How it went at The Oval

The ECB debriefs phase one of Operation United Marching Forward Together Going Forward

Kevin Pietersen yells a savage shamanic curse, aimed at putting people 4000 miles away off their stride. Or not © BCCI

The ECB debriefs phase one of Operation United Marching Forward Together Going Forward

1) Several empty seats. Disappointing. However, the ECB believe that an unnamed individual may have been whistling outside the ground, putting people off coming in. He is without doubt to blame for the mediocre attendance.

2) However, it is very important that we do not have any speculation from people outside cricket as to what exactly the person outside the cricket did to the people outside the cricket to make them not want to come inside the cricket. The ECB considers that to be the end of the matter.

3) It may very well be that the unnamed South African individual was responsible for Alastair getting out cheaply, but it would at this point be unfair to speculate no matter how wrong and disruptive the unnamed South African individual called Kevin may have been while Alastair was trying to bat.

4) It is important for everyone's sake that we respect the confidentially clause in place around the actions (alleged) (but totally reprehensible and naughty) of the unnamed South African individual called Kevin Pietersen of 23 Millionaires' Row, Chelsea, London SW1 4KP.

5) It is not for us to say if Alastair was somehow hypnotised or possibly controlled via some sort of black-magic bargain with the devil from India. There is no smoking voodoo here.

6) The important thing to state is that the shot Alastair got out to was very much our sort of shot. A good, stout, manly, honest, upstanding, public-school sort of airy drive and edge that would know which knife and fork to use and wouldn't do anything embarrassing like calling a sofa a settee.

7) Not some sort of oikish heave to leg or non-U lbw.

8) Ian Bell once again demonstrated that he is ready to assume the senior leadership role within this team, making an attractive fifty and then getting out to give the others a chance to develop as batsmen.

9) James Tredwell was hit for a couple of boundaries and did not retire, nor did any player have to return home from The Oval with personal problems, and all the boys were seen looking interested at all times. Hashtag Progress.

10) Team spirit and communication among the lads was excellent with everyone putting his hand up to get the same hymn sheet to the party up at the plate. And apparently we won a game, which is also nice.

More behind-the-scenes nonsense in CrickiLeaks: The Secret Ashes Diaries, at

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on May 23, 2014, 18:30 GMT

    In some ways, ECB seems just as inept as PCB...and that says a lot!

    If we are talking about being uninterested, Bell, Trott, and Swann can be put under the microscope. Many big players have some personality traits, but their boards know how to handle them.ECB seems very unprofessional.

    To Deny KP his test spot is utter B.S. and extremely unfair.

  • Dummy4 on May 23, 2014, 17:21 GMT

    'Liverpool to dump Suarez, because he's occasionally naughty' 'British Cycling to dump Wiggins because he's occasionally grumpy' 'British tennis to dump Andy Murray because he's intense and anti-social' No, you won't ever see any of the above headlines. So why is it that we will see a headline that says: 'ECB dump mildly irritating batting genius' because the ECB are clueless. P.S. I've just seen a headline: 'England Rugby to recall bad-boy Cipriani' Nuff said!!

  • Ryan on May 23, 2014, 15:11 GMT

    Lordy lordy how long are we going to continue pining for this aged maverick. When the dust has settled & England are back to winning ways with a collective of players that all enjoy playing for each other, maybe the KP-lovers out there will come to accept that it made no sense to keep such a destructive player in a dressing room. The amazing innings that he produced dried up a long long time ago, all that remained was an ego-mad spoilt little brat who couldn't bring himself to show respect to his captain & the management. What did Warney call him, FIGJAM?. He may well have been made a scapegoat for our Ashes defeat, but I for one am so relieved that (this article apart) we're not talking about Pietersen before, during, & after every single England match. People say he should have been managed better. Why? He's a 30+ year old grown man with a wife and kids, how pathetic to suggest he needs to be man-managed on a daily basis. Good riddance. This England team will be just fine.

  • Dummy4 on May 23, 2014, 13:23 GMT

    Ho ho hilarious........not. Puerile attempt at humour.

  • Rajesh on May 23, 2014, 11:51 GMT

    Another fantastic one Alan.. Point 8 is priceless and couldn't control my laugh for a while.. sarcasm at its best..

  • Ray on May 23, 2014, 10:31 GMT

    The ECB demand the opportunity to put their side of the story? What's that? This is the ECB side of the story? Err .. never mind, the ECB demand <insert something here>, and will be taking Cricinfo to the Press Compliants Council. That's all the ECB has to say on the matter.

  • Android on May 23, 2014, 7:36 GMT

    Very nice Alan... Perfectly put into place... I too think that KP was made scapegoat of a horrible Ashes in which whole team broke down(incl. cook, bell nd others).. People would have understood if KP had been simply dropped and made to play in County Cricket to prove his worthiness for national team but dropping your most successful batsman(who performed in Asia too where most English batsman fail) was highly unintelligent especially since they don't have anyone to replace him in the team... He might have some issues but he was also your 'GO TO' batsman for better part of last decade...

  • Rawal on May 23, 2014, 7:36 GMT

    Hahaha, great! The second one made me laugh the most.

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