England cricket August 12, 2012

No winners after loss of trust

It's a shame, that at least for the short term, the ECB and Kevin Pietersen aren't together anymore. They do seem to deserve each other right now
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It's a shame, that at least for the short term, the ECB and Kevin Pietersen aren't together anymore. They do seem to deserve each other right now.

One party drops certain players based on derogatory private texts they haven't seen, and another releases a hammy video the night before a selection decision instead of just making a call, or sending a text.

Right now the sticking point seems to be that KP may or may not have sent a derogatory text to the South Africans. He's not publicly stated that the texts weren't derogatory. And the ECB have had enough.

And as Hugh Morris says: "The success of the England team has been built on a unity of purpose and trust."

Trust is the key word there.

When KP walked into meeting after meeting with the ECB only for his private communications to be leaked to the media, where was the trust then? Where was the unity? What was the purpose?

No ECB employees or board members were dropped for their behaviour.

And I'm no KP sympathizer. KP has played this as badly as he has ever played any left-arm finger spinner. Publicly, he's looked like a buffoon. Privately, he's whinged and moaned. And in meetings about his future he's been naïve and bullish (if you believe the leaked information). Almost every piece of action he has taken has been easily mocked by his critics. And this is a man of many critics.

Yet, for all his faults and missteps and badly premeditated actions, the reason for him not playing in this next Test is a private communication between him and a friend. A member of the opposition, perhaps, but a member of the opposition that he smashed around the park last weekend.

KP has essentially been suspended for doing what every single one of us has done in our life, complained to a friend about our boss.

It seems about as petty a reason to drop someone as you can find. He didn't break the law, he didn't publicly abuse anyone, and he performed at the absolute maximum of his abilities, he just also had a private sulk.

What of other private communications? Should Giles Clarke, Andy Flower and Hugh Morris state publicly that in no conversations with anyone, via text, email or over the phone have they ever said anything derogatory about Kevin Pietersen? Trust.

Or should they just announce that in a show of good faith they are instigating an independent inquiry into who leaked the information?

We all make mistakes, and both sides have made a meal of this consistently, so why not just have a meeting with the aggrieved parties and let them chat about it. Keep the details of the meeting private. Let those upset by possible naughty texts explain why. And let those who feel that he can't trust his employers to confront them, and perhaps even apologise for being a bit of a tool at times.

I doubt he's the only player in this English team to complain about Strauss, Flower, Giles, Morris or the selectors. Has anyone checked Graeme Swann's phone to see what he told his friends after being dropped for the last Test? Or did he even test the trust of the team when he released an autobiography that criticised Samit Patel and Pietersen?

The treatment of Patel in Sri Lanka was not exactly all about trust and unity, now was it? Maybe even Strauss, in a moment of madness and completely out of character for him, said a mildly derogatory not expletive-laden comment to a friend about KP over the last week. Strauss and Flower are proud and intelligent men who have succeeded in life and lead men well.

Are they really so easily upset by the fact that their most enigmatic and highly strung player might not always love them?

There isn't an office, art collective, acappella group, or community farm in the world that doesn't have people who at one time or another don't get along. It's what happens in jobs when more than a few people work together. You're brought together to do a job, it's nice when you make friends at work, but regardless of what Christian ads from the mid 90s showed, we don't always get along. What people generally do is work around personalities and just get the job done regardless.

Let's not say that sport is different. Shane Warne openly despised his coach; there was no need for texts. Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant hated each other as they won three straight championships. Their hatred even has a wiki page. But they made it through. And Victoria Pendleton hasn't always pleased her team-mates.

The ECB has to recognize that it's their job to manage their players, KP's failure is their failure too.

The ECB has decided to put the personal squabbles first. Only they know how bad this rift is, until they leak it. But by overlooking their own mistakes and focusing on the real or imagined ones of KP it is leading their team into a must win Test match without their in-form match-winner.

It's not just trust in Morris' sentence. It's unity of purpose as well. To be the best in the world. And because of their own and KP's actions, the lack of trust has led to them abandoning their best chance of winning this Test and staying on top of the rankings.

The ECB want to be No. 1 in the world, KP wants to be a legend. Surely they're both more likely to do this together than apart.

Jarrod Kimber is 50% of the Two Chucks, and the mind responsible for cricketwithballs.com

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Louis Tevet on August 16, 2012, 20:02 GMT

    Why can't he just turn up and play like everyone else. Play something you enjoy, are brilliant at, adulated for and for which you are exceptionally well paid. What's the problem.

  • Rob Douglas on August 14, 2012, 17:25 GMT

    An article of absolute rubbish. You brush aside your key point -`a member of the opposition perhaps` in discussing who he sent his text to. Thats EXACTLY the problem. Warne, Gayle, Lara or whoever have been openly critical of their bosses in the past have NOT done so by contacting the opposition. Its unacceptable, unethical and typical of a selfish, attention seeking big head who thinks any team he plays for is beneath him - Natal,Notts,Hampshire etc. COME ON ENGLAND!!

  • Nicholas Cricket on August 14, 2012, 17:14 GMT

    Thanks to Mr. Kimber for the long awaited balanced view. KP needs to grow up and let his bat do the talking. Twitter is for twits with nothing better to do with their time. Clearly South Africa has the best test team in international cricket at this point. They knew that to a man going in. To be a true number 1 team you need to be able to beat the opposition in their own back yard on a consistent basis. most top teams win at home so that's' really nothing to write home about.

    This England line up has peaked and rebuilding for the future cannot come a moment too soon. Strauss has done well but he knows his days are numbered,as are several of his team-mates (most notably Swann) having been ground in to the dirt by the absurdly hectic and unremitting schedule that the ECB has bought into. Even Flower and Stauss have complained, albeit timidly, in public about that. So no blame there for KP.

    England will be great again sooner or later as will Australia. That's the way it goes.

  • Sunny on August 14, 2012, 16:45 GMT

    If KP had played for India , he would be treated as a icon player . How can Ecb let go player of such class out of the team. KP u are a legend , miss u if don't play any more for England .

  • David Whitng on August 14, 2012, 16:42 GMT

    There’s a world of difference between a discreet text to your mate at work about your boss and a text to members of the opposition in a Test match; especially when those opponents are former compatriots and you are moaning about your current captain. With England under the pump in this game, and KP the only one performing, it was a sensationally naive thing to do. You’re right that it’s the last straw, but it was an unusually heavy one. SA, if they have any sense, will make room for a swift return. He's the best batsman in the world, and needs to be playnig for his home nation. Just a small problem with removing a tattoo.

  • SJ on August 14, 2012, 16:05 GMT

    Agree with the article -- ECB head honchos should be flogged for their school bully tactics

    Whats funny is that this is the English team sacking a South African over his assumed negative comments about another South African and a Zimbabwean

    Can KP still theoretically play test cricket for SA?

  • Thetruth on August 14, 2012, 15:01 GMT

    lets see how well SA would do without their mercenary Tahir, will they revert back to their other mercenary Harris who is from Zimbabwe. SA cannot produce spinners of a good enough calibre

  • Merri on August 14, 2012, 13:48 GMT

    Three centuries ago, somebody in England revived the idea -born in Hatti- that one is considered innocent until proven otherwise. Apparently this doesn't hold anymore when the prosecutor is the ECB. They should bear the onus of proving KP made some derogatory comment.

    Three questions : 1) Who did pretend KP made derogatory comments ? 2) In this proven ? 3) Who will profit from the ensuing mess ?

    You might say I'm making gratuitous accusations here, and I am - just as the ECB is.

  • PK on August 14, 2012, 13:43 GMT

    England first imports these players and then don't know how to manage them just like you import an expensive car from abroad and simply don't know how to maintain it.If a person can leave his country of birth he can easily leave the new country for some better options.

  • Pieter on August 14, 2012, 13:03 GMT

    Excellent article. However I feel it is about time KP got brought into line, he has a history of tweeting and texting that irked his employers and gets him into trouble every time. However, a good old fashioned dressing down would have worked wonders, but to drop their best batsmen (by a long way) is totally ridiculous, and that on the eve of such an important test match !!!

    Then again KP has had a falling out with Natal, Nottinghamshire, Hampshire, England ..... who will be next, the Delhi Daredevils?

  • Louis Tevet on August 16, 2012, 20:02 GMT

    Why can't he just turn up and play like everyone else. Play something you enjoy, are brilliant at, adulated for and for which you are exceptionally well paid. What's the problem.

  • Rob Douglas on August 14, 2012, 17:25 GMT

    An article of absolute rubbish. You brush aside your key point -`a member of the opposition perhaps` in discussing who he sent his text to. Thats EXACTLY the problem. Warne, Gayle, Lara or whoever have been openly critical of their bosses in the past have NOT done so by contacting the opposition. Its unacceptable, unethical and typical of a selfish, attention seeking big head who thinks any team he plays for is beneath him - Natal,Notts,Hampshire etc. COME ON ENGLAND!!

  • Nicholas Cricket on August 14, 2012, 17:14 GMT

    Thanks to Mr. Kimber for the long awaited balanced view. KP needs to grow up and let his bat do the talking. Twitter is for twits with nothing better to do with their time. Clearly South Africa has the best test team in international cricket at this point. They knew that to a man going in. To be a true number 1 team you need to be able to beat the opposition in their own back yard on a consistent basis. most top teams win at home so that's' really nothing to write home about.

    This England line up has peaked and rebuilding for the future cannot come a moment too soon. Strauss has done well but he knows his days are numbered,as are several of his team-mates (most notably Swann) having been ground in to the dirt by the absurdly hectic and unremitting schedule that the ECB has bought into. Even Flower and Stauss have complained, albeit timidly, in public about that. So no blame there for KP.

    England will be great again sooner or later as will Australia. That's the way it goes.

  • Sunny on August 14, 2012, 16:45 GMT

    If KP had played for India , he would be treated as a icon player . How can Ecb let go player of such class out of the team. KP u are a legend , miss u if don't play any more for England .

  • David Whitng on August 14, 2012, 16:42 GMT

    There’s a world of difference between a discreet text to your mate at work about your boss and a text to members of the opposition in a Test match; especially when those opponents are former compatriots and you are moaning about your current captain. With England under the pump in this game, and KP the only one performing, it was a sensationally naive thing to do. You’re right that it’s the last straw, but it was an unusually heavy one. SA, if they have any sense, will make room for a swift return. He's the best batsman in the world, and needs to be playnig for his home nation. Just a small problem with removing a tattoo.

  • SJ on August 14, 2012, 16:05 GMT

    Agree with the article -- ECB head honchos should be flogged for their school bully tactics

    Whats funny is that this is the English team sacking a South African over his assumed negative comments about another South African and a Zimbabwean

    Can KP still theoretically play test cricket for SA?

  • Thetruth on August 14, 2012, 15:01 GMT

    lets see how well SA would do without their mercenary Tahir, will they revert back to their other mercenary Harris who is from Zimbabwe. SA cannot produce spinners of a good enough calibre

  • Merri on August 14, 2012, 13:48 GMT

    Three centuries ago, somebody in England revived the idea -born in Hatti- that one is considered innocent until proven otherwise. Apparently this doesn't hold anymore when the prosecutor is the ECB. They should bear the onus of proving KP made some derogatory comment.

    Three questions : 1) Who did pretend KP made derogatory comments ? 2) In this proven ? 3) Who will profit from the ensuing mess ?

    You might say I'm making gratuitous accusations here, and I am - just as the ECB is.

  • PK on August 14, 2012, 13:43 GMT

    England first imports these players and then don't know how to manage them just like you import an expensive car from abroad and simply don't know how to maintain it.If a person can leave his country of birth he can easily leave the new country for some better options.

  • Pieter on August 14, 2012, 13:03 GMT

    Excellent article. However I feel it is about time KP got brought into line, he has a history of tweeting and texting that irked his employers and gets him into trouble every time. However, a good old fashioned dressing down would have worked wonders, but to drop their best batsmen (by a long way) is totally ridiculous, and that on the eve of such an important test match !!!

    Then again KP has had a falling out with Natal, Nottinghamshire, Hampshire, England ..... who will be next, the Delhi Daredevils?

  • Anonymous on August 14, 2012, 13:00 GMT

    Come back to South Africa KP, I like the sound of Smith, Amla, KP, Kalis, de Villiers for a top five. Oh and yes you are a South African after all, we don't need to steal you.

  • Yaseer Rizwan on August 14, 2012, 12:58 GMT

    KP has been very poorly handled by ECB. The timing is bad, given #1 Test ranking has, well, almost slipped out of England's hands. Probably this is when KP was needed most by England, and he very aptly affirmed this by scoring that daddy hundred at 149. No other England batsman seem to have any answer to SA' pace battery. Rightly so, if there was no KP in Headingley, scoreline would have read SA 2 - England 0. Administrators all over world rob fans of their stars over their own nonsensical issues. Chris Gayle didn't play for WI in one of the finest years of his cricketing life, Younis Khan, Shahid Afridi were kept out of Pakistan team by Ijaz Butt who had no control on his words & run board by his own whims. Extremely sad to see KP being subjected to same treatment. He's a champion, a rockstar on cricket field & that is what ECB cannot withstand. Sad.

  • Rusty on August 14, 2012, 12:39 GMT

    Since everyone else is thinks they're a critic, my two cents worth: cut it short, and forget the rhetorical question device. It's been done to death, Kimber!

  • Rusty on August 14, 2012, 12:37 GMT

    You've really brought out your claque form this one, haven't you, Kimber!

  • Bala on August 14, 2012, 12:06 GMT

    KP apologised and ECB missed an opportunity to show how mature they are. Why would anyone want to confirm or deny a private email sent to colleagues? A silly reason for dropping KP and exposes ECB's lack of man management skills.

  • Chris on August 14, 2012, 12:05 GMT

    Hiring foreign mercenaries always lead to tears! They have not got the same dedication to the team and are treated as though they are hired guns. England should build their own players and not hire guns like Trott, KP, Morgan and others...

  • Ajay Sudame on August 14, 2012, 11:52 GMT

    Now that Strauss and ECB had their way can they guarantee that they will SA in 3rd test? We all will agree that ECB has taken this drastic step on the premise that this will lead to bigger Team Spirit/harmony in the dressing room, right? Which will off course lead to England retaining its no 1 Ranking. If this does not happen will they ask Strauss to step down? Will the selectors put in their papers?

  • Richard on August 14, 2012, 7:44 GMT

    You seemed to have isolated the event about the texts. KP has had a history of arrogrant and disrepectfull behaviour. The ECB has had enough. As a member of a team you have to repect everyone especially the ones in authority, even if you don't like them. KP is too arrorant and if he was left on the team, he will affect the performance of other players. The texts is just the straw that broke the camel's back. In isolation it is insignificant. He attempted to blackmail English Cricket when could not get his way by retiring from ODI and T20s. Would England be no 1 if KP was Captain ?

  • MrMankad on August 14, 2012, 7:44 GMT

    The most balanced article on the whole saga yet. I do think that much of the blame for this goes to the ECB and team management. It is precisely in times like this that you earn your keep as a manager. KP may or may not be a flawed genius, but precisely what is Hugh Morris for? Whats the point of him, if it had to come to this. Its also ludicrous that now KP has to show his loyalty by revealing his texts, and what he does on the field is somehow not enough.

    The allegation of disloyalty falls on someone, without whom the current scorecard would read 0-2 in the series. Astounding! It seems the management is happy to reward if you are a mediocre player who behaves like sheep.

    Make no mistake, there is much jealousy regarding KP. There is not one player in that dressing room who could even dream of batting like KP.

  • Rahul on August 14, 2012, 6:41 GMT

    What an extraodinary situation. An ex SAFer playing for England sacked by ECB for sending a derogatory text about another ex SAFer who Captains England to an original SAFer. :)

  • Prashant on August 14, 2012, 5:55 GMT

    Truth is that for England cricket has never meant more than Ashes. They are not interested about any other format, or the test format itself beyond ashes. Had they been the least interested, they would have managed with the alacrity required to save the test#1 status. All ECB cares about is money and power, not the sport or being the best. Which is exactly what BCCI does. Wonder why the grumpy Englishmen can't get this simple fact straight.

  • Balvin on August 14, 2012, 5:19 GMT

    As a West Indian this scenario is Chris Gayle all over. You cannot express your views without being punished. Gayle criticised Sammy, Otis Gibson and the Board and was left in the wilderness for nearly two years. Let's hope the same thing doesn't happen to Pietersen. These coaches can be so damn thin skinned

  • Barabas on August 14, 2012, 4:13 GMT

    Fair play to you Jarrod, I found your article both interesting and fair, and would agree with a lot of the comments here with respect to the biased nature of numerous other articles I regularly read, not to mention the lack of geniune thought provoking material published. I think this has been handled in an extremely poor manner to say the least, however, as an Aussie, who is keenly anticipating the upcoming ashes-athon, I must admit to an element of guilty pleasure in following this situation. I would however like to pose this question with regards to big egos.How many egos do you think were present in the world beating Australian team of ten years ago?

  • ElBeeDubya on August 14, 2012, 3:51 GMT

    Another great column that must be read by English management, media pundits and all the fans. It does not matter what people think about KP. English team in a PROFESSIONAL team. Even if you don't like a teammate, you still need to learn to do your job and the management, which is also professional, must know how to handle these type of situations. Everyone who thinks that ECB has done the right thing should ask themselves how they would feel if their bosses threaten them with an ultimatum about a private conversation they had with someone else. Also thanks for highlighting the DOUBLE STANDARDS of ECB that is lost on many people. This is not the first time indeed. English management took the captaincy away from KP for making comments about the coach but they did nothing when Swann made comments about KP. That is hardly PROFESSIONAL.

  • Riz on August 14, 2012, 1:45 GMT

    The ONLY beneficiary in dropping KP is South Africa. The player KP send the text had a vested interest to leak the information because the only batsman who can score quickly and give enough time for the english bowlers to bowl out SA was KP .

    WELL DONE SOUTH AFRICA

  • alistair_usa on August 13, 2012, 21:10 GMT

    Good reading until I got to this ... "KP has essentially been suspended for doing what every single one of us has done in our life, complained to a friend about our boss."

    To me it is different. Using your business analogy ... he is actually complaining to his COMPETITOR about his boss/company in a way that could give them a competitive advantage. In war it would be treason.

    If this cannot be repaired, and I do not really see how it can any time soon, his talent will be missed terribly ... but for once I think the ECB are right and this is one line KP should not have crossed.

  • Kumar on August 13, 2012, 19:10 GMT

    "I am what I am" "I can't change the way I have been born" "The stubornness that I have got sometimes......" Does this mean KP's purported action of sending text msgs to members in SAteam covered in his apologies to ECB? I was KP fan until now. Huge loss for Eng cricket for losing a talented player like KP.If the msgs were not sent KP should have openly disclaimed any responsibility.I guess ECB made the right decision.

  • shani on August 13, 2012, 18:53 GMT

    ECB behaving like PCB and there employees like dictators.who will lose both sides

  • Anonymous on August 13, 2012, 18:49 GMT

    They have reached No 1 and Pieterson is a joke. Honestly if Straus and others were playing ok and there was someone else who was looking to gel in the team, they can get rid of this joke and move on. Right now its all about Money, TV and etc.

    If this was high school game going to a No 1 they would have got rid of this guy. Period.

  • Slowburn on August 13, 2012, 17:38 GMT

    As you rightly point out, the ECB have no problem leaking when it suits them.

    This is a farce of the highest order.

    Pietersen gets dropped for the SPECULATED content of PRIVATE texts (which the South African manager says were just banter). Apparently this 'disrupts the dressing room'

    Swann gets not so much as a stern glance for PUBLICLY criticising a team-mate in his autobiography. Blatant double standards.

    That team-mate criticised by Swann just happened to be.......Pietersen.

    Strauss and Flower are clearly using the texts as an excuse to get rid of the high-maintenance Pietersen.

    Hope England get stuffed after two middle order collapses.

  • Aniruddh on August 13, 2012, 17:22 GMT

    Where is the facebook like button when you need it? I absolutely love this article. I've always agreed with whatever Jarrod Kimber has expressed in the 'Two Chucks' videos, and even though that show is a humorous take on cricketing events, Kimber's opinions make perfect sense, despite the humorous presentation. He has proved himself once again, because I think this article is probably the best thing I've ever read on Cricinfo.

    And of course, I agree with Kimber on the KP issue as well. The alleged text messages are not reason enough to drop a player of KP's calibre. This article HAS to be read by the ECB!

  • ali bajan on August 13, 2012, 17:05 GMT

    Reminiscent of the CG / WICB stand off, where the WICB was clearly in the wrong and the initiator of the whole debacle and tried to place the sole blame on CG .......

    eventually the world realized the personality that was Earnest Hillare and for all CG's immaturity in comparison to Earnest ,CG may as well be an old wise man...

    what is not being said is who is the ECB's equivalent to Earnest Hillare .....

    my bet is that the protagonist is Strauss ! !

  • Sri on August 13, 2012, 16:48 GMT

    Excellent article!

  • arpana on August 13, 2012, 15:15 GMT

    ..exactly! and KP's job/skill is to play for England which he does quite brilliantly. It's the managements job/skill to manage players like KP which it's obvious they are extremely poor at. The onus for resolving this lies with them not KP....but then they leak their private communication with KP to the media etc etc... and KP gets dropped for private communication with his friends (yes it's possible to have private friendships even in your rival's camp.completely normal.we do it in our lives all the time). ...ah well! it all just reeks of power play on ECB's part. Pathetic really!

  • alan on August 13, 2012, 14:36 GMT

    To all KP detractors, i completely agree that he brought about his axing from the final test on himself by sending derogatory texts about his coach and captain to people in the rival camp. that shouldn't be tolerated. and he's being punished for that by being dropped from the team. Now what about punishing those who leaked details of private meetings he had with the ECB to the media. if KP betrayed the trust of the team, people within the ECB also betrayed his trust. If KP is being punished for his indiscretion, and probably rightly so, so should ECB officials be for their breach of trust. Heaping all blame on KP and ignoring the ECB's antics in this whole sorry saga is nothing but hypocritical

  • Venkat on August 13, 2012, 14:29 GMT

    Finally an article on this saga that makes sense, is balanced and tells where the blame really lies - i.e. with the ECB. KP may feel sad now, but whether or not he plays for England again, he will be a lot more successful in 5 years time than some of the current lot. One suspects the real losers in all this ego clash will be the English fan who just wants his team to do well.

  • Ravi on August 13, 2012, 14:16 GMT

    A Very WELL written article. This definitely is THE BEST I have read amongst the 1000's of others I have read so far on this saga. Thanks for Master Piece Jarrod.

  • Jonathan Ellis on August 13, 2012, 13:38 GMT

    Bitching about the boss is all well and good. A lot of people do it.

    However, if you're going to bitch about the boss, you do it to your team mates. Who may or may not agree with you, but should at least keep it within the team.

    Taking it straight to a member of the opposition is RIGHT out.

    Also, Swann should probably have been dropped until he apologised, for some of the things he's said in the past. It's not as if he's even bowled particularly well for a while: being dropped would (a) have given him time to have the elbow operation he obviously still needs and (b) have also given a bit more quality test time to Monty, who looks to be coming back into form again...

  • Genghis Cohen on August 13, 2012, 13:24 GMT

    I take the point about private communications between friends, but clearly it's not quite as simple as that when the friend in question is in the opposition dressing room and able to use that communication either to privately bolster South African morale or publicly undermine the England team. It is shockingly naive at best, clear troublemaking at worst. No one can be surprised that an employer would invoke disciplinary measures in those circumstances, and if KP's influence is so detrimental to the unity of the England team (and certainly no England players are speaking out in support of him) then what option is there but to drop him, albeit that it leaves England weakened?

  • sleuth on August 13, 2012, 13:10 GMT

    This is an excellent, well-balanced piece. To those defending the decision to drop him on the basis of texts to the opposition players: I could understand this POV if the texts contained let's say info about tactics. But slagging Flower/Strauss off? These two tough guys suddenly have such soft skin?? And let's face it, if KP wasn't dropped, there would again be a lot of questions about Strauss' persistent non-contributions with the bat. KP is of course not blameless by any stretch of the imagination. But the vitriol reserved for him in some sections of the media is truly something to behold.

  • Naikan on August 13, 2012, 13:10 GMT

    From your article, I felt you seem to be as distraught as Pietersen himself seems to have been. I suppose You may be feeling that England are going to miss their only chance to get back into the series and thereby lose their no. 1 standing. There is no doubt that Pietersen is one of the great players, which is why he should have avoided all this public fallout. It is a pity that one rarely finds greatness and maturity to go hand in hand. I would side with the ECB on this in spite of all their flaws that you have stated. (It would have made Pietersen's case much better if he had never made any public statement, blog or otherwise of any kind at all). After all Cricket has been what it is due to it being a resonably well administered team sport - albiet one which does allow for a lot of individual brilliance, which makes it all the more important for players with individual brilliance to ensure the right public image.

  • David H on August 13, 2012, 13:05 GMT

    "Yet, for all his faults and missteps and badly premeditated actions, the reason for him not playing in this next Text is a private communication between him and a friend."

    No, Jarrod, that is NOT the reason. Have you played cricket? Or another team sport? Hugh Morris is spot on - it has to be an XI to have a foundation or long term success. This foolish, selfish, narcisstic, brilliant talent wants it to be a X(ten) plus a I (one).

    Paul Ogden at August 12, 2012 8:43 PM ha it right, in my view

  • Richard on August 13, 2012, 13:02 GMT

    Very well written indeed . I must just emphase that this whole sagga could have been prevented with just proper communications btween KP and the ECB. Intead its blown out of controle with one huge power struggle. I'm South African and England is a very very good team and KP a very good player but guys remember two wrongs doesn't make things right

  • Neil Matthews on August 13, 2012, 12:36 GMT

    KP has been dropped for one Test. Not for the rest of his career. Given the severe provocation his employers have been under, that's actually a fairly small penalty.

    Contrary to one or two comments, KP didn't actually apologise (not in public anyway). Nor is this the time for those opportunist cynics to wheel out the tired old, false old cliches about England being 'South Africa II' (eg Strauss has English parents and has lived in England since the age of 6 - he just happened to be born in SA - no doubt some of these cynics think Colin Cowdrey was Indian and Ted Dexter is Italian).

    There have been various minor and major niggles in the relationship between KP and the ECB. I do/did have sympathy with him over the captaincy - he should never have been made captain but, once appointed, should not have been sacked the way he was. But KP is either very badly advised or - not uncommon, this, in people highly gifted in one thing - not very bright. He has brought this on himself.

  • godfrey on August 13, 2012, 12:12 GMT

    These articles are kind of confusing to me. Did K.P. send the text-Yes or No? who were the recipients of the infamous text? The major article above indicates it was D.Steyn "K.P's friend" Question- would a friend expose a friend if he shared genuine concerns with him? certainly not!!! Now if this is the case ,K.P. does not know who his friends are or he simply does not have friends! This man needs help and dropping him might have worsened his situation!!!!!!!! my solution- get Straus,Flower,KP and the rest of the team to sit and have a long hard talk!

  • Arshad Khan on August 13, 2012, 12:05 GMT

    @Roscoe: Boycott was dropped for scoring his doubel hundred way to slowly, way too detrimental to the team's cause.

  • Man Alive! on August 13, 2012, 11:48 GMT

    Who actually cares? It's just a professional game - it's just entertainment. I'm sure KP is hard to put up with, but he's one of the few real entertainers in the team. The fact that he's born and bred South African doesn't matter - he (like all othe rprofessional sportsmen) sells himself to the highest bidder. The English cricket team is not representative of English cricket - just like Man Utd is not representative of Manchester. Let them all say what they feel - at least it's real then, not pretending.

  • sukh on August 13, 2012, 11:46 GMT

    kp is match winner on is own ,human do make some mistakes, so does ECB even staruss or andy is not greater than team , it will be good if they resolve amicably,if england loose u know , who to blame. i think kp should get one another chance,ecb should not be vindictive.

  • William Croom-Johnson on August 13, 2012, 11:44 GMT

    There is a bit of a difference between having a moan to a friend, and handing an advantage to the opposition on a plate.

    Can you imagine Strauss and the first sledge on the first morning of the next test - perhaps "Hi Straussy - would you like to know what KP has been saying to us about you behind your back?" and then trying to concentrate.

  • keeps71 on August 13, 2012, 11:43 GMT

    Seriously? You're siding with KP against Andy Flower? What utter drivel. Quite clearly you have never spent time in a cricket team dressing room where the atmosphere absolutely stinks - and it's usually caused by some show pony who thinks he's bigger and better than the rest of the team. I've seen this time and again in amateur cricket. The only way to solve it is to get rid of the root cause: the player. KP may be an exciting player but who says Bairstow or Morgan won't step up and eventually do the job he did without all the hassle. So very short-sighted to just look at the runs he scores. If he decreases the capacity of the team to do well, then he has to go, however many runs he scores.

  • Roarster on August 13, 2012, 11:30 GMT

    Who on earth is advising KP? Given his previous media related bloopers he surely can't be going it alone. If indeed he has one, our Kev may well have engaged one of the worst PR agents in the history of propaganda. Granted this is a fully grown man in his thirties, but even still his parents at some stage must be thinking "we need to step in here before the lad does himself any more mischief". As a father to a couple of slightly younger children (5 and 2), I often have cause to remove items from their reach which could prove harmful to the wee scamps. These articles will be witheld until such a time when I feel they are responsible enough to have access to them. Mr Pieterson Snr should have realised the ongoing damage his boy was inflicting on himself with that pesky mobile phone of his and confiscated it and put it on a really high shelf (he is a big lad after all) until he deems young Kevin mature enough to issue texts/tweets that don't jeopardise his career.

  • ab on August 13, 2012, 11:28 GMT

    Fantastic article - one of the best.

    As for the situation - idiotic and immature.

  • bobmartin on August 13, 2012, 11:20 GMT

    The tone of the article was set with this one phrase "One party drops certain players based on derogatory private texts they haven’t seen"... For starters only one player has been dropped. Secondly, how is the writer so sure that the ECB have not seen the texts. Notwithstanding, if an employee is accused of something which is contary to the terms of their employment, the standadrd procedure these days is to suspend the accused on full pay until the facts of the case have been established. That appears to be what the ECB have done in this case.

  • Vijay Palli on August 13, 2012, 11:01 GMT

    KP is the best player that has played for England in the past 20 years. Players like him should be handled carefully.

  • Radu on August 13, 2012, 10:56 GMT

    No winners all right.

    If the information in the public domain is correct, the texts were not, as you put it, complaints about his boss. They were encouragements to opponents (D. Steyn) to dismiss his captain. This put a very different light on things and kind of invalidates your argument.

    Moreover it was KP's refusal to offer any kind of apology for the messages which angered the ECB, thus, in absence of an apology, they asked him to confirm that he did not have anything to apologise for.

  • hello on August 13, 2012, 10:32 GMT

    As usual, a very well written and an article with a great amount of "depth" and insight.Jarrod is currently the best column writer along with Harsha Bhogle.

  • ramanujam sridhar on August 13, 2012, 10:31 GMT

    Finally a balanced piece and not something that brands KP as a complete villain and full of himself. He is all of that but there is no denying the enormous talent that he has had and displayed for England"s benefit. He played a great part in the Ashes changing hands in 2005 and who can forget his phenomenal knock against South africa in the last test match he played. The fact of the matter is that he is "high maintenance" and the jobs of senior people is to manage talent like his. Mediocre people are easy to manage, but a champion team will not always have people who just tow the line even if they are being badly treated. If the ECB leaks sensitive information then clearly they are doing something wrong and just because they are in authority , it does not make them right. I think England will rue their arrogance and soon as their leadership in all three formats will not last beyond a couple of months.If England loses their hard fought ranks soon then only the ECB is to blame .

  • Subhamoy on August 13, 2012, 10:06 GMT

    @Mark Carrington at August 12, 2012 10:35 PM : but it is not before the deal. you just have stopped your from making the deal in their favour (without KP's innings, England had no chance to fight back in headingley) and then you have sent a message to an old friend in that rival camp. the content of the message is unknown and private. your boss has no right to know what is in it. you have done your job. how you can be fired? and "guilty before proven innocent" is sounding like medieval witch hunting.

  • Dylanfan on August 13, 2012, 9:56 GMT

    Excellent article. Having people who, as Trevor Bailey used to say 'learned their cricket overseas' is a double edged sword. It needs far better handling than the ECB have provided.

  • Harsh on August 13, 2012, 9:40 GMT

    It's as if they were crouching like a tiger, looking for an excuse to pounce upon KP. He must have offended a few egos to invite this. Nevertheless, highly unprofessional behaviour by ECB 'goons'.

  • Mahmood shah on August 13, 2012, 9:40 GMT

    Sad days for English Cricket. We have lost (may be forever) the best Crickter we ever had. KP did make some mistake but it's mountain high egos of ECB which is to be blamed. KP played more matches in all formats for England over last many years than any other England player. Yet when he asks for a break, hells break loose, why? Playing in IPL is not a crime as many in ECB think. It helps players to improve their skills. If were are to save KP for England, ECB must sit with him and talk rather than making lame excuses to get rid of him at any cost.

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

    Not sure what the point of this article is. Voicing your displeasure in one way or another (texts, phone calls) can be toleratd as it is in human nature. But back stabbing your team mate (which is what it is, if Pietersen has encouraged ways of dismissing Strauss in his text messages to the South Africans) is pure treason. In more disciplined paths of life, you can be shot for that! Besides, his wayward ways have been long tolerated by England set up. There is a breaking point for everyone, and this is where England management snapped, although they could have been lot more professional in their manner. So finally, Pietersen cannot accuse England of "Trust" issues - they say those is glass houses.............

  • AG on August 13, 2012, 9:22 GMT

    Brilliant article. No one comes out a winner with what's just happened. @Aspraso, Some rules of any workplace are common to ALL. Integrity is among them. Consistency in handing out punishment is another. I don't think there was any public apology from Swann over what he said in his book about his teammates (came out in the middle of a series). Neither did I see anyone in the ECB hierarchy admonishing such behaviour. And, did anyone even ask Anderson about his article in the paper over last few days discussing the issue? Isn't that disruptive to the unity, esp when the talks are still ongoing? Fostering TRUST is the responsibility at both ends. So far, I have read nothing to suggest that suggests ECB acts as it preaches. KP apologises and is dropped for his texts which ECB hasn't even seen and yet have acted, assuming it was derogatory. Does that even sound fair?

  • Ashwin Kashyap on August 13, 2012, 9:00 GMT

    @ Jarrod - this is a fab article. In fact I was slagging off KP for being stupid. However, having read this I have changed my mind and think the ECB is equally at fault. The ECB say no one player is bigger than the team, however, they need to reflect how much power they have given to Strauss and Flower. Together they are doing what they feel like and there are no questions asked.

    I'm from India and I thought this kind of madness in selection was a prerogative of just the Indian selectors...how can you justify dropping a batsman who has averaged so high this series just on the basis that he has had a private conversation with his friends?

    This is a shame and I think it will serve ECB right if England go on to lose the last test as they have not put the best team up for the match!

  • Ram on August 13, 2012, 8:54 GMT

    Fair and balanced

  • Mjk on August 13, 2012, 8:44 GMT

    Excellent article. Pleasure to read a non-biased article on cricinfo. Somebody should email to the ECB.

  • Yates on August 13, 2012, 8:43 GMT

    Top stuff Jarrod. Neither side is blameless but the ECB have shown again that they are incapable of even basic management. England do not deserve the #1 ranking with the current top level of ECB management.

    Hugh Morris in particular has failed again and must go. What happened to Andy Flower, the guy who had the balls to flip the bird to Robert Mugabe? The Flower of old would have sorted this.

    There are no winners here but more worryingly, the triumvirate of Collier, Clarke and Morris seem unlikely to be held to account for their failings. And so it will go on...

  • Warnerbasher on August 13, 2012, 8:32 GMT

    allways going to happen when you pick a mercenary in your test team. Self absorbed child. England will thrive without him. Scores the easy runs not the hard ones. IPL is made for him

  • iplcommissioner on August 13, 2012, 7:45 GMT

    thanks to IPL for creating this mess....more to follow

  • Roscoe on August 13, 2012, 7:31 GMT

    From a Kiwi cricket lover ... grow up ECB! & get back to your jobs, Flower/Strauss. How daft can you guys get? Only dumb parents punish their teenagers for grizzling about them to other people. And team unity ain't the key to world domination: performance is the key. KP performed, & therefore ... got dropped. Only in England! Yes they did that to Boycs once too (1967, after a double century, no less). What about the rest of the team? Good coaches & captains work with underperformers. They don't drop their stand-out performers, not for any reason.

  • Jake khan on August 13, 2012, 7:23 GMT

    Though this article was very well written, and I agree to most of the points made, I believe that whether or not had Kevin been picked, the england team will still lose the test match at lords along with their number 1 status which in my view they never even deserved and the England management already knows this. England usually has a reason when they lose, but the reason is never that they won't good enough, they always need something or someone to blame, either it is the pitch, the weather, the continent or even a player. In my view despite the media circus, dropping Kevin is more of an excuse rather than ana example.

  • The rain man on August 13, 2012, 6:51 GMT

    Sadly he is a very silly person. Poor EQ and great ego. No doubt about his talent and physical prowess. Like Warne, he has a problem keeping his ego in check. He needs constant vigilance and sadly lacks leadership and the maturity off the field. He would be a headache for the mgmt and captain. I hope the whingers wont use his dropping as an excuse when south africa trash them in the final match!

  • Fan1969 on August 13, 2012, 6:45 GMT

    I think too much is made of Cricket being a team sport. The team wins but batting, bowling and fielding are individual skills unlike football, hockey where you need to pass the ball.

    Cricket fans idolise and follow certain favourite players.

    In the Second Test vs SA it was KP the individual and not England the team that saved them.

    Fans want to see the best players go out and perform.

    I think it is high time incompetent officials in ECB & WI (Gayle being kept out for over a year) be asked to resign. BTW Andy Flower is now just an official.

    I think the much maligned BCCI does a better job of managing dressing room differences (example Sehwag/Gambhir vs Dhoni, Kapil vs Gavaskar).

    It is foolish to expect players (20 to 38) to have more maturity than officials (40-60). Egos of officials prevent best players from playing

    KP apologised. ECB should have behaved like a parent with an errant child who has said sorry. Is ECB a perfect parent?

  • JS on August 13, 2012, 6:21 GMT

    Bairstow for KP? What a laugh he is going to be when he comes out to play. Won't be fair to him either.

  • Arshad Khan on August 13, 2012, 6:03 GMT

    Whether right or wrong, "boss is always right" and it appears KP forgot that. One feels that way too much attention is being given to this KP vs ECB issue. Players come; players go but institutions remain. This is something that KP forgot so he must pay for that. All international teams have had great cricketers in all eras but the teams never shut down after their retirement or dump. I am sure this England side can fight without KP. Oh btw, I am betting on a draw for the third test

  • owen on August 13, 2012, 6:02 GMT

    Good article, but probably a bit generous to Pietersen. Sending texts to the opposition criticising your own team, in the middle of an important series, isn't quite the same as ranting to a friend. Its pretty unprofessional. I think in most professional jobs people would expect to be disciplined if something equivalent to that come to light. Still, I agree its not all his fault, the ECB have handled this disastrously. Alot of them probably wanted it to end like this, which is a massive shame for the England fans.

  • Anonymous on August 13, 2012, 5:36 GMT

    I don't like this statement by Hugh Morris says: “The success of the England team has been built on a unity of purpose and trust."

    I understand that it's complete incorrect statement.

  • Vikram Pai on August 13, 2012, 5:17 GMT

    Very very well put. Great article.

  • Aspraso on August 13, 2012, 4:39 GMT

    @Jarrod -- did you write this article in jest or you really meant it? The one word that resonates throughout your article is work place organization -- every organization has rules and workers are expected to abide by them and in every organization the management enjoy superior rights and privileges (without which the management can not be expected to manage). Did Pietersen abide by those rules? Clearly not. Did the ECB management have to apply to themselves the same rules as applied to Pietersen? Again, clearly not. Therefore your contention that same yardstick be applied to both sides of the table is not a valid argument.

  • Tony on August 13, 2012, 4:23 GMT

    Saffers are the clear winners everywhere!. Its kristen who got the best out of India. If SA & Ireland members go out of England, i really dont know whether england is worth its test status. Just another bangladesh or Ireland.

  • Anonymous on August 13, 2012, 4:20 GMT

    It's a hurricane in a hatbox, a cyclone in a sandpit, a tornado in a tortilla...

  • Anonymous on August 13, 2012, 4:10 GMT

    aaah very well written..to the point and magnificent!

  • earl on August 13, 2012, 3:37 GMT

    Both England and KP will lose here, just as Gayle and the WI have lost many opportunities...because they lost sight of their true goals, building and preserving lasting traditions, and got all caught up in their egos..

  • Sam on August 13, 2012, 3:37 GMT

    Excellent Piece, could not have said any better!!

  • Avinash on August 13, 2012, 3:13 GMT

    I am reminded of movie Troy hwen you say ECB want to be no 1 and KP wants to be a legend. Does KP fancy himself to be Achilles...

  • timjg on August 13, 2012, 3:11 GMT

    The problem is that KP wants to be a legend on his terms and consistently reverts to ego driven self delusion after telling the world that he is a 'team' player. I was brought up with the idea that a champion team will usually beat a team of champions and this is what the ECB has been looking to build. I also know that a champion team with a prima donna never quite clicks and I think that KP should be dropped and stay dropped from all England teams. Then he can get on with being a South African 'star' in the various 20/20 competitions around the world - it requires a short attention span and he seems to certainly have that!

  • Vivek on August 13, 2012, 2:42 GMT

    Very fine article. ECB is just acting snobbish and wants to show off its power. But it has forgotten that if a person or committee in power has to use its power, that itself is its defeat! There would not be a single person in world who would not have criticized his/her colleague at least once in life. On what basis is ECB talking about trust when it itself had been continuously leaking private conversation with KP? I wish England to lose all matches here onwards and let them realize how stupid they have been!

  • Shivag on August 13, 2012, 2:16 GMT

    Very good one; how true... I truly hope we have not seen or heard the last of KP

  • Kunal Talgeri on August 13, 2012, 2:02 GMT

    KP's behaviour is no different from any star player's. But there is no display of maturity from the ECB and the Andys either. Basically, modern cricket wants to sanitise all its players of character "for the sake of the team."

  • Madan on August 13, 2012, 1:52 GMT

    If your 'friend' happens to be someone in the rival camp, you are indeed not supposed to rat to him and compromise the position of your organisation. If there are lots of 'us' (and who's the we here?) who do that routinely, maybe there are more KPs, Rajat Guptas and Bob Diamonds waiting to happen. And as far as leaking details of private discussions to media goes, KP grandly settled that account by publicly blasting England and citing dressing room issues. ECB had agreed to look beyond that. They did not even object to him writing SMS-es to South African players. They only wanted an assurance that he didn't write something derogatory in said texts. While England may have been high handed, KP's integrity is compromised, that's the bottom line.

    I would be inclined to take a more sympathetic view of this if it wasn't the first time. Somebody who cares so much about the 'I' of his universe would indeed be better off in IPL than ECB, it appears.

  • imran on August 13, 2012, 1:47 GMT

    wonderful words........ i wish ECB, Andrew Strauss and Andy flower read it atleast 3 times.they ll soon realize the blonder they have committed in dealing with Kevin Pieterson......

  • VN on August 13, 2012, 1:13 GMT

    Exactly right! The ECB, and the English team management should take the brunt of the blame for this. KP may be highly strung, but its tough to be in a dressing room where the you think the rest of the team has it in for you. Unfortunately, the ECB's version of the truth is the only one that will go on record, which is a shame.

  • shiv on August 13, 2012, 0:34 GMT

    Sure a team may be helped by KP's contribution. However, a team's interest must always be paramount. And for a team to perform well, all player must play for the team, not themselves. This is the job of the captain and the manager. This is what the Aussies did so well. I am no big fan of English team, or Strauss for that matter. But on this issue, I dont think they did wrong. I dont know whether dropping KP is the answer. But the KP circus has to end for the team to perform. His ego, his thirst for limelight has to be curbed or eliminated if he want to be a productive member of the English team. Perhaps, one can say that it was his ego that allowed him to make those 149 runs at Headingley. Nonetheless, over the long run, for the team to progress, for a winning squad to be build block by block, for a dominant cricket empire to be constructed, the fuel has to come not from KPs but the Trotts and Cooks and Broads...

  • Haider on August 13, 2012, 0:33 GMT

    Well said. It is indeed a tragedy for English fans and for the cricketing world at large. The madness of this affair is truly appalling. The bureaucracy is evidently bent on destroying KP's career, although he is not helping matters, to say the least.

    I think the issues are deep rooted and Strauss & ECB are complicit in the ouster of Kevin, I dare say.

  • Emma on August 13, 2012, 0:08 GMT

    This article is ridiculous, if had said to any other friend that would be fine but when that friend plays for the opposition how is that ok? KP may be a great player but he also clearly a disruptive influence in the team

  • Chandrasekar on August 13, 2012, 0:06 GMT

    Well balanced and amazingly worded article. Reflects the sentiments of many cricket lovers outside England. I am no KP fan, but I think his ability to change the game on its head is unmatched in the current England Team. It is a loss for both England and KP.

  • zephirine on August 13, 2012, 0:06 GMT

    Excellent article.

  • Spinoza on August 12, 2012, 23:06 GMT

    This is the best commerntary I have read on the Pietersen affair so far.

  • John on August 12, 2012, 23:00 GMT

    Spot on, Jarrod. You really have said it all there. In spite of my personal distaste for all things Pietersen (I am a South African, after all), the idea of dropping on the grounds of a private text message is beyond bizarre and an open acknowledgement of a complete lack of privity between the ECB and its players.

  • jay on August 12, 2012, 22:50 GMT

    absolutely brilliant article - so sharp, pragmatic, and balanced. good job, Jarrod!

    The ECB officials also need to be disciplined (not unlike many other cricket officials from many countries). they do as they please. and roam around scot-free. Pietersen is sinned against much more than sinning. and we want to see our heroes, not political bungling oldies. This Straussy and Flowery seem a very revengeful dominating couple.

  • Mark Carrington on August 12, 2012, 22:35 GMT

    I suspect that if my boss found out I had texted a competitor just before a major competition for business, he would want to know what I communicated and would likely fire me if I refused tondivulge the contents of that text.

  • Arish on August 12, 2012, 22:33 GMT

    Finally a Neutral article, though it talks only the mess that ECB has made.It is totally fine, as there are numerous articles blaming KP. Sad to see talent being ignored coz of the ego between KP and ECB. Shame on ECB and it's board.

  • David on August 12, 2012, 22:07 GMT

    Jarrod is the only writer who has maintained perspective on this, and has called for the ECB to be accountable for their actions. As far into his mouth KP may have shoved his foot, that is no reason for shooting the entire team in their collective foot. In the long run, I see KP outlasting Giles and Morris. At least KP has talent and can contribute to the team!

  • David Edwards on August 12, 2012, 21:54 GMT

    I am a big Pietersen fan but as soon as it emerged that he had sent messages to the opposition deriding his team mates then he had to be disciplined. How could Strauss and Flower and team get along with him when he has said that their are issues in the dressing room and then allegedly sent messages to the opposition? The stance the selectors have taken is consistent with the desire to have a team ethos. It is a shame that he is not in the team as he is by the far best batsman we have but he chose this route. Nothing should come above the team and the fact that the selectors gave him the chance to show that there were no derogatory texts means they obviously were sent. The difference with the analogies given in the above article is that you dont send messages when you are involved in a team game playing for your country. Sportsmen are held to a higher standard and also rewarded far more for this. I agree with the end part of your article but here is where KP has fallen down.

  • Thaya on August 12, 2012, 21:31 GMT

    This is the best I have read so far. Keep it up. All thge best.

    Regards

    Thaya

  • RobRaz on August 12, 2012, 21:30 GMT

    100% agree as usual, Morris, Giles etc: what knobs. I can only assume England got to number 1 despite them (and because of the general mediocrity of other teams in 2011...)

  • Srithan on August 12, 2012, 21:17 GMT

    Great article which is absolutely neutral. Playing for the country isn't giving us the choice like playing for a club. In the latter u can choose your club which treats u fairly. In the former one ' egoistic selector, can soil ur career.

  • Tanvir Ahmad on August 12, 2012, 21:16 GMT

    Justin, I would like to congratulate you on a brilliant, unbiased and well researched article and is refreshing from the rubbish I have read from other pundits who are extremely biased against KP. You have covered everything so logically that I am struggling to add to this. There seems to be a joint venture between media. ECB management and some players to drive KP out and it will be a bigger loss for them as KP will still earn more money than the English contracted players through T20 leagues with less physical wear and tear. I wonder how many people will still pay good money to watch Englands top 3 block for 3 days.

  • james wilson on August 12, 2012, 21:06 GMT

    Brilliant article, pointing out the clear shortcomings in the ECB's position, and their outright treacherousness and double standards in the way they have treated Pietersen, while also acknowledging KP's naivety in the way he has dealt with these administrators/managers, on occasion. But let us also remember that KP has historically actually tried to fit in. He didn't appoint himself captain - the ECB did. And they made his life very very awkward when they sacked him very soon into his captaincy, again leaking details of his communications with them so as to try and make him look bad. KP hasn't actually been 'high maintenance' over the course of his career - the ECB just made it hard for him (they gave him a high maintenance situation to deal with!) when they sacked him, and after that he buckled down (as he had before, which was why they made him captain....) until the recent fandango which is, truly, the only real time he has behaved in an argumentative fashion towards his employers.

  • Nadeem on August 12, 2012, 20:50 GMT

    Brilliant article.Finally someone speaking sense and not just flogging only KP for personal vindictive reasons.

  • Paul Ogden on August 12, 2012, 20:43 GMT

    Although I agree with a lot of what you have said, particularly regarding the ineptitude of the ECB, I think the key argument here is not that he sent to derogatory texts to a friend (as they might well be), but that he sent critical texts regarding his captain and coach to members of the current opposing team. That is unforgivable. Whatever his thoughts on Strauss and Flower might be, sharing those with members of the South African team who we are currently in the midst of a hard fought series to determine the world number one test playing nation is surely detrimental to the team ethos and must surely widen already evident divisions between Pietersen and the rest of the England squad? I fear his position as an England player is quickly becoming untenable.

  • clifford Adams on August 12, 2012, 20:32 GMT

    I like what you are saying in building up a strong case for the return of KP. But it is not the ECB that is in the dock, KP is. KP has been "messing around" and have not displayed the attitude of cricket gentleman. In a article a few months ago he is purported to have said that England ("meaning" ECB) is jealous of the IPL. True or not, jealous or not, that was the start of the KP-saga, getting the ECB backs up. They tolerated his nonsense and he continually endeavoured to dictate or prescribe to his employers via the media, instead of using the correct channels - team management, Chairman of selectors, Flower and Strauss etc. to put his case with the ECB. He will have to show great remorse and may be, I hope, there will be a change of heart, sooner than later.

  • venkat on August 12, 2012, 20:18 GMT

    Mr.Kimber, it's a wonderful article written without any bias. Well done. Only if ECB has any ears or eyes. We will know at the end of next week who won this battle, KP or ECB. Think Andy Flower needs some fine tuning. Or perhaps, he is still pure Brit with policy "Divide and Rule"?

  • Arvind on August 12, 2012, 20:12 GMT

    Possibly the best article on KP saga. Cricket is a team game but it is the individuals who make a team and each one is different. Management (manage men tactfully) is the responsibility of ECB and they have failed KP and in turn denied world cricket to witness brilliance of an truly good batsman. Silly and sad. And by the way the only non English in English cricket establishment is andy flower and a paid emloyee of ecb, rest are all British be it Strauss, Morgan, bopara, trott, Patel, mohammad Farah, KP or many other sportsmen who have made england their home. Why then single only KP, just because he challenges the establishent or he is from south africa. Whats wrong with it? Remove andy from his job, change Strauss (useless player), bring back kp, England will start winning again else in one year they will end up 4/5 in world ranking.

  • Michael House on August 12, 2012, 19:58 GMT

    Spot on. A disgraceful decision.KP is a prat, but genius must be cut a bit of slack.

  • BellForKeeper on August 12, 2012, 19:52 GMT

    One of the most finely judged critiques of this whole sorry saga. Empirically, there's no difference between KP sledging his bosses and any one of us complaining after a long day at the office. There's an insensitivity in him sharing his grievances with members of the opposition - but surely no more of an insensitivity than, for instance, Graeme Swann lambasting KP himself in his autobiography. As I recall, KP dealt with that lack of tact estimably; if he's been naive in the way he's handled this (and nobody would say that he hasn't), his behaviour's been no worse than the full-of-leaks and heavy-handed ECB. Shame on Giles Clarke, Hugh Morris and co for not putting themselves under the same scrutiny as KP.

  • Graem on August 12, 2012, 19:27 GMT

    Great article. Thanks Jarrod. What happened to Two Chucks at Headingley Day 5?

  • njr1330 on August 12, 2012, 19:24 GMT

    Masterful ... every cricket fan needs to read this!!

  • Gonzo on August 12, 2012, 19:21 GMT

    Anger over texts, spoof twitter sites, youtube resignation retractions - how childish and pathetic by all concerned, like a bunch of 12 yr olds not international sportsmen (with all due apologies to 12 yr olds).

  • Martin on August 12, 2012, 19:15 GMT

    Have been expecting KP to announce that he is only available for days 1, 2 and 5 of Test matches. Glad that he's been dropped, although hope that we do well without him as do concede he's not bad!

  • Ruchit on August 12, 2012, 19:07 GMT

    Jarrod, you can never clap with one hand. Whereas the ECB has been adamant and rather foolish, you can't forget that they are dealing with a recurring problem, and an individual who has had similar rifts with all his previous teams (even wonder why he's playing for a new IPL team this year despite his brilliance?). Yes, the ECB can surely work around KP's personality and construct a team of 11 that can win games but with 10 out of the 11 having varying feelings for 1, it just won't last long enough; and I think we are seeing precisely that at the moment. I admire KP's batting brilliance but this is professional sport- you cannot let your ego interfere with work, and there can no be exceptions.

  • Robin on August 12, 2012, 19:03 GMT

    This is the first piece I've read on the subject matter that I agree with. Both sides do just need to grow up and stop getting worried what the other party is saying behind their backs. Both parties come off poorly here, and as you said it is in the teams best interest if they get along, as Johnny Bairstow and James Taylor aren't in the same league as KP.

  • Rezaul on August 12, 2012, 18:53 GMT

    wow! what a well written and structured article featuring all corner of this saga. Hats off to the writer. Sometimes we get bored reading one sided columns in cricinfo. But this one is just spot on.

    No doubt that KP was naive in handling situation publicly and secretly. But nobody talks about the other party, ECB´s role here. I like the comment, that failure of KP is ultimately the failure of ECB, Strauss and Flower as they failed to manage their best player on the show.

    More importantly, it is unfair to punish someone when he secretly complains to his old friend about his current boss. I dont think there is any rule that you cant do this secretly.

    Overall it was a harsh call for KP to be dropped and failure of ECB to manage their most potential horse on the race.

  • Smelly Cat on August 12, 2012, 18:51 GMT

    Fantastic article, well balanced, taking view of both sides without being biased one bit. If this guy was involved in the mediation then things might have been for good for England, good for Cricket. Final Test at Lord's without KP isn't the end the Cricket fans were looking forward to.

  • Steve11 on August 12, 2012, 18:49 GMT

    This is personal not business. England have a middle order of : Bell, Taylor and Bairstow. 1. They can never beat South Africa with those three at 4,5,&6. 2. They can't win the Ashes (as weak as the Aussies are at present) with that middle order & Bobara waiting in the wings. 3. They have two reliable batsmen in Cook & Trott but nobody wants to watch them bat for 2 days. 4. Strauss is in awful form. His international career will be over if he is dropped. He has a vested interest in dropping Pietersen. It buys him more time. Pietersen is beyond annoying but in 2005 he made test cricket cool again. As he did last week at Headingley.

    The ECB, Flower & Strauss have just put all their jobs in jeopardy & this will shorten their respective tenures.

  • Lee Hallam on August 12, 2012, 18:46 GMT

    I agree that nothing seems to have been done about the leaks that Pietersen talked about. Perhaps the journalists should be digging, and naming the source. Also that moaning about the boss is not exactly rare. However sending texts to members of the opposition attacking your captain and coach during a match, is not an action that could go unpunished. The best thing now would for him to come clean about the messages he sent, for the ECB to investigate the leaks, and then put the matter behind them.

  • Lee Hallam on August 12, 2012, 18:46 GMT

    I agree that nothing seems to have been done about the leaks that Pietersen talked about. Perhaps the journalists should be digging, and naming the source. Also that moaning about the boss is not exactly rare. However sending texts to members of the opposition attacking your captain and coach during a match, is not an action that could go unpunished. The best thing now would for him to come clean about the messages he sent, for the ECB to investigate the leaks, and then put the matter behind them.

  • Auditya Sistla on August 12, 2012, 18:41 GMT

    KP started all of it by quitting ODI's and T-20 with T-20 World cup near by and England defending it. Seriously the man is twisted, he is not above a country or a team. This shows how arrogant he is and he cares less for his country. ECB did the right thing dropping him for Lord's.They need to sort things out before letting him play. Quoting Kimber "ECB want to be No. 1 in the world, KP wants to be a legend. Surely they’re both more likely to do this together than apart" Cheers.

  • Mohammed Musa on August 12, 2012, 18:41 GMT

    Absolutely! I agree with you word for word

  • Steve Patterson on August 12, 2012, 18:39 GMT

    Great article! I absolutely agree that all this is ridiculous and that KP has been treated unfairly. Here in Arizona my wife works as a prison gaurd and the 'authoritiies' here ensure that inmates NEVER have access to cellphones. Maybe the ECB need to stipulate the same for the 'inmates' centrally contracted? Shame on English cricket and please feel sorry for us supporters. Why must the authorities always strive for the golden days of English test Cricket mediocrity? Is it that they have never experienced life at the top themselves and are uncomfortable.... must be I guess?

  • Kev Crossfield on August 12, 2012, 18:37 GMT

    "the reason for him not playing in this next Text". Interesting Freudian slip

  • zia on August 12, 2012, 18:35 GMT

    "What of other private communications? Should Giles Clarke, Andy Flower and Hugh Morris state publicly that in no conversations with anyone, via text, email or over the phone have they ever said anything derogatory about Kevin Pietersen? Trust."

    this is what i think too, its absurd to expect KP to make public declarations about all his private communications that they are slander free. great article !

  • Om on August 12, 2012, 18:32 GMT

    Well balanced blog, I do feel sad for KP. Welcome to India and IPL KP, we will always love you. Without attitude, its difficult to get ahead in life. Best of Luck KP

  • Shash on August 12, 2012, 18:27 GMT

    Fair take Jarrod, I'm hoping the Proteas can sew this up at Lord's but can't agree with the ECB's decision to drop KP due abstract rules that they themselves have broken...

  • Nitesh on August 12, 2012, 18:20 GMT

    It's high time that KP just flip the bird to ECB and go ahead with his full time T20 career.We will see where all these unity of purpose and trust lead to.With world beaters like Cook,Strauss and Trott in top 3 and brutal slogger like Bell and Bopara in lower middle order, it is entirely possible that they will easily manage first inning score of 400 in 3 days and roll over the opposition twice in 2 remaining days.What a perfect blueprint for world domination.Kudos to Hugh Morris and Andy flower to shoot England in the foot.

  • Majid Fadra on August 12, 2012, 18:18 GMT

    Absolutely brilliant article.....My view is - if you look wholistically....the ball was in ECB's court....their aim is to ensure to select the best 11 to walk on at lords to defend their crown and they miserably failed at doing so....Infact they left out the best one.....I also think they have attributed too much of thier success to Andy flower...we all know that both credit and critics go to players in the game of cricket! not the ones with laptops outside.

  • Levi on August 12, 2012, 18:15 GMT

    I thought this was called "Cricket's Saddest Hour" which would be more fitting. Cant blame Flower/Strauss for the decision, KP has been undermining Strauss for years, wouldnt surprise me if Eng win the last Test out of anger now....

  • Righton on August 12, 2012, 18:14 GMT

    Couldn't agree more. It's ECB's loss if KP doesn't play and they need to manage asset like him better. Period.

  • alex on August 12, 2012, 18:13 GMT

    when i see Engalnd vs SA , i see domestic match like SA vs SA clone. Can england get rid of SA players? Or just make SA player to get UK citizenship and renounce SA citizenship. I think all England players have each foot in different country. KP apologised and they still punishing him for silly reason. Kinda pathetic. They are showing Fowler is the boss.

  • luke on August 12, 2012, 18:02 GMT

    the point is not whether KP sent tests but that he hasn't clarified whether or not he sent them.

  • luke on August 12, 2012, 17:59 GMT

    the key is not whether or not he sent texts but that he has not made it clear whether or not he sent them!

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • luke on August 12, 2012, 17:59 GMT

    the key is not whether or not he sent texts but that he has not made it clear whether or not he sent them!

  • luke on August 12, 2012, 18:02 GMT

    the point is not whether KP sent tests but that he hasn't clarified whether or not he sent them.

  • alex on August 12, 2012, 18:13 GMT

    when i see Engalnd vs SA , i see domestic match like SA vs SA clone. Can england get rid of SA players? Or just make SA player to get UK citizenship and renounce SA citizenship. I think all England players have each foot in different country. KP apologised and they still punishing him for silly reason. Kinda pathetic. They are showing Fowler is the boss.

  • Righton on August 12, 2012, 18:14 GMT

    Couldn't agree more. It's ECB's loss if KP doesn't play and they need to manage asset like him better. Period.

  • Levi on August 12, 2012, 18:15 GMT

    I thought this was called "Cricket's Saddest Hour" which would be more fitting. Cant blame Flower/Strauss for the decision, KP has been undermining Strauss for years, wouldnt surprise me if Eng win the last Test out of anger now....

  • Majid Fadra on August 12, 2012, 18:18 GMT

    Absolutely brilliant article.....My view is - if you look wholistically....the ball was in ECB's court....their aim is to ensure to select the best 11 to walk on at lords to defend their crown and they miserably failed at doing so....Infact they left out the best one.....I also think they have attributed too much of thier success to Andy flower...we all know that both credit and critics go to players in the game of cricket! not the ones with laptops outside.

  • Nitesh on August 12, 2012, 18:20 GMT

    It's high time that KP just flip the bird to ECB and go ahead with his full time T20 career.We will see where all these unity of purpose and trust lead to.With world beaters like Cook,Strauss and Trott in top 3 and brutal slogger like Bell and Bopara in lower middle order, it is entirely possible that they will easily manage first inning score of 400 in 3 days and roll over the opposition twice in 2 remaining days.What a perfect blueprint for world domination.Kudos to Hugh Morris and Andy flower to shoot England in the foot.

  • Shash on August 12, 2012, 18:27 GMT

    Fair take Jarrod, I'm hoping the Proteas can sew this up at Lord's but can't agree with the ECB's decision to drop KP due abstract rules that they themselves have broken...

  • Om on August 12, 2012, 18:32 GMT

    Well balanced blog, I do feel sad for KP. Welcome to India and IPL KP, we will always love you. Without attitude, its difficult to get ahead in life. Best of Luck KP

  • zia on August 12, 2012, 18:35 GMT

    "What of other private communications? Should Giles Clarke, Andy Flower and Hugh Morris state publicly that in no conversations with anyone, via text, email or over the phone have they ever said anything derogatory about Kevin Pietersen? Trust."

    this is what i think too, its absurd to expect KP to make public declarations about all his private communications that they are slander free. great article !