 10, 2012, 17:19 GMT

    Completely disagree the Pietersen deserves more than others. Ian Bell is the best English batsman by a long way -- much better than KP can ever be. However, he has shown great ability to put his team before anything else on numerous occasions. How many county games have KP played in the last 7 years? I would guess it's comfortably in single figures. Ian Bell, on the other hand, had OPTED to play for England Lions to improve his preparations before the Windies tests.

    England need great cricketers like Ian Bell, not selfish ones like Pietersen.

  • Rayner on August 10, 2012, 15:02 GMT

    Perhaps I agree with one sentiment of this, I do think KP should be offered a 'tailor made' contract, although they are already available, they are incremental contracts, he should be offered one and he can go and make his money whenever he wants and play the highest form of the game whenever he wants. I disagree with just about everything else you have written; Morgan had a year in the team - 1 hundred, KP has gone through huge barren patches without ever being dropped. I see you are in the UK, I would dare you to go to Sheffield, where Jess Ennis was born and tell her or any Yorkshireman that she wasn't from the UK, or Yorkshire specifically, it wouldn't be a pretty outcome. Lastly to arvind, I would remind you that we have another 3 batsmen in the team who are averaging around 50 and a no.7 who is around 45, we are not wholly dependent on KP, he's an amazing player with buckets of talent but imagine if he had the temperament of Cook, trott or bell?

  • Anon on August 10, 2012, 14:49 GMT

    1) Thankfully successful sports teams aren't built around your principles. Teams don't just hero worship players and let them play when they feel like - spare a thought for the poor batsmen who would be expected to play and then get dropped when KP feels like a game, if we were to follow your proposal. 2) I have no idea what relevance Mo Farah and Jess Ennis have to the issue of central contracts?...perhaps you could enlighten. 3) Pietersen was sacked as captain, not just because by all accounts he was a lousy one, but also because he tried to get the entire coaching staff sacked, including Andy Flower. Although perhaps that's standard practise in India. 4) Your Little Englander argument is woefully misguided not to mention offensive in its implication that the England team is somehow xenophobic. Pietersen is an outsider because he chooses to be. There don't seem to be any problems with Jonathan Trott...

  • M.ISMAIL KHAN on August 10, 2012, 11:29 GMT

    Kevien pietresen is the only hero of england team by the batting of him england won the t20 world cup ' without him england team can't won even a single match

  • Laura Angels on August 10, 2012, 9:31 GMT

    @Ram You say a half I don't see that half either cause the other players so called "outsides(who are giving their full to English team in what they stand for in the team)" would not feel their future safe as they will witness what ECB's so called right decision about KP(who actually is what one can call the back bone of English Cricket Team).Will they actually be feeling secure in their future ,won't they be knowing that after KP its going to be one from them to be casted away. So I don't think that after KP that half will remain there

  • John H on August 10, 2012, 2:51 GMT

    I'm sick of hearing about this conceited fool. Yes he can be a great batsman when he's in the mood but this is no reason to make up a special set of rules for him. Drop him now...for the next Test Match so we can get this over with and move on. Let him go to the IPL where they cheer every ball regardless.

  • Ashley on August 9, 2012, 20:13 GMT

    Look at KP's history in South Africa and then at club level, he has fallen out with almost everyone he has ever worked for/with. Nothing to do with the so called 'Little Englander', nothing to do with nationality, it is simply KP, he rubs people up the wrong way.

    Don't get me wrong, KP can be genius with the bat, as in the last test match, but at times as said many times before his ego costs the team.

    I think this article says more about the author than KP!

  • IG on August 9, 2012, 19:13 GMT

    ..continued...It'll be a great loss to English cricket, and cricket fans the world over, if KP was to be sidelined by the England cricket administrators. However, the damage to English cricket will be much greater if Pietersen was allowed to go the 'Tendulkar-way'.

  • IG on August 9, 2012, 19:05 GMT

    Well..I was beginning to agree with the author, until he advocated giving Pietersen a 'Tendulkar-like status'. To be honest, Tendulkar is an absolute embaressment and there is nothing more shameful than how he holds the BCCI hostage (and the BCCI is far from being an angel itself)making a mockery of Indian cricket. Besides, Tendulkar can only dream of playing the kind of innings that Pietersen played against South Africa the other day.

    I however, do agree with the little Englander mentality prevelant in England. The English media has been known to be institutionally xenophobic. The way it led a witch hunt against Fabio Capello (even if he was England's most successful football manager ever - statistically), the way it torments Mario Balotelli, and its demonizing of Luis Suarez ( as opposed to John Terry) are up there for all to see. And it has left no stone unturned in baiting Kevin 'Saffer' Pietersen either. Except that Pietersen wasn't afraid to bite...continued..

  • Martin on August 9, 2012, 18:50 GMT

    It is with no small delight that non English cricket supporters watch the debacle unfolding in the form of the ECB. That England retain such a wonderful world ranking in various forms of the game is testament to a triumph of the players and coaches over the clowns who dictate the rules. The joy of this situation is that these adminstrators are unable to see their short comings preferring the collective affirmation of the herd over common sense. The whole world is laughing at you.

  • Ganesh on August 9, 2012, 16:27 GMT

    No player is abov the team ,Country and the game. The author wants to make another GOD out of Pieterson, just like Indian Media, Corporate and BCCI have made one out of Tendulkar.

    It has degraded to such levels that it does not matter if India wins or not. Tendulkar has to score his century at the cost of India's defeat to Bangladesh.

    ECB, beware.

  • Tony Knight on August 9, 2012, 14:59 GMT

    I agree with those who think this article is nonsense. Without rehashing KP versus the ECB there is the basic fact that all who have played team sports understand the need for harmony in a dressing room. An egotist like KP can be toxic and breakdown the camerarderie that indirectly helps performance. There has and always will be the odd one who is a little bigheaded about their performance and those can be tolerated and even made fun of by their teammates in a lightheated way. All of the foregoing applies to life in general and certainly in business, teamwork is imperitive for success and KP has never exhibited teamwork anywhere he has played.

  • Stirer on August 9, 2012, 13:27 GMT

    I'm glad Pietersen is not part of the South AFrican team. Yes, he is an exciting player - one of the best. But NO, we do not need dissent in the South AFrican dressing room. How can the author even compare him with Tendulkar! Pietersen is a brash, spoiled prima donna - he could learn humility from Tendulkar, the greatest modern cricketer of them all. After all, cricket is a TEAM game.

  • Hemant on August 9, 2012, 12:30 GMT

    In any case, most of the 'early' tests are washed out because of rains.

  • Rob on August 9, 2012, 9:50 GMT

    Kevin Pietersen is a really talented batsman and when it comes to innings like his 149 at Headingley he is a pleasure to watch, but what an ego! To think that he should be given special treatment suggests that Narcissus could have learnt a thing or two from KP about self-love!

    ECB, don't bow to this delusional, egotistical, self-absorbed, mercenary! Stand firm and tell him to pack his bags! To make comments like he did in the post match conference when we should have been talking about what a wonderful innings and great game of cricket shows that KP doesn't give a monkeys about his team. The sooner England get players in their side who want to play and fight for England the better. Really wont miss KP when he leaves international cricket!

  • KP Fan on August 9, 2012, 6:32 GMT

    KP's loss will be a nail in England's Coffin.. No other English batsmen can last the travails of spin. So once outside England, they will lose big way. Andy Flower - Strauss - Giles Clarke must realize the value of the man they are set to lose. Hats off England.. This is how you commit suicide :p

  • Anonymous on August 9, 2012, 6:24 GMT

    @Philip Morris: ".......Jessica Ennis was born and bred in Sheffield - England" - so were Ramps and Monty. Get the bit about "individual" and "team" sports?

  • Vasanth Kumar on August 9, 2012, 0:36 GMT

    Pietersen is not 'English'; he himself has said that he just plays for England. Pietersen is not even a batsman of the kind (test) teams want; he scores majically on the days he is in touch which do not necessarily coincide with the team's needs. His shot in the second innings of the first test was pathetic. What is the point in scoring a great hundred in a meaningless innings if, as a premier batsman, you cannot defend for one or two hours on your bad day? Pietersen thought he can bulldoze matters in English cricket but he needs to know English cricket, even if not perfect, cannot be blackmailed just because he can clobber cricket balls once in a way. It is better for England to fail with committed English cricketers than to succeed with opportunists.

  • Tom on August 8, 2012, 19:13 GMT

    I don't think the South African angle has much to do with it. Even the illustrative picture has Jonathan Trott - who is at least as South African as KP - in with the "in" crowd. The problem with KP comes from his prima donna attitude and his demands to receive special treatment that his performances don't necessarily merit. Comparisons with Strauss and Cook are apt, because both of those have similar records to KP across their careers and seem to manage just fine on the same contract as everyone else. They're less flamboyant and showy but they score just as many runs. KP might like to think of himself as England's Tendulkar, but he's really not.

    I don't want to see KP go, but this England team has got where it is through relentless teamwork, and if he refuses to be a part of that, that's really his problem.

  • Ash Townsend on August 8, 2012, 18:14 GMT

    The reason Pieterson should have his concerns addressed is because he is a batting genius.

    I saw his double century against Lancashire (the County champions) at Guildford recently. He looked like a man playing against children. The only other batsmen of his stature and talent have been Viv Richards and Brian Lara. Batsmen who can turn a match on it's head in the space of a couple of hours.

    There is obviously a huge amount of envy around the English dressing room (the Cook Strauss clique, the Swann Anderson clique, Broad of the sh*t=eating grin).

    As for the ECB crones, Greasy Clarke and Morose Morris, what could they know of genius?

    My prayer is that England get thrashed at Lords, lose their Number 1 status, and that this leads to the demise of the humourless muttface Flower.

  • Samjay Das on August 8, 2012, 17:50 GMT

    One can't deny human nature. People can't help but categorize and classify others; Indian, Pakistani, African and South African or one of us. You forgot to mention Nasser Hussain and unrealistic expectations from him. Mike Atherton wasn't dealt with the same way. But, kudos to him; he turned it into something positive with his own brand of grittiness. Folks with relatively weaker temperaments such as Graeme Hick, Owais Shah and may be, Bopara might have allowed it to destroy them. But, Pietersen does not seem to belong to either category, since he is confrontational. What a shame to lose a class cricketer like him would be!

  • Nick (SA) on August 8, 2012, 14:25 GMT

    KP in the media again. Hard to believe right..... No..... As much as I agree with individual contracts for "top Performers" or even the "Elderly" if I can so gently put it then why not? If it will help English cricket in the long run then do it. It will give the selectors a chance to select new upcoming players like Taylor and I say even Woakes (hope I got that right). Give Onions and Finn a bigger and extended role and see how they perform on the International stage. Denying a player to earn a living (IPL = better money) is a tough pill to swallow even if KP says it’s not about the money.

    I don’t agree though with how KP has gone about this and feel something like this should be discussed and settled behind closed doors and then not leaked to the media like last time.

    No one is bigger than the game and the moment you think that you will suddenly find yourself at the bottom of the pile. I fear this may just happen to KP.

    Lets see if he gets selected for Lords now

  • raj on August 8, 2012, 12:26 GMT

    The writer obviously knows nothing much about cricket.

    Sachin has held Bcci to ransom , picking n choosing his games , prefers ipl over india duties(twice now in 2 yrs)

    In fact he is one to start this trend, which now KP also wants.

    KP has always been a selfish player , true he is very exciting and all of cricket lovers including me enjoyed him hitting steyn over the bowlers head for 4 and 6.

    But end of the day it is team that matters and not one's ego.

    In fact Sachin is not really wanted by his indian team mates in odi cricket, without him india has won and with him india lost many times in last 12 months. It is high time Sachin is thrown out of team both in tests and odis So should KP if he does not value his england cap and contract.

  • imran on August 8, 2012, 10:43 GMT

    without KP they are going to lose every where specially in subcontinent and upcoming World cup. its true, we only fear KP in this current English team...... its sad for the game. test cricket is losing players like KP....

  • Ash on August 8, 2012, 10:19 GMT

    This is rubbish. Leaving aside all the pathetic 'Little Englander' stuff and the bizarre comparison with the NHS, it is a completely one sided view of the relationship between Pietersen and the ECB. Pietersen was given a 'managerial decision making' position - that worked out well, didn't it? He was rested from an ODI series and promptly complained about being left out of the side. He asked to be allowed to participate in the IPL and contracts were re-written to allow this. The ECB's current position is completely rational.

  • Ramarao on August 8, 2012, 9:46 GMT

    What a shame? The only player who excites spectator in otherwise boring(but resourceful) batting lineup will not play test cricket for England. Its a loss for Test cricket and people who like good cricket. KP is one of the very few players who can make opposition to change their tactic, who is infectiously confident. If he continue to play 50 to 60 more tests he can conviniently named beside Sachin, lara, richards and co along with Sehwag. Cricket fans are bored with kallis, dravid, trott, cook kind of players who are resourceful alright but certainly not inspire to remain awake in late hours to watch cricket. Cricket needs Sachins, laras, sehwags, pontings, petersons and can afford to have more trotts, cooks, kalliss, dravids who pile up runs at the expense of Cricket and its followers.

  • sri on August 8, 2012, 8:45 GMT

    It started long time back. But just a recent stats - it was his double century last summer at lords that bemused the indian team and England went on to win 4-0. And none of the batsmen have worked on from UAE . It was he who brought some pride in the ODIs and went on in the srilanka. Now it was he who has helped managed the secong test to draw - just imagine if SA had gone 2-0 ECB would have been in shatters for schedling the last test in lords. Only attaching players like him change games not strauss or cook. He is a Special player and needs special treatment.Letting him go in this fashion is loss to world cricket. He is the only player who consistently changes the game - just like viv.Rich. Cricket fans should rise their voice - atleast in this page.

  • Tahir on August 8, 2012, 7:33 GMT

    Who cares if they are half, the management never cares for that, they have to treat all as players, so its about attitude, and if its not in accord with gentlemen game, so he better try his luck somewhere else.

  • HedleyTufnell on August 8, 2012, 5:29 GMT

    Sort of agree. When you add everything up he's still in credit - up to a point - but you (and everyone else) should have realised by now that cricket is not the kind of game where it's enough to be talented - certainly not in the long term. You have to fit in to what is going on around you - you have to play to the situation, play for the team, see the bigger picture. For some reason, the message doesn't seem to be getting through - though who knows, ultimately, who is to blame. He has enough negotiating power to save his Test career if he wants, but he has to want to. And that, sometimes, means making some tough decisions - however talented you are.

  • Abdul qadir on August 8, 2012, 1:30 GMT

    Obviously no one is above the game & no player should have the option of picking & leaving the game.If u want to play for the country, u should be fully available,if not better to retire.But i do keep pity with players like KP,Bopara etc, not treated equally as they deserve

  • Abdul qadir on August 8, 2012, 1:27 GMT

    Obviously no one is above the game & no player should have the option of picking & leaving the game.If u want to play for the country, u should be fully available,if not better to retire.But i do keep pity with players like KP,Bopara etc, not treated equally as they deserve

  • ali bajan on August 8, 2012, 0:28 GMT

    Does anyone remember Brian Lara's exit from cricket after the world cup! Even though he wanted to play more Test Cricket and announced his retirement in the NEXT year...

    and then Bam... premature retirement 17 runs shy of 12,000 Test runs ?

  • sharky on August 7, 2012, 21:43 GMT

    KP is and always has been a mercanary, why is anyone surprised at his reaction- good ridance.

  • LORDS LEGEND on August 7, 2012, 21:06 GMT

    KP is such a drama queen. They should have let him go long back. His a self centred sob. the sooner they realize this the better for them. The thing with KP is there always something wrong OR better still some1 wrong...OK its fine us score a quick fire a ton but threatening to get another coach fired is a stretch to far dont u think tough guy ....so wat man ECB cricket will go on without u son......when will realize that the game will go on with or without him.....lose the sucker win or lose life goes on

  • Sam on August 7, 2012, 20:55 GMT

    Did anyone else read the first two paragraphs of this and interpret it as a biting, subtle satire? Unfortunately it isn't.

  • Karthik on August 7, 2012, 19:26 GMT

    Lets get things Clear...Its not that all of what KP is saying is right..But with lots of his points are very very valid.Take for example the leaked report of him getting sacked as England captain..And the ubiquitous reports and speculation about his personal life and his Cricket Career as well as the Bad boy of English cricket..Most of it is unwarranted and certainly the same thing doesnt go around with the Other english Cricketers.Like he said Its tough being KP and its high time the ECB and managers like Hugh Morris get their acts together and put their House in order

  • Ram on August 7, 2012, 18:11 GMT

    What a shame. England will be half the team they are, without KP.

  • Rod Stark on August 7, 2012, 17:38 GMT

    No one is above the game, but that's not the same as saying that no one is above the small-minded management of the ECB. They are the only team that refuses to let its players take part in the full IPL. As a result, England gets to play tests in May against already weaker opponents (WI, NZ, etc.) who are not even fielding their best players, because they're in the IPL! Why on earth not let Pieterson and other senior players play in the IPL if selected? These early season "tests" would be a great time to try out younger players anyway. Maybe there could be a rule that said that once a player has paid his dues by playing in a certain number of games for England, he's free to play IPL if the IPL wants him?

  • Malay Deb on August 7, 2012, 17:27 GMT

    It’s one of those ironies of life, that the authority, if not the right to manage and/or nurture talent lies with people with less talent or no talent at all.

  • Abdullah on August 7, 2012, 17:20 GMT

    Perhaps in the writers point of view we should start calling him the GOD as well. In my opinion the authority are right that nobody is above the game.

  • Marc Brookes on August 7, 2012, 16:36 GMT

    Here we go again. Pietersen this, Pietersen that, Pietersen the other. He is a cricketer for heaven's sake, simply obsessed by his own self importance and self interest. Okay, he can bat as well as anyone on the globe, but how much better could he be if he stopped whining about imagined personal slights and got on with it? What a huge pity he simply doesn't have the ability to conduct his public affairs with the dignity of Sir Viv Richards, David Gower or Sachin Tendulkar. The sooner he packs his cricket bags for the IPL the better.

  • Anonymous on August 7, 2012, 15:28 GMT

    I sorry I do not agree with writer's view here, why should Pietersen be treated any different from Strauss or Cook? just because he scores a little quickly, at the end of day its how many runs scored that matters, which Cook is doing as well as Pietersen is doing and better too. And to say that Pietersen lives under the hammer all time, he averaged 12 something in UAE, went couple of years without scoring a one day hundred didn't he?

  • Anonymous on August 7, 2012, 12:36 GMT

    absolutely agree wid your view...KP is a star..bt england will never accept it bcoz of this "outsider" thing as rightly pointed out by the author...english media has always tried to propogate him as the "bad guy" jst bcoz of his outspoken nature and their hesitance to accept him fully...

  • Anonymous on August 7, 2012, 12:31 GMT

    An truly good article on the problems faced by 'outsiders' inside the england dressing room.

  • BlindedView on August 7, 2012, 12:14 GMT

    I agree o the author's view.I mean what else had Pietersen got to do to be recognized as a true Englishman.Just reading some comments on Cricinfo would give One enough idea about the way the english fans see Peitersen (a mercenary thrust upon them).What they tend to forget is that this is the man who has changed the face of english cricket team with his belligerent batting,won them various ashes tests as well a T-20 world cup and is probably the only english batsman the opposition fear!!Will be a great great loss to world cricket as a whole. PS:I could not help but think...how strong this south African team would be if they had Pietersen in there arsenal!

  • Loy on August 7, 2012, 12:06 GMT

    Pietersen was given a fair chance at the helm, he couldn't cope and tried to get the coach sacked, the ECB had little choise. He clearly is in the top echelon of talented sportspeople who can change their sport single handedly - the switch hit being a great example of this. unfortunately though Pietersen has a long track record of upsetting all of his team mates and has a curiously naive view of his own popularity. Pietersen is a mercenary, thats why he came to England, left Nottinghamshire, left Hampshire, retired from ODI's - on each of these occasions he believed his best interests were served elsewhere and I think that's what's happened here. England can't let players pick and choose, I think if Pietersen took a more mature approach he could be strategically "rested" more often but he chooses to threaten to leave and cites sorrow for the supporters. I don't feel many of his team mates or England fans will be that sorry to see him go and I think the ECB should hold firm.

  • David Whiting on August 7, 2012, 12:05 GMT

    This is utter tosh. KP has been involved in at least ten high profile spats with authority figures both in South Africa and England. The common denominator in all of those incidents is the man from Pietermaritzburg. How can it be anyone's problem but his? It's sad to see this happen, but he's as volatile as a dozen monkeys locked in a small cage with only scrumpy Jack for sustenance. When he makes his home in the IPL, he will do exactly the same thing there. So long KP, and thanks for the entertainment; there have been some good times and bad, but it was never dull.

  • Philip Morris on August 7, 2012, 11:59 GMT

    So offer Pietersen a taylor made contract and the other players won't demand one as well? Maybe they should just let all players pick and choose which series they fancy turning up for.

    As for the Little Englander jibe, it makes a change from the criticism that England have too many "foreign" players!

    By the way, Jessica Ennis was born and bred in Sheffield - England.

  • Arvind on August 7, 2012, 11:59 GMT

    completely agree. Players like Pietersen, Bopara, Morgan etc. have to keep performing like gods in every match to stay in the team while ordinary players like bell and strauss will have one score after numurous failure and no one questions. it is a matter of time; english cricket it on the verge of going down hill in the 'so called' ICC ranking ladder. They will lose to SA and then will be walloped in India and without Pietersen they will struggle to score even 250 in an innings. world cricket will benefit more if ECB officials resign and Pietersen and others like him are recognised and accepted as they are.

  • RKG on August 7, 2012, 11:48 GMT

    Can't really comment on the team dynamics thingy however a tailor made contract in today's cricketing environment should come into picture.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • RKG on August 7, 2012, 11:48 GMT

    Can't really comment on the team dynamics thingy however a tailor made contract in today's cricketing environment should come into picture.

  • Arvind on August 7, 2012, 11:59 GMT

    completely agree. Players like Pietersen, Bopara, Morgan etc. have to keep performing like gods in every match to stay in the team while ordinary players like bell and strauss will have one score after numurous failure and no one questions. it is a matter of time; english cricket it on the verge of going down hill in the 'so called' ICC ranking ladder. They will lose to SA and then will be walloped in India and without Pietersen they will struggle to score even 250 in an innings. world cricket will benefit more if ECB officials resign and Pietersen and others like him are recognised and accepted as they are.

  • Philip Morris on August 7, 2012, 11:59 GMT

    So offer Pietersen a taylor made contract and the other players won't demand one as well? Maybe they should just let all players pick and choose which series they fancy turning up for.

    As for the Little Englander jibe, it makes a change from the criticism that England have too many "foreign" players!

    By the way, Jessica Ennis was born and bred in Sheffield - England.

  • David Whiting on August 7, 2012, 12:05 GMT

    This is utter tosh. KP has been involved in at least ten high profile spats with authority figures both in South Africa and England. The common denominator in all of those incidents is the man from Pietermaritzburg. How can it be anyone's problem but his? It's sad to see this happen, but he's as volatile as a dozen monkeys locked in a small cage with only scrumpy Jack for sustenance. When he makes his home in the IPL, he will do exactly the same thing there. So long KP, and thanks for the entertainment; there have been some good times and bad, but it was never dull.

  • Loy on August 7, 2012, 12:06 GMT

    Pietersen was given a fair chance at the helm, he couldn't cope and tried to get the coach sacked, the ECB had little choise. He clearly is in the top echelon of talented sportspeople who can change their sport single handedly - the switch hit being a great example of this. unfortunately though Pietersen has a long track record of upsetting all of his team mates and has a curiously naive view of his own popularity. Pietersen is a mercenary, thats why he came to England, left Nottinghamshire, left Hampshire, retired from ODI's - on each of these occasions he believed his best interests were served elsewhere and I think that's what's happened here. England can't let players pick and choose, I think if Pietersen took a more mature approach he could be strategically "rested" more often but he chooses to threaten to leave and cites sorrow for the supporters. I don't feel many of his team mates or England fans will be that sorry to see him go and I think the ECB should hold firm.

  • BlindedView on August 7, 2012, 12:14 GMT

    I agree o the author's view.I mean what else had Pietersen got to do to be recognized as a true Englishman.Just reading some comments on Cricinfo would give One enough idea about the way the english fans see Peitersen (a mercenary thrust upon them).What they tend to forget is that this is the man who has changed the face of english cricket team with his belligerent batting,won them various ashes tests as well a T-20 world cup and is probably the only english batsman the opposition fear!!Will be a great great loss to world cricket as a whole. PS:I could not help but think...how strong this south African team would be if they had Pietersen in there arsenal!

  • Anonymous on August 7, 2012, 12:31 GMT

    An truly good article on the problems faced by 'outsiders' inside the england dressing room.

  • Anonymous on August 7, 2012, 12:36 GMT

    absolutely agree wid your view...KP is a star..bt england will never accept it bcoz of this "outsider" thing as rightly pointed out by the author...english media has always tried to propogate him as the "bad guy" jst bcoz of his outspoken nature and their hesitance to accept him fully...

  • Anonymous on August 7, 2012, 15:28 GMT

    I sorry I do not agree with writer's view here, why should Pietersen be treated any different from Strauss or Cook? just because he scores a little quickly, at the end of day its how many runs scored that matters, which Cook is doing as well as Pietersen is doing and better too. And to say that Pietersen lives under the hammer all time, he averaged 12 something in UAE, went couple of years without scoring a one day hundred didn't he?

  • Marc Brookes on August 7, 2012, 16:36 GMT

    Here we go again. Pietersen this, Pietersen that, Pietersen the other. He is a cricketer for heaven's sake, simply obsessed by his own self importance and self interest. Okay, he can bat as well as anyone on the globe, but how much better could he be if he stopped whining about imagined personal slights and got on with it? What a huge pity he simply doesn't have the ability to conduct his public affairs with the dignity of Sir Viv Richards, David Gower or Sachin Tendulkar. The sooner he packs his cricket bags for the IPL the better.