August 8, 2012

KP's not bigger than England, but he's the biggest thing in the team

Take away the saga-meister and what do Flower and Co have left?
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In recent months, ESPNcricinfo has provided us with some compelling video footage. But the highlights of Monday's post-Test grilling with Kevin Pietersen were a bit of a disappointment. Actually, grilling doesn't really describe it. It was more like watching a group of chimpanzees with sticks repeatedly hitting a rock in the hope that it might turn into a banana.

"I know you said you aren't going to talk about it, Kevin, but could you just put it into words for us, the thing that you said you aren't going to talk about."

"I'm not going to talk about it."

"Kevin, it's Dwayne here, from the Daily Drivel, my readers are anxious to know about the thing you're not going to talk about, so can you relate it to us orally?"

"I'm not going to talk about it."

"Is it true that there's something you would like to talk about, but that you aren't prepared to discuss it verbally?"

"I'm not going to talk about it."

And so on. It was like a slow-motion replay of a police interview conducted by slightly dim detectives on their first day of active duty. If the new film version of the Sweeney is anything like this, I'll be walking out and taking my popcorn with me. Had the assembled gentleman of the press been permitted to hold KP for questioning for the rest of the month, I doubt they'd get him to crack. Of course, that won't stop them from pressing charges.

Top of the chargesheet seems to be "Conspiracy to earn a living". The ECB are playing hardball but they don't seem to realise that the bases are loaded and they're 10-0 down at the bottom of the eighth. The day is fast approaching when central contracts will be for rookies and second-raters. The world's best players will decide when they're available. It's already happening in the West Indies and New Zealand, and when Andy Flower has had enough and England's Test ranking begins to slide back to earth like the exhausted winner of a 24-hour greasy-pole-climbing competition, it will happen here too.

The other offence to be taken into consideration is "aggravating egotism". Alec Stewart, who keeps a supply of clichés by his telephone specifically for occasions like these, has informed the BBC that KP is not, and I quote, "bigger than the team". Like all clichés, this contains some truth. The combined body-mass index of Stuart Broad and Steven Finn alone would tip the scales against KP without the need to pile Tim Bresnan on top.

And even if you only take it a little bit literally, it's still true. Team England would be perfectly capable of fulfilling their Test fixtures without KP, whilst Team KP would find itself slightly outnumbered (although opening the bowling and the batting would no doubt appeal to him).

But that isn't the point. KP isn't bigger than the England team. But he is the biggest thing in the England team. Without him, what have you got? A couple of dour grinders, a bit of useful swishing from Prior, some steady seam bowling, and Swann, assuming that his arm still works after the surgeons have finished poking about in it.

There is no one in the England team, nor in the sleepy English counties, nor for that matter in Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Falklands, British Antarctica or the Pitcairn Islands, who could have scored the century that KP scored at Headingley, in the manner that he did, at the time that he did it. He is the leading man in a team full of supporting actors and extras. Despite what some journalists seem to think, England 2012 are not like Australia 2000. There is not a queue of Pietersens waiting for their chance, just a collection of Has-beens, Never-will-bes and Maybes. Can they really afford to let him walk?

Andrew Hughes is a writer currently based in England

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Damo on August 23, 2012, 8:40 GMT

    Quite honestly he should move to Australia & we could work out some sort of quickie citizenship deal & the ECB/England team will have the worry taken off their hands. Apparently no-one liked Bradman either & look how that worked out for everybody.

  • Karthik on August 12, 2012, 10:05 GMT

    It is akin to a situation in which your prize-winning dog keeps trying to bite you. Treat him well and he will reward you. Kick him out and you alone are worse off. (Although as an Indian, maybe that would be good-- But I love KP and seeing him bat is heavenly.)

  • SkippyD on August 11, 2012, 7:40 GMT

    I think this is more an issue about management. Many people in the world manage difficult people for a living - myself included. This is very poor management of KP. Sure he's an arrogant so and so. Sure he has the people skills of an off ripe grape, but the line in the sand has to be drawn. Do England management want him or not? If not - GET RID OF HIM! If they do (and they should), SURELY they'res someone there paid a lot more than me whose entire raison d'etre is to manage situations like this. KP may have himself to blame, but the way he has been dragged across the public coals is despicable. For a team that prides itself on being professional... oh dear me.

  • Indian Fan on August 9, 2012, 17:42 GMT

    Respect for form:

    India will gladly take KP. Welcome to India. It is such a shame that the media and the board would stoop to this level to destroy someone who is in such great form.

    Respect a cricketer's form please! When a cricketer is in good form and is a joy to watch how does anything ever matter? Boards, nationality, country, all go out of the window.

    Only few people can evoke such reaction. Dale Steyn, KP are recent examples.

  • Cav Davidson on August 9, 2012, 13:20 GMT

    I normally read long handle and end up having a good grump at Andrew for saying stuff I disagree with. Not this time.... to my chagrin I fully agree. Shame the views expressed in the article are too subtle, intelligent and flexible for the ECB..

  • Dan on August 9, 2012, 7:18 GMT

    You kind of missed, there's always South Africa to look for, besides all those places "without".

  • It's Complicated on August 9, 2012, 5:35 GMT

    Great article. Ross is correct. Pietersen beat the real Aussie team in 2005. That made cricket "cool" again. It was glorious to see Warne et al being thrashed all over The Oval. That was a proper Aussie team: Hayden and his beautiful, little friend Alfie. A battered but unbowed Ponting. Not this drivel: Bailey, Warner, Smith, Forrest.

    So anyone who cares for test cricket, must support Pietersen playing for England. He could well have 5 Ashes victories if he plays test cricket in 2013. Test cricket will die a much quicker death without him.

    He is materialistic and egotistical. He sees what Ronaldo,Tendulkar and American quarterbacks make: anywhere from $5 to $20 million a year. He wants a piece of that. Who can blame him.

    He is as English as a piece of biltong. He doesn't care about Ashes records. He laughs at impoverished cricket tragics. (He likes the wealthy ones like Jagger)

    England did a deal with the devil when they chose him in 2005. So do another one: No NZ, yes IPL & Ashes.

  • Abid on August 9, 2012, 3:39 GMT

    One of the better articles I have read in a long time...I'm an Indian n I support my team wholeheartedly, at the same time I support good cricket n cricketers across the spectrum...KP has been betrayed, n mismanaged, it will be a great loss to the game if KP stops playing test cricket which is already on wane....hope better sense prevails in ECB...

  • pulkit10 on August 9, 2012, 1:57 GMT

    Great article, as always. The ECB needs to realize the issue here, the issue isn't that KP is trying to goof about, feed his ego and hog the limelight by causing a rift in the dressing room, it is just that he genuinely feels marginalized. Whether or not his problems are warranted is another debate altogether but if he feels uncomfortable in his current role then every attempt should be made to make him feel better. That's what employers are supposed to do anyway. I'm not saying this just because he is an amazingly talented stroke maker, I'm saying this because he put England before himself. He could have easily made it to the SA line-up (eventually, that is) but he moved to England expecting fairer treatment, battled hard for them, adjusted to their culture, won them games, helped his peers & did what Strauss/Flower wanted him to (even opened the batting for the team). Not saying he doesn't have an inflated ego, but that doesn't be-little what he has done for England. Kudos to him.

  • Denis on August 9, 2012, 0:50 GMT

    The atitude of the ECB is the same of West Indies Board, obviously advised by ICC. Chris Gale was treated similarly as KP. Sports has change , no longer officials decide the fate of sportsmen in other forms of sport. Cricket officials cant accept this yet. 35 years ago a footballer playing for a european club was transfered for sums of money, today the player signs his own contract. KP has to look after his career, the ECB officials dont play any cricket. Look at Mark Boucher injury and there is no career.

  • Damo on August 23, 2012, 8:40 GMT

    Quite honestly he should move to Australia & we could work out some sort of quickie citizenship deal & the ECB/England team will have the worry taken off their hands. Apparently no-one liked Bradman either & look how that worked out for everybody.

  • Karthik on August 12, 2012, 10:05 GMT

    It is akin to a situation in which your prize-winning dog keeps trying to bite you. Treat him well and he will reward you. Kick him out and you alone are worse off. (Although as an Indian, maybe that would be good-- But I love KP and seeing him bat is heavenly.)

  • SkippyD on August 11, 2012, 7:40 GMT

    I think this is more an issue about management. Many people in the world manage difficult people for a living - myself included. This is very poor management of KP. Sure he's an arrogant so and so. Sure he has the people skills of an off ripe grape, but the line in the sand has to be drawn. Do England management want him or not? If not - GET RID OF HIM! If they do (and they should), SURELY they'res someone there paid a lot more than me whose entire raison d'etre is to manage situations like this. KP may have himself to blame, but the way he has been dragged across the public coals is despicable. For a team that prides itself on being professional... oh dear me.

  • Indian Fan on August 9, 2012, 17:42 GMT

    Respect for form:

    India will gladly take KP. Welcome to India. It is such a shame that the media and the board would stoop to this level to destroy someone who is in such great form.

    Respect a cricketer's form please! When a cricketer is in good form and is a joy to watch how does anything ever matter? Boards, nationality, country, all go out of the window.

    Only few people can evoke such reaction. Dale Steyn, KP are recent examples.

  • Cav Davidson on August 9, 2012, 13:20 GMT

    I normally read long handle and end up having a good grump at Andrew for saying stuff I disagree with. Not this time.... to my chagrin I fully agree. Shame the views expressed in the article are too subtle, intelligent and flexible for the ECB..

  • Dan on August 9, 2012, 7:18 GMT

    You kind of missed, there's always South Africa to look for, besides all those places "without".

  • It's Complicated on August 9, 2012, 5:35 GMT

    Great article. Ross is correct. Pietersen beat the real Aussie team in 2005. That made cricket "cool" again. It was glorious to see Warne et al being thrashed all over The Oval. That was a proper Aussie team: Hayden and his beautiful, little friend Alfie. A battered but unbowed Ponting. Not this drivel: Bailey, Warner, Smith, Forrest.

    So anyone who cares for test cricket, must support Pietersen playing for England. He could well have 5 Ashes victories if he plays test cricket in 2013. Test cricket will die a much quicker death without him.

    He is materialistic and egotistical. He sees what Ronaldo,Tendulkar and American quarterbacks make: anywhere from $5 to $20 million a year. He wants a piece of that. Who can blame him.

    He is as English as a piece of biltong. He doesn't care about Ashes records. He laughs at impoverished cricket tragics. (He likes the wealthy ones like Jagger)

    England did a deal with the devil when they chose him in 2005. So do another one: No NZ, yes IPL & Ashes.

  • Abid on August 9, 2012, 3:39 GMT

    One of the better articles I have read in a long time...I'm an Indian n I support my team wholeheartedly, at the same time I support good cricket n cricketers across the spectrum...KP has been betrayed, n mismanaged, it will be a great loss to the game if KP stops playing test cricket which is already on wane....hope better sense prevails in ECB...

  • pulkit10 on August 9, 2012, 1:57 GMT

    Great article, as always. The ECB needs to realize the issue here, the issue isn't that KP is trying to goof about, feed his ego and hog the limelight by causing a rift in the dressing room, it is just that he genuinely feels marginalized. Whether or not his problems are warranted is another debate altogether but if he feels uncomfortable in his current role then every attempt should be made to make him feel better. That's what employers are supposed to do anyway. I'm not saying this just because he is an amazingly talented stroke maker, I'm saying this because he put England before himself. He could have easily made it to the SA line-up (eventually, that is) but he moved to England expecting fairer treatment, battled hard for them, adjusted to their culture, won them games, helped his peers & did what Strauss/Flower wanted him to (even opened the batting for the team). Not saying he doesn't have an inflated ego, but that doesn't be-little what he has done for England. Kudos to him.

  • Denis on August 9, 2012, 0:50 GMT

    The atitude of the ECB is the same of West Indies Board, obviously advised by ICC. Chris Gale was treated similarly as KP. Sports has change , no longer officials decide the fate of sportsmen in other forms of sport. Cricket officials cant accept this yet. 35 years ago a footballer playing for a european club was transfered for sums of money, today the player signs his own contract. KP has to look after his career, the ECB officials dont play any cricket. Look at Mark Boucher injury and there is no career.

  • chris on August 8, 2012, 21:52 GMT

    ECB is the funniest cricket board on the planet. They might even think of playing Andy flower for England after removing KP. Without KP this English team looks pale.

    If you look at cricket teams around the world in different eras there is a reason to like each and every cricket team. whether its westindies, Australia, Southafrica, what ever team. But I never found anything electric and passionate while watching the English cricket team. KP is undoubtedly the best and rare quality which this english cricket team posess. Wonder how much time ECB will take to fulfill KP's place. It surely is long enough.

    Moreover who is their premiere batsman after KP, its a joke if they say cook or bell but its true.

  • Indiaropetrick on August 8, 2012, 21:51 GMT

    Agree almost fully... I hated Pietersen when he was selected in the All-Time England XI ahead of Denis Compton... Also it was clear he is a bit different & tensions will arise. But right now he's a special force next only to Swann: England should find a way to let him play at least until 2015

  • Naman on August 8, 2012, 21:16 GMT

    I agree to an extent however does this mean that Sachin Tendulkar is bigger than India? I mean he is allowed to take a break whenever he wants. I know KP and ST aren't on the same level in terms of achievement and experience but surely the game is the same?

  • Smart sabola on August 8, 2012, 21:00 GMT

    'England without KP'. Its like watching a rerun of Johnny English without Rowan Atkinson. #boring.

  • muhammad ali on August 8, 2012, 20:49 GMT

    he is a batsman having a natural talent. he is suitable for every format which itself is a best quality in him. a best example for a player who is situation oriented. and he is a true match winner for team England. England should not let him go. negotiation should be done. otherwise this world of cricket will loose a gem like Kevin Pieterson.

  • Raj Reddy on August 8, 2012, 20:33 GMT

    Spot on!! KP is the best in the team and without him they have lost the mojo. England are already losing the no1 spot and looks like will go down the sink without KP. For all what he is, he is still the best of them all... Open your eyes and do not make a stupid mistake of sidelining KP as has always been done!!!

  • Tom on August 8, 2012, 19:19 GMT

    Without Pietersen, England have the most prolific young batsman and young bowler in their history, one of the most attractive technical batsmen in the modern game, and the deepest stock of quality fast bowlers anywhere in the world. Plus all the other stuff you mentioned.

    KP is an important player in the team and maybe there's nobody whoattacks the bowler quite like he does, but he's not irreplaceable and shouldn't be treated as such.

  • sekhar on August 8, 2012, 19:14 GMT

    Any chance that we can get Pietersen to move to India, and play for India for another 5 years? We would also be interested in Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, and Jaques Kallis, and especially, Hashim Amla! In this era when players move around, this would not be considered a bad thing....The quality of life will definitely be better than England, and you can eat real Indian food! Players, please consider the idea! (BCCI, please take note, if you are not already negotiating a price)

  • Raj Reddy on August 8, 2012, 18:38 GMT

    Spot on!! KP is the best in the team and without him they have lost the mojo. England are already losing the no1 spot and looks like will go down the sink without KP. For all what he is, he is still the best of them all... Open your eyes and do not make a stupid mistake of sidelining KP as has always been done!!!

  • Chandrasekar T R on August 8, 2012, 18:04 GMT

    This seems to be quite a serious article with sensible humor intricately thrown in between. Is this really a page 2 article? I mean, I hope the author means what the above says and I hope this is not sarcasm.

    I watched the interview and the first few lines happened exactly as described above.

    I am not a fan of KP either, but boy, he can bat. He is an awesome batsman. Doesn't matter whose fault it is - his or ECB's, if he doesn't play Tests, it is a loss for Test Cricket.

  • Rakib on August 8, 2012, 17:58 GMT

    Nice article. Actually I am not a supporter of KP but I love the way players like him plays cricket. Let it be KP, Lara, Ponting, Shewag or Tendulkar. They like to dominate the opposition. They are the real entertainer of the game. You can get average players all the time, some classic players as well but entertainers come once in a generation. I cant remember any english batsman to dominate and play confidently like KP. He might be egostic but I do have a feeling he is judged unfairly both by the ECB and the media. Who knows what would be if he were by born Englishman...?

  • Theo on August 8, 2012, 17:40 GMT

    Andrew - always read your column - and particularly liked this one! Nice to see someone not just going for the easy target. That whole interview was like something out of Groundhog day.. It is sometimes hard to tell the difference between a journo and a mouthbreather.

  • Satish on August 8, 2012, 17:14 GMT

    @Stuart: I absolutely agree with what u ve said.No cricketer has ever placed IPL above national duty until now.

  • Nayel on August 8, 2012, 16:03 GMT

    Nice article....If KP's goes i tell u what will happen,!st England wont defend their t20 wcup,i guess will go down as 5 or 6 in the test rankings,lose a lot of supporters,and most importantly their cricket....Jesse ryder said ' i am Nz cricket '..i think this words go with KP and he is England cricket....ECB let go of your egoes!!!

  • NaniIndCri on August 8, 2012, 15:58 GMT

    Nice article, an eye opener to England fans who think their team will do fine without KP. They dishonestly compare KP situation to that of other players. Truth is that these other players are not good enough to play all formats. So without calling for rest they get it. But KP will be selected for all formats if available.

  • Tim Mann on August 8, 2012, 15:58 GMT

    Call me old fashioned, and I'm sure you all will, but Alec Stewart is right. The ODI team did very well recently without KP and until recently he had had a very poor run in ODI's. He's on form at the moment - fine. But the establishment are saying, in the face of this Godawful mercenary world, "If you don't prioritise England, we won't prioritise you." I'm sure Alex Ferguson would say the same to Wayne Rooney if he said he was off to play for Dubai this week.

  • B. Prashant on August 8, 2012, 15:11 GMT

    The ECB should set an example by respecting the dignity of players like KP, honor them for serving for so long for the country so successfully and even go to the extent so as to maintain high cricketing standard in this gentlemen’s sport being the creator of the game. Instead, they are spoiling wonderful cricketers such as KP’s caliber and damaging the future of the game and country as well just for the sake of ego.

    Don’t forget ECB! Great players are born once in a while. We should try and protect them for effective nurturing of future generation.

    I am an Indian and a huge fan of cricket throughout my entire life. Sad to see something like this happens to the great cricketers. My heart goes out to KP!

  • B. Prashant on August 8, 2012, 15:08 GMT

    One of the best articles I have ever read in recent times. No doubt, without KP, the English Team is handicapped and it will remain the same in the years to come if a player like KP is completely ignored or shown the doors.

    The ECB should look into the mirror and admit that the future of the English Cricket without KP is in dark and there is no hopes at all taking into consideration the kind of players they are producing at the moment. Frankly speaking, most of the existing English team members do not have attraction, they cannot pull crowd for the matches and they are not worth watching.

  • T-Man on August 8, 2012, 15:02 GMT

    Rubbish. He is holding the ECB ransom. His ego has got the better of him. If the ECB allows KP to pick and chose, they'll have to do it for the rest of the team...result...no English players available for test series against Kiwis in 2013

  • Uday Pathania on August 8, 2012, 14:54 GMT

    I think the biggest problem with ECB is that they never ever liked confidence and outspoken nature of KP. In britain confidence is normally mistaken for cockiness and arrogance. Truth is KP is a world class player who speaks his mind and at the same time don't want to miss the opportunity to earn big bucks because he is the only one in the present England team who can do that. A bunch of jokers in ECB shd get their head right and shd allow KP to let him do what he wants. KP can live without England but without him English team will be like England of early 90's

  • Ajit on August 8, 2012, 13:58 GMT

    without KP, England lose against India too, remember the first test at lords? england down and out, rescued by KP double hundred, the whole series might have turned out different...

  • Lakshmi NArasimhan on August 8, 2012, 13:53 GMT

    Great Article........Btw, do the Pitcairn islands have a national cricket team

  • Gooch on August 8, 2012, 13:49 GMT

    One of the best articles I have ever read on Cricinfo.

  • Michael on August 8, 2012, 12:28 GMT

    Oh, come on. Pietersen is a good player, certainly, but the team doesn't revolve around him. Those "couple of dour grinders" are an opening pair with the small matter of 41 Test centuries between them. True, they don't make them in the same "manner" KP does, but that doesn't make them any less valuable to the team; as far as I know the requirements for being a Test batsman don't include "come off spectacularly once in a while but get out cheaply playing a silly shot the rest of the time". Similarly, the likes of India and Australia would kill for some of England's "steady seam bowling".

    As Fred Trueman said of Tony Greig, so of Pietersen: there's only one head bigger than his, and that's Birkenhead. The England team might be slightly worse off without his batting, but they'll be a whole load better off without his ego.

  • GopalaKrishna on August 8, 2012, 12:09 GMT

    Test cricket needs players like KP. England without KP is an ordinary side and as Andrew put it even though KP is not bigger than England he is certainly one big thing in England side. Most of the England and cricket fans want players like KP. So All the above facts make ECB is not even as intelligent as a Preschool kid and acting like a preschool kid. When he has so many virtues to still play for England why cannot they give up few ego fcters in and let him get going. in my openion ECB has messed up with so many players like this Botham, Gating, Filintof and now KP. ECB though run professionaly is very formal like any other British organisation and stringent. We all over world cricket lovers want KP continue in England side and thus england side is bit competetive but not ordinary, makes world cricket bit competetive.

  • Paul, Somerset on August 8, 2012, 11:31 GMT

    Quote: "There is no one in the England team, nor in the sleepy English counties, ... who could have scored the century that KP scored at Headingley, in the manner that he did, at the time that he did it. "

    Well, there is one other batsman in the English counties who could have done it. But having proved unable to find a way of accommodating Marcus Trescothick in the England team, it appears that the ECB and the selectors are going the same way with England's only other batsman with a claim to greatness.

    I get so annoyed when I keep reading of how England's recent success is down to brilliant planning on the part of figures of fun such as Geoff Miller or Ashley Giles.

    It's down to the players. They're the ones who have defied the best efforts of the administrators to cripple the team.

  • Basant on August 8, 2012, 11:22 GMT

    Great write. "Cricket-is-a-team-game" is not a licence for the selectors to behave the way they have done. KP is capable of serving the English cricket the way only he can. The bald heads need to understand his genuine needs.

  • JS on August 8, 2012, 11:15 GMT

    Fantastically written. Very true about English Cricket. KP is like a breath of fresh air in the dark and dour English team. Bend your rules if you have to, turn your back if you have to, do not lose KP, if you do, there is no England cricket team worth anybody's salt.

  • Sankar on August 8, 2012, 11:10 GMT

    Good one . England need KP (Full stop)

  • Radhesh on August 8, 2012, 11:05 GMT

    Agree a 100%... Truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth..

  • Sriram on August 8, 2012, 10:59 GMT

    What an article!!!! Sarcasm coupled with Irony :) :). ECB u cant survive Test cricket without KP.

  • Stuart on August 8, 2012, 10:45 GMT

    If KP feels exhausted and wants to be rested for a couple of tests, that is fine, ECB wouldn't mind. But he complains about the schedule and then asks to miss tests, not to rest but to play more cricket, this is the part that doesn't quite add up.

  • Maximus Aurelius on August 8, 2012, 10:31 GMT

    There is not a single player the poms have neither on the nearest nor in the farthest horizons who has such brutal natural abilities of violent proportions to turn a game so fast & furiously on it's head like Kevin Pietersen does. KP is like the NOS on Vin Diesel's Car.

  • Asder on August 8, 2012, 10:21 GMT

    Is someone offering a wager on what KPs absence wil do to England. Terrible to see an individual (and a sportman) of KPs class being humiliated by a crowd comprising faceless/nameless officials and journalists out to enjoy themselves! Have some heart for the peson.

  • Asder on August 8, 2012, 10:21 GMT

    Is someone offering a wager on what KPs absence wil do to England. Terrible to see an individual (and a sportman) of KPs class being humiliated by a crowd comprising faceless/nameless officials and journalists out to enjoy themselves! Have some heart for the peson.

  • Francis Tuohy on August 8, 2012, 10:03 GMT

    Was going to leave a witty comment, but there is nothing to add to your article, it is spot on! Plus I am an Sa supporter, and even though I would have preferred to see KP play for my team, as a cricket lover I just enjoy watching him play...think all cricket lovers feel the same.

  • Ayush Chauhan on August 8, 2012, 10:02 GMT

    Excellent piece, while I tend to disagree with the central contract future, I do agree to everything you said about Kevin.

  • sagir parkar on August 8, 2012, 9:51 GMT

    Mr Hughes.. i have been a fan of your articles for a long time.. and with this piece, your legend grows as a man of sound cricketing judgement ! the fact is that in today's era administrators cant dictate things like they used to. modern sport is changing and with more money coming into cricket, its 'products' i.e cricketers, can decide about their own future as they are the ones bringing in the money. contrary to what many say about the IPL, i think it is here to stay because it is the cricketers that draw in the crowds.. even if the TV veiwership is dwindling, 80 odd million viewers is more than the UK's entire population.. besides, ground attendances are steady and more international players are interested in leagues such as the IPL, Big Bash etc.. the sooner the ECB administrators understand this, the better it will be for English cricket. is it a mere coincidence that a majority of the English population is scronful of the IPL ? anyways, I am not going to talk about it.

  • Vibhav on August 8, 2012, 9:50 GMT

    Definitely this is not an article deseving to be on page 2 ...... Spot on mate ..

  • John James on August 8, 2012, 9:39 GMT

    The ECB began their farce when they INVITED Pietersen to be captain and then within a year SACKED HIM WHEN HE FELL OUT WITH the inadequate coach Moores, WHO HAD NEVER PLAYED A TEST MATCH. A ridiculous appointment! Not just Pietersen but other players had the same opinion of this second rate coach. (It was also unfair to Moores to give him the job anyway!)

    Do the leaders of the Englishmen of the ECB not have any morals? or for that matter any MANNERS? Pietersen should receive an APOLOGY from the ECB.

  • mohit sharma on August 8, 2012, 9:00 GMT

    Flaklands belong To Argentina, not England ;) but great article nonetheless... - Team KP

  • Peter on August 8, 2012, 8:53 GMT

    Totally right! Cook, Trott and Bell like nothing more than to leave the ball and wait for long hops - hardly match winners. And strauss would be playing cricket in a field in the countryside if he wasn't such a good leader. The ECB can kiss wins in competitive series goodbye if they do the same to Pietersen. I'm not talking about skittling hopelessly inadequate Indians in overcast conditions... I'm talking about winning against SA and Aus. And beating asians in asia. I wonder if KP could qualify to play for SA? Gary would do a much better job of handling KP than the regimental Flower.

  • Avinash on August 8, 2012, 8:00 GMT

    I don't think this is a Page2 Article!

  • vinod on August 8, 2012, 8:00 GMT

    Hilarious as usual and absolutely spot on. England just cant afford to lose a player of that quality

  • T S Sarangarajan on August 8, 2012, 8:00 GMT

    A very well worded article on exactly what happened in that infamous interview with KP after Headingly test. Those journalists kept on asking same questions in different forms and Kevin gave the right one sentence answer-"I’m not going to talk about it.” He was very polite and one could see that he was magnanimously controlling his emotions.One thing is certain- this England team will become poorer if KP exists now or is pushed out by the ECB.Take him out of the England team and you have a team which is full of mediocre batsmen and cricketers.There wont be any fun watching such a team playing Cricket. ECB cannot handle persons as talented as Kevin.Some ego-some witch- hunt.Journalists will enjoy whatever the outcome as they will have something either way to sensationalize.Long live investigative journalism and dogged ECB.

  • Abhilash Jacob on August 8, 2012, 7:44 GMT

    Absolutely right ! Excellent article...Haven't quite seen a piece of writing like this for a long time.

  • SAguy on August 8, 2012, 7:43 GMT

    England needn't worry - their next big thing is no doubt working his way through the SA school system...

  • Ross on August 8, 2012, 7:41 GMT

    In there anyone in England who could do what KP has done? No. Which means you lose the 2005 Ashes. You lose the World T20. You lose in Sri Lanka. You lose at Headingly. They act like his performances haven't been substantial. Also, take a look at the West Indies to see what a difference one world class aggressive batsman can make.

  • saurabh on August 8, 2012, 7:27 GMT

    A couple of dour grinders..ha ha. Dont let KP go. Test cricket will be poorer without him. Can go anywhere to watch him play in whites. KP playing in IPL is like Bolt running 10m sprint.

  • Muzammil on August 8, 2012, 7:27 GMT

    I agree with andrew completely.. I usually come to this page for some laughs but there is lot of seriousness in this article.. I seriously believe English team and Test cricket as a whole needs guys like KP, though brash they are a treat to watch when they get going and letting him walk is robbing of a chunk of entertainment for a spectator... come on ECB you need to buckle down a bit and give KP some leeway... by the way I'm from India, and not a KP fan and also not an IPL fan... so I guess that pretty much sums up what most cricket lovers feel about KP

  • Ravi Sharma on August 8, 2012, 6:01 GMT

    As good as it gets....great article....and practical...England needs to letgo of its egoes....

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  • Ravi Sharma on August 8, 2012, 6:01 GMT

    As good as it gets....great article....and practical...England needs to letgo of its egoes....

  • Muzammil on August 8, 2012, 7:27 GMT

    I agree with andrew completely.. I usually come to this page for some laughs but there is lot of seriousness in this article.. I seriously believe English team and Test cricket as a whole needs guys like KP, though brash they are a treat to watch when they get going and letting him walk is robbing of a chunk of entertainment for a spectator... come on ECB you need to buckle down a bit and give KP some leeway... by the way I'm from India, and not a KP fan and also not an IPL fan... so I guess that pretty much sums up what most cricket lovers feel about KP

  • saurabh on August 8, 2012, 7:27 GMT

    A couple of dour grinders..ha ha. Dont let KP go. Test cricket will be poorer without him. Can go anywhere to watch him play in whites. KP playing in IPL is like Bolt running 10m sprint.

  • Ross on August 8, 2012, 7:41 GMT

    In there anyone in England who could do what KP has done? No. Which means you lose the 2005 Ashes. You lose the World T20. You lose in Sri Lanka. You lose at Headingly. They act like his performances haven't been substantial. Also, take a look at the West Indies to see what a difference one world class aggressive batsman can make.

  • SAguy on August 8, 2012, 7:43 GMT

    England needn't worry - their next big thing is no doubt working his way through the SA school system...

  • Abhilash Jacob on August 8, 2012, 7:44 GMT

    Absolutely right ! Excellent article...Haven't quite seen a piece of writing like this for a long time.

  • T S Sarangarajan on August 8, 2012, 8:00 GMT

    A very well worded article on exactly what happened in that infamous interview with KP after Headingly test. Those journalists kept on asking same questions in different forms and Kevin gave the right one sentence answer-"I’m not going to talk about it.” He was very polite and one could see that he was magnanimously controlling his emotions.One thing is certain- this England team will become poorer if KP exists now or is pushed out by the ECB.Take him out of the England team and you have a team which is full of mediocre batsmen and cricketers.There wont be any fun watching such a team playing Cricket. ECB cannot handle persons as talented as Kevin.Some ego-some witch- hunt.Journalists will enjoy whatever the outcome as they will have something either way to sensationalize.Long live investigative journalism and dogged ECB.

  • vinod on August 8, 2012, 8:00 GMT

    Hilarious as usual and absolutely spot on. England just cant afford to lose a player of that quality

  • Avinash on August 8, 2012, 8:00 GMT

    I don't think this is a Page2 Article!

  • Peter on August 8, 2012, 8:53 GMT

    Totally right! Cook, Trott and Bell like nothing more than to leave the ball and wait for long hops - hardly match winners. And strauss would be playing cricket in a field in the countryside if he wasn't such a good leader. The ECB can kiss wins in competitive series goodbye if they do the same to Pietersen. I'm not talking about skittling hopelessly inadequate Indians in overcast conditions... I'm talking about winning against SA and Aus. And beating asians in asia. I wonder if KP could qualify to play for SA? Gary would do a much better job of handling KP than the regimental Flower.