August 25, 2012

Kevin Pietersen and a microphone

Andrew Hughes
Stuart Broad goes down on his knees to appeal for a wicket, England v South Africa, 3rd Investec Test, Lord's, 3rd day, August 18, 2012
Stuart Broad belts out the Boyz II Men classic "On bended knee" to appeal to the umpire's finer senses  © Getty Images


Alex Bowden's cleverly conceived expose earlier this week was not only jolly funny, it had the additional virtue of being informative. After being given the inside scoop on how KP's team of advisors go about their work, everything is clear. What other explanation could there be for his decision to take a job as commentator at the World Twenty20, than that a coin had been tossed in a Durban hotel room. A rational response to such an offer at this particular career moment would surely be a polite no. But the coin had spoken.

It is an intriguing prospect. I'm not sure if Danny Morrison has been enlisted for this particular Asian jolly, but the prospect of a Pietersen-Morrison commentary axis holds a terrible fascination, like the entrance to a recently uncovered ancient Egyptian tomb or perhaps the opening scenes of a notorious horror film. It will be dark, it will be spine-chilling and there will be a certain amount of screaming, but you'd still like to know how it turns out.

Then again, given Kevin's somewhat less-than-affable personality, how long will it be before he has alienated his fellow microphone jockeys? Viewers tuning in for some top-quality Twenty20 action might instead find themselves treated to long awkward silences, showy on-air resignations and the occasional scuffle in the booth.

And how precisely will his return to the England fold be helped along by spending two weeks pointing out that Ian Bell is holding his bat wrong and that Ravi Bopara isn't playing the switch hit enough? Not a great deal I suspect, although we could have some fun reading between the lines and filling in a few more names on our "Kevin's Cricket Enemies" wall charts.

On the face of it, it's hard to see why he doesn't get on with the rest of the England team. I've never met them so I'm no position to judge, but they seem a harmless enough bunch, perhaps a touch pleased with themselves, but then they'd plenty to be pleased about. At least they did until recently. In fact, I'd say that Kevin's dislike for his team-mates was almost entirely irrational. I say "almost" because the man who will be leading England's Twenty20 defence in Sri Lanka has not done himself any favours this week with the following tweet:

"Just heard Ocean Drive by the Lighthouse Family and it has made my day! Proper tune!"

The Lighthouse Family? Seriously? Did Michael Holding spend his spare moments kicking back to the easy listening stylings of Barry Manilow? Does Dale Steyn have the complete works of Daniel O'Donnell on his iPod? It's no wonder you were falling short pace-wise this summer, Stuart. If that's the kind of thing you've been listening to, I'm surprised you managed to stay conscious. The Lighthouse Family? I suggest an emergency diet of raw meat and thrash metal for the next six months if you want to avoid that fateful April day when you open the new Wisden and find yourself listed as "medium-fast".

Andrew Hughes is a writer currently based in England

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Keywords: Commentary

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Posted by Faheem Taj on (August 29, 2012, 9:14 GMT)

Good Luck KP we will miss you in t20 world cup but best wishes for your future

Posted by Capt. Harry on (August 26, 2012, 1:51 GMT)

For those who missed the point. The issue is not with KP's performance.KP is one of the most exciting batsman on the world stage today. The issue is his betrayal of his fellow players, professionalism and dressing room confidentiality.How can he send derogatory texts to the opposition/ enemy/fellow South Africans about his team members/captain/management and their so called weaknesses and expect to get away easily.That is high treason.Anyone who has played a little sports (any sport) will tell you that whatever discussions take place amongst team members must remain confidential whether you agree or not.Come on KP it is high time you grow up and mature.Haven't you learnt anything from your past shenanigans (the list goes on). Weren't you captain of the said team once? It seems you are heading to play cricket and commentate in an island all by yourself... Honestly I am hoping for a positive resolution. Good luck KP....

Posted by Jim Turnbull on (August 25, 2012, 22:12 GMT)

Danny was a great fast bowler for Auckland and New Zealand, and a terrific character. His humble background, love of music and self directed put down humour endeared him to many, but not Richard Hadlee. His autobiography "Mad as I Want to be' says it all. Possibly out of print but worth tracking down. Never gave up, ran in hard all day, and banged the ball down. When Dean Jones first came up against him he asked Martin Crowe 'who is this crazy midget?' Crowe said who he was and to told get used to him. The next ball went through Jones shirt buttons ripping his shirt open. Crowe said to Jones 'I think Danny has just introduced himself'.

Posted by Craig on (August 25, 2012, 22:01 GMT)

As a Kiwi I'd like to take this opportunity to apologize for Danny short his commentary and high pitched intonation is just appalling.

Posted by DirkL on (August 25, 2012, 18:30 GMT)

Actually it's a sound career move by KP. Remember what an enfant terrible John McEnroe was? But what sounded petulant from a player now sounds witty from a commentator. KP may have to learn some translations for "doos", though. His days of international cricket for a top-4 nation are over, and he knows it. Better get started ASAP on the next job. KP the next Boycs, how about that?

Posted by Sagir Parkar on (August 25, 2012, 12:52 GMT)

nicely done Andrew... love the exciting prospect of KP and Danny side by side.. by the way, i am not sure if you have been following the u-19 world cup in Townsville, Oz at the moment but Mr Morrison is exercising his vocal cords on those sunny shores.. and he hasnt lost even a little bit of his joi de vivre !

Posted by Paddy on (August 25, 2012, 11:40 GMT)

Delightful joke about Broad and the Lighthouse Family. Well played.

Posted by Bartflower on (August 25, 2012, 9:06 GMT)

Broady is really looking forward to being "lifted all the way" over long-on.

Posted by Steve on (August 25, 2012, 8:56 GMT)

It wasn't funny Andrew, you don't have to blindly defend a colleague.

Posted by ali bajan on (August 25, 2012, 7:40 GMT)

If KP is not making 5 times more money than his fellow commentators .... I am sure he will not have the same experience of childish jealousy in the commentary box that he received in the dressing room .

the ECB has really dropped the ball in not dealing properly with the dressing room situation...

and the ECB is responsible for airing the dirty laundry in public ...

once the ECB leaked private discussions in an attempt to sway public opinion and pressure KP ...

KP had no choice but to respond in the media to defend his reputation (or what ever little reputation he has left)

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Andrew Hughes
Andrew Hughes is a writer and avid cricket watcher who has always retained a healthy suspicion of professional sportsmen, and like any right-thinking person rates Neville Cardus more highly than Don Bradman. His latest book is available here and here @hughandrews73

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