August 8, 2012

English cricket

How do you solve a problem like Pietersen?

Akhila Ranganna

Mike Selvey in the Guardian writes that if Pietersen, as he has indicated, walks away from Test cricket, England will be deprived of a linchpin of the side that still stands as the world's best in two of three formats. This is a battle in which, as it stands, there are only losers.

The solution is simple and does not entail bespoke contracts, which would be heading down an unmanageable route which Flower would not tolerate.

Pietersen has to re-establish his desire to represent England in all forms and then work out a compromise schedule that is satisfactory, as far as possible, to the requirements of both parties without jeopardising the primary goal of developing the England team.

It is not likely but neither is it impossible. They had better be quick, though, because the names for the World T20 squad will be required very soon.

In the Independent, Stephen Brenkley says while Pietersen's issues are not all about himself, he is missing the bigger picture.

Whatever is being said, whoever wants what, this is no way to prepare for a critical Test match. Fail to win the final contest in the Investec series next week against South Africa and England will lose their top place in the ICC Test rankings barely a year after ascending to it.

Now, 1-0 behind to South Africa with one to play, England are having to deal with the Kevin Pietersen issue ... Pietersen is protesting about the manner in which he is being treated and while the middle of a Test series might not seem the ideal time or place it is probably always the middle of a Test series. In any case, if you want to make a point to your employers it might as well be when it can cause them most damage and embarrassment.

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Akhila Ranganna is assistant editor (Audio) at ESPNcricinfo

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