England's Pietersen dilemma

Magazine interview rebounds on Pietersen

David Hopps

August 30, 2012

Comments: 75 | Text size: A | A

Kevin Pietersen play some expansive drives during his innings, England v South Africa, 2nd Investec Test, Headingley, 3rd day, August 4, 2012
Kevin Pietersen: building the brand? © Getty Images
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Kevin Pietersen could find a dated interview comes back to haunt him when he tries to patch up his differences with England.

The ECB hierarchy will try to reach an understanding with Pietersen this weekend when Hugh Morris, England's managing director, and the director of cricket Andy Flower hold what is expected to be the first of several meetings.

As they seek confirmation of Pietersen's absolute commitment to England, they will be met with "fresh" criticism of their negative attitude towards IPL and read that he is revelling in his one-day retirement.

It was a brazenly confident Pietersen who spoke to The Cricketer magazine three weeks before the Headingley Test that brought about his downfall - and as that magazine is published this week, with his picture on the cover, he may cringe in hindsight at his comments.

Pietersen has since sworn allegiance to England in all forms of the game in a YouTube video, without his blandishments being returned, as England play hardball over what they regard as his disloyalty and disruptive influence.

But that love of the English season was not apparent when he spoke to the magazine three weeks before a Headingley Test against South Africa where his behaviour deepened divisions between him and his team-mates and led him to complain that it was "tough being me" in the England dressing room.

The magazine quotes him revelling in his enforced one-day retirement, referring to England's abandoned third ODI against West Indies: "Hey, a game called off in Leeds or 35 degrees on a beach in Portugal? It's a no-brainer."

Pietersen will find consolation in the fact that England's director of cricket, Andy Flower, has also called for an IPL window, but even so his veiled criticism of the ECB's hostile attitude towards the IPL will not please his masters.

"Test cricket is right up there, most definitely," he says, "but IPL and Twenty20 cricket is a matter of fact now. Every board has accepted it apart from the ECB, unfortunately. Some part of international cricket may have to give because the IPL is not going away. No one in their right mind would turn down the contracts I have been offered."

The implication, in his own words, that Pietersen is playing Test cricket largely to ensure his own brand awareness remains high will also leave England's managing director, Hugh Morris, aghast as he determines whether Pietersen can be part of a united dressing room under a new captain, Alastair Cook.

"The best players in Test cricket have got the best contracts in the IPL," he says. "You know that's where you build the brand."

Six weeks might have passed since he made those remarks, but when a new magazine is published, the words reappear as if they are still meant today. It is not about to make his negotiations any easier.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by maddy20 on (September 1, 2012, 21:44 GMT)

@VillageBlackmsith KP is possibly the best limited overs criketer in the current English team. Regardless of how much you BS about him, none of the Irish and other SA imports in the currnt team do not even one close. If England won their first T20 WC it is solely beause of that man. Now that he is gone, other teams will breathe a lot easier. As for admiring him, I never knew others are forbidden from liking good hard aggressive cricket, when the ECB thinks otherwise. You have to forgive me for that. Mark my words buddy. After ENgland is royally thrashed in the T20 WC and the India tour that follows, we will be the ones laughing our butt off and all those Poms taking cheap potshots at us will be off these forums. Regarding the rankings, as I am writing this, he is the only English player in the top 10 test batsman . http://www.relianceiccrankings.com/

Posted by   on (September 1, 2012, 3:21 GMT)

whats wrong if kp or anyone else wants to make money? what does the term professional cricketer mean? it means that's his profession and he needs to make the maximum amount of money from his profession. kp is right. ecb is being dumb in not recognising the ipl for the force it's become. and if kp wants to make his brand in the tests that's helping england cricket. becoz he will get more runs to make his brand and that will make his ipl brand as well. as i understand kp is an upfront guy who is not scared to speak his mind. he may not be right all the time but he says what's on his mind without being diplomatic or evasive. personally i like such guys who say what they want to say. sadly the ecb cannot handle people who speak their mind. they are only looking for sycophants.

Posted by   on (August 31, 2012, 21:42 GMT)

Why Can't england board choose players from their own country. Some people here are commenting over the ranking, but people forgot that he was in ALL time England X1.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (August 31, 2012, 21:18 GMT)

@ VillageBlacksmith- i have to habnd it to you. You claim to know me better than I know myself. Now that is arrogance!!! I am as English as anyone and tests are what I like the best. So...do yourself a favour and get off your sad little know all trip!!!

Posted by crickethung on (August 31, 2012, 20:55 GMT)

England is still living in the 19th century. Manage the difficult players, not get rid of them. You are just as dumb as west indies as with the Gayle issue. If it is difficult to handle....get rid of them. All forms of the game are here to stay. So not because you have a bias to one form or the other you treat it with slight. Can the ECB only manage ys men?

Posted by   on (August 31, 2012, 19:11 GMT)

Not to be rude, but if you don't have passion for the game then you don't know anything about test cricket. Please don't comment on test cricket unless you know what it's all about or go play football.

Posted by applethief on (August 31, 2012, 17:02 GMT)

"The best players in Test cricket have got the best contracts in the IPL," he says. "You know that's where you build the brand." - Everything you need to know about Kevin Pietersen right there,

Posted by VillageBlacksmith on (August 31, 2012, 15:29 GMT)

@meety and maximum... kev has not been in the icc top 10 rankings for quite a while... and as I say, most eng fans have moved on... kev is only still an issue for non eng fans and ipl types as you are proving yet again..

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (August 31, 2012, 14:19 GMT)

@villageBlacksmith- Clutching at straws., mate, and plagued by a vivid imagination. KP may not be handleble in a rigid 2 dimensional system but if they bother to look after individual in a 3 dimensional system instead of trying to fit 1 size on all-very British-they may get somewhere witht the guy. After all ayou would not try and treat a gasfitter the same as a writer-or would you?

Posted by Meety on (August 31, 2012, 13:45 GMT)

@VillageBlacksmith - "... not even in the top 10..." - mate he is listed in the England All time XI!!!!

Posted by Selassie-I on (August 31, 2012, 13:40 GMT)

@Newlandsfaithful - So we get rid of all international sport? the football world cup for example, all international cricket and then all sports turn into the EPL where whoever's bank balance is biggest will win? Premier league football bores me now as the season begins I could tell you exactly what teams will make the top 5 up right now and which teams are goign to be relegated... why not drain all passion from sport and turn it into a capitalist venture? We have such a rich history in cricket that should not be sodomised. At first I believed KP was unfairly treated, but it is becoming more clear that he only has two concerns, Kp the brand and KPs bank balance. I'd rather lose every series in the next two years to avoid having someone like that in the team and have 11 chaps who want to play cricket for England, not just so they can make some wedge out of the IPL.

Posted by Newlandsfaithful on (August 31, 2012, 12:39 GMT)

What is this elusive understanding of supposedly putting country before self...? I watched the nauseating self glory of the English "shows" at the Olympics (which had nothing to do with sports). As one thinks of Rowan Atkinson and the Pet Shop Boys one can scarely think that their motivation for performing all these years has been for "king and country". Why do professional cricketers have to be bound to some sentimental ethic of national identity? I look forward to a time when cricket becomes fully professional and the Dehli Daredevils and the Rajastan Royals play test cricket against each other and the world does away with this village cricket mentality....

Posted by xavierBeru on (August 31, 2012, 12:38 GMT)

All the Cricket Board Should choose their players from there own nation.Think About it

Posted by Nerk on (August 31, 2012, 12:28 GMT)

Let KP have his IPL. The thing is, in the long run, its not going to help him. The problem with IPL is that it is so fleeting, here one minute gone the next. It has been on five years now and people don't go "remember Shaun Marsh's hundred" or a great bowling performance by enter_name_here. People will remember him for his test innings though, those great innings he created in the greatest arena of all. People will still talk about the times he tore apart the Australian bowling attack in 2010, smashing 227. They will talk about his demolition job against India last year.They won't be talking about his IPL career. He'll be lucky if they remember who he played for.

Posted by atuljain1969 on (August 31, 2012, 12:03 GMT)

Take my words, test matches won't be played in anonther 3-4 years. 20-20 format shall be the most popular and practical cricket sport.

Its not only about money, but spectator friendliness, short duration, lethal combo of sport & entertainment.

Anyway who plays 5 day cricket in schools, gullies or college.

Posted by Jim1207 on (August 31, 2012, 11:53 GMT)

Those who say IPL should not have a window, think about this. Every cricket board gets so much money from IPL, which everybody officially would like to call as India's domestic tournament. They do not get as much money from anywhere else. You get share of the profit but do not want to give it an elite status is something no one would agree with. Comparing IPL with other leagues don't even come close because they are all much in different level when compared to its revenue generation for all cricket boards. I am not asking for a window for IPL here, but ECB could work with BCCI so IPL does not clash with their summer schedule but there has been no step taken from England side except saying that IPL is evil and ban its players from participating and punishing anyone who raises questions like KP has done. KP is seen as a rebel but he is the only sane person there. All other players are just acting to be obedient while they don't want to be so in truth.

Posted by VillageBlacksmith on (August 31, 2012, 11:52 GMT)

Just like kp, the non eng supporters are STILL banging on about kp... move on! Eng have. He was not even top 10 so why all the fuss??? It is not about kp ... it is about the team, and the team do not want him.. 10 (plus the management) against 1... end of story... can you really imagine anyone worth listening to saying ''it's tough being me''... I mean, really!! Poor thing! Adieu kev, enjoy having yr bath run for you in india and yr restaurant booked!! whatever

Posted by   on (August 31, 2012, 11:49 GMT)

I don't really understand why people start bashing IPL every time a Cricketer retires or gets involved in a rift with his respective board. If IPL is such a bad thing then why BPL, SLPL, Big Bash League and Pak's League (about to come) are not creating problems ? Will or Do Overseas players not play in such leagues other than IPL ? Duration of IPL might be LONG. But a player can and does return to his national duties on time while playing IPL. I remember even KP returned to join England after playing some matches for DD in IPL, then why this fuss ? Has any Indian player dared to Quit Tests / ODIs just to continue playing in IPL ? Even SA regular players have been part of IPL and they are loyal to their national team too. It depends player to player what he decides to do. In fact, I say IPL did a great job in exposing some players !

Posted by   on (August 31, 2012, 11:45 GMT)

The best players in Test cricket do not get the best contracts as Pietersen asserts, Ravi Jadeja and Vinay Kumar being fine examples of Test non-entities who bagged big money. But that is the Pietersen way, open the mouth without engaging the brain. With the bat, he is a genius. With the mouth, he isn't. He is instinctive with the willow and equally instinctive with his comments at a time when he needs a sub-editor watchign his words before they are spoken. His end as captain was inevitable given his history with team fallouts and this is no different. I would have no problem with the ECB telling him that he will not play for England again.

Let's get this ludicrous IPL situation sorted too. Give them two months, March to April, to have their silly cricket tournament, and then get on with other things that really matter.

Posted by edgie on (August 31, 2012, 10:59 GMT)

The difference vaidyar is that Cricket is a team game, and when yu are playing in a team where there is the possibility that one or mor of your team-mates are not fully behind you, it does make one wondr about the team spirit. KP resigning initially shows that he had no intention of wanting to play ODI's, hence his appetite for it was no longer there. Now suddenly he retracts his retirement, yet has a word with the opposition about a member of his own team. Sorry, but that is a serious breach of trust. And it's not the same as owning an iPhone while working for Microsoft, it is telling Apple what Miscrosoft is doing, that is the issue at play here....

Posted by RFC73 on (August 31, 2012, 10:48 GMT)

NO there shiouldn't be an IPL window because before you know it the BBL SLPL BPL and the rest will demand a window and you'd have no international cricket at all. The ICC should insist that all 20 20 leagues have no more than two overseas players per squad that would cut out the need for a window as they would then pick overratred T 20 specialits like Pollard and A Morkel who don't play Test cricket. As for KP as I said before England should have dropped him the day after the Headingley Test when he threatened that Lords would be his last Test - we should have called his bluff and got rid of him before the texts, etc. And the ECB shouldn't recall him because I sense post Olympics the country is hostile to percieved rich arrogant sportsmen - the EPL in soccer has took a kicking off the UK press since the Olympics (which will get worse during the Paralympics) and of five letters in today's Telegraph EVERY ONE was anti KP. ECB can't ignore the public...

Posted by satish619chandar on (August 31, 2012, 10:38 GMT)

A player wishing to play in IPL over country should be a mistake of the player and his character rather than the IPL.. There are 100's of players who go unsold in IPL and some very good ones go unselected. If a KP is not going to play, DD will play Russel and if he is not, Van Der Merwe. IPL teams never force any player to play for them at any cost but it is the players who do it. I guess most are wrong in blaming IPL. Even the players dumping the national team can be resolved by the board opting for better methods to hold their player..

Posted by cric_fan_ on (August 31, 2012, 10:28 GMT)

@David Hopps, official IPL window? not gonna happen. Any cricket board be it England or any other is not going to accept an IPL window, because it's equivalent to saying we bow down to BCCI and accept that we can't organize cricket matches successfully while IPL is going on so we're ready for a compromise. Similarly if BCCI agrees to have an IPL window, it'll show a weakness on their part that they allow other boards to dominate how and when there domestic tournament is run(although BCCI agreeing for an IPL window is more probable than other boards agreeing for it as BCCI is the one generating money out of it). Other boards may turn a blind eye and we can have an unofficial IPL window(as it's happening currently with some boards) but official one? I very much doubt it. At least it's not possible for foreseeable future. And even if we get a IPL window it'll be disastrous what about other countries having their domestic t20 leagues and each demanding a window for that?

Posted by Jim1207 on (August 31, 2012, 10:26 GMT)

Simple, no-brainer for me. Aceept a cricketer as a person, do not even mind what he says outside the field, it's his personal opinion. Don't be egoistic and analyse what his interviews are about and how that affects people, dressing room, america, etc., Could ECB relax and be a friend to a player? They cannot. Problem lies there. At the end of the day, when KP plays cricket for England, he plays his heart out and he wins or saves matches. He just saved a whitewash in 2 of 3 games he played against SA. What more do you want? If you start thinking about a player's mind and his attitude, you can never form a team. Good Luck, England. But I know it would not work out for you as you are leaned towards making the system so harsh than a friendly one. and, as for IPL, talk to India. ICC is so strict in NOT allowing a window, it's ICC's mistake. If they allow a window, BCCI will surely give english summer its own time. Otherwise, as a domestic toruney, why would they worry if it affects England

Posted by   on (August 31, 2012, 9:56 GMT)

A March - April window for IPL should please everyone. April - May IPL is where problem is.

Posted by   on (August 31, 2012, 9:40 GMT)

@ARDjango. Happy to debate that one. First of all you have to accept (however much it is fun to bait England) that England is vital in preserving the future and status of Test cricket because of the high levels of interest remaining. If IPL does not have a window, England will continue to stage May Tests in defiance of IPL against weakened oppositiopn and including disenchanted players who want to play IPL throughoput but who cannot because the ECB is protecting its season. ECB can only make a concession (eg by reducing a Test) of it has a guarantee, say over 10 years, that IPL will not keep spreading ever further into the English season and wrecking it financially and undermining Test cricket as a result. I love Test cricket and I love IPL. I watched lots on ITV4 this year. Maybe that makes me odd. But I want to see England players in IPL AND a protected English Test summer. It should be possible to want that and achieve it. (By the way if KCKCKC toned down his/her comments a bit and resubmitted they are interesting but I am not surprised they were moderated in their current form)!

Posted by abyrao on (August 31, 2012, 9:39 GMT)

KPs agony is that even if he says something correct he doesnt seem to get any support since he in past has made so much of needless noise. He has more people hating him than caring for him. His individualistic and egoistic attitude overshadows the subject and thats what is happening here. He also does not have the sense of how to talk, where to talk and how much to talk.

Posted by   on (August 31, 2012, 9:09 GMT)

Poor KP hahaha but not his fault now..we must make sure 'The Cricketer' does not reach the ECB headquarters...

Posted by   on (August 31, 2012, 9:03 GMT)

Any Cricketer in their right mind would aim to do the same thing as KP. Build you brand through Test cricket and now other PL T20 tournements so you will get offerd a multimillion $ contract. I beleive at the moment only foreign players who play test matches can be selected for the IPL? so this will be every future cricketers aim unless things change and they are offered mullion $ contracts elsewhere. This is not always a bad thing. for example i am quite certain that if most of the Sri Lankan players had not earned IPL money they certainly wouldnt have played cricket for 7 months without any pay.

Posted by v_singh on (August 31, 2012, 8:04 GMT)

IPL figures openly in the KP saga. The kiwis would be sending a 2nd grade team to play in the Tests in 2013 because of clash with IPL. - understandable that their board does not pay them too well and so the top players need to earn better - but that does not dilute country over IPL commitment !! Things had been building up for a showdown for some time now, since the KP-Moores saga and a good mgmt. should ideally have been able to subvert the crisis - like probably rest of the world cricket boards.. KP was also angry at the twitter acc. being followed by the T20 captain (Broad) and fellow player (Bresnan) - and it turned out the acc. holder was a friend of the T20 captain.. so, no such action against Broad - who, if you notice the on field (referrals, body language) seems more arrogant than Peiterson.. KP's downfall was the sms issue and that is a serious issue (depends on nature of content).. just hope to see KP play in whites again..

Posted by vaidyar on (August 31, 2012, 7:40 GMT)

Even if KP's intentions on test cricket was all for self-worth and not entirely patriotic, I don't see why he should be prevented from playing for that. People are not fighting wars here for patriotism and love of country to be the prime factor. Jeez! It's like Microsoft firing employees for owning iPhones in the name of company loyalty. As long as you are doing your job and winning matches, it doesn't matter whether it is your own pride, or patriotism or just some random adrenaline rush that gets you going.

Posted by RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on (August 31, 2012, 5:01 GMT)

building the brand? what sort of a human being this guy is? he is making such a charming game so cheap

Posted by AtticusFinch on (August 31, 2012, 4:54 GMT)

Reams of material written about Pietersen is not going to change who he is and how he is an arrogant, self-aggrandising braggart. If ECB still wants to negotiate with someone like this, it means their cupboard is bare. Brings to wonder, what County Cricket is all about. Forget about him and move forward.

Posted by   on (August 31, 2012, 4:28 GMT)

@on_the_level your right mate. its jealousy and incapability of producing something similar and fruitful as the league. stanford incident was the icing on the cake!!

Posted by ARDjango on (August 31, 2012, 2:40 GMT)

David - I don't see any objectivity in your argument that IPL will do great damage to Test Cricket in general. What are the facts that support this statement. You would have derived that conclusion based on some truths what are they specifically and what aspects of Test Cricket has IPL touched?

As KP rightly pointed out Test and One Day is your brand and IPL is one of your revenue building opportunity. Can't see IPL recruiting grass root players who have not performed in Test or One Day cricket or is a star. The only thing IPL will touch is the English Summer and player availability.

Journalism is a powerful tool.. blasting out subjective opinions is fair but dont try to wrap it up with objectivity.

Posted by VillageBlacksmith on (August 31, 2012, 2:22 GMT)

@maximum6... you are a dutchman! within a team environment kp's position has become untenable... Eng have been more than the sum of their parts, and this has been achieved thru teamwork.. for a batsman not in the top 10 for a long time kev is getting unjustified No 1 attention by all! in the main Eng supporters are over it and him, it's mainly non Eng supporters crowing for his return and knocking the ECB. The game and the team are bigger than this proven mercenary, he wanted more time with his family, well now he has got it, and on a 35c beach in Portugal to boot. Let's move on with the likes of JB & JT and a new skip.

Posted by   on (August 30, 2012, 23:59 GMT)

In answer to some of you I don't regard myself as automatically anti KP at all. Supreme self-belief is a necessary part of his batting. However, I do believe his self-regard has been disruptive to the team and that his individuality has been hard to manage in a team-orientated envirobnment. Anybody who has ever played team sport at any level will know the tensions with such players. But at least Cricinfo writers are wrestling with making sense of the issue and reporting the news situation as we believe it exists. If we are at fault, what about the many respondents on these blogs who are taking massively black-and-white, polarised views - total adulation, or total condemnation. Personally, I think it is more complex than that.

Posted by on_the_level on (August 30, 2012, 23:46 GMT)

I don't see how the "IPL will do great damage to English cricket..." Most of the English players who put their names in the hat were not bought!! The ECB were not long ago chasing the likes of Stanford and endeavouring to set up their own version of the IPL. When that came crashing down, they've been left with nothing but a massive chip on their shoulders.

Posted by   on (August 30, 2012, 23:31 GMT)

Believe it or not, and hey ho some of you don't (I read the junked messages for relaxation), Cricinfo is trying to stay objective in the News reporting of this affair. (Opinion pieces are different) But the fact is these old KP comments - unluckily for him as the world was a different place when he said them 6 weeks ago - well not go down well with some in power and make a solution more difficult. We are not turning these comments into a negative, they ARE a negative. But I have always argued that the issue goes beyond KP. IPL will do great damage to English cricket - and Test cricket in general - unless a window is agreed. That involves England making concessions by ending 1 of its May Tests and India and the ICC having the game at heart & agreeing stable IPL dates of no more than 7 weeks from April 1. Had they done that, the KP standoff would never have happened. It is predictable KP was the first rebel. He sees himself as the invincible, independent world star. But more disasters will follow if this is not sorted

Posted by Robster1 on (August 30, 2012, 23:07 GMT)

KP - time to go back to Natal old chap

Posted by   on (August 30, 2012, 21:59 GMT)

KP should NEVER play cricket for England EVER again....

Posted by shot274 on (August 30, 2012, 21:37 GMT)

Cannot agree more with Blandford. This whole saga is turning out to be a KP bashing forum! He cannot say anything which is not turned around and supposedly puts him into a corner. The ECB hasnt accepted IPL as a major tournament and despite the fact that i am not a great fan of IPL it is a reality, here to stay and highly lucrative! Yes the situation needs to be resolved-not just for English cricket but for the millions of non partisan cricket fans who are at risk of being denied one of the most charismatic batsman that the game has produced in recent memory .

Posted by 200ondebut on (August 30, 2012, 21:19 GMT)

So KP is brazenly confident - who would have guessed watching him bat. Why also would he not have backed his decision to "retire"? What he said is no different to a captain saying they would have bowled anyway after losing the toss.

Posted by Richard_B on (August 30, 2012, 21:12 GMT)

I don't see anything particularly wrong or offensive to the ECB in what KP is quoted as saying here, apart perhaps from a slightly flippant remark about enjoying a beach holiday. I don't read any 'revelling' in retirement, nor any brazen confidence in his words. That is the author's prejudice. ECB would have to be run by children for this to be used against him. Nor did I see any reason to have a go at KP in the author's article on the Most Glorious, Righteous and Virtuous Andrew Strauss yesterday. I am guessing Mr Hopps doesn't care much for KP.

Posted by DocBindra on (August 30, 2012, 20:58 GMT)

I am sorry what did he say that is offensive or incorrect or wrong? Its ridiculous that everything he says or does is scrutinized to no end. Who among us would pass up on millions of $, for a couple of weeks worth of work? Afterall, don't we all aspire to provide a decent nest for our respective families? It's the same stiff upper lip mentality...ECB still thinks they are the power they were in the yester years, not realizing things have changed and that its best to evolve with the times. If all major boards are ok with IPL windows, then guess what, England has no one to play during that time except maybe Pakistan every year.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (August 30, 2012, 20:27 GMT)

England need to rebuild around Pietersen. Rightly england should be the world's laughing stock. If dropping a man after that Headingley knock is not the most pathetic and outrageous piece of misselection and the most grotesque miscarriage of justice since Judge Jefferies presided over the bloody Assizes then I'm a Dutchman. It's time to ditch the petty minded people who think otherwise, prune away the dead wood and let the side breathe.

Posted by voma on (August 30, 2012, 20:17 GMT)

Its time for both parties to move on , in different directions ! .

Posted by Baundele on (August 30, 2012, 20:09 GMT)

Those remarks are absolute truths. Funny world! People get punished for telling the truth.

Posted by meenuraghu on (August 30, 2012, 20:05 GMT)

It's time to take a pragmatic view and let KP back in the fold. He has apologised, move on. The team is dull without him. I am fed up reading all the negative articles.

Posted by dwoodpecker on (August 30, 2012, 19:48 GMT)

when you are on top everyone wants to pull you down. keep your head up KP.

Posted by FreddyForPrimeMinister on (August 30, 2012, 19:46 GMT)

@Nuxxy... I agree mate. KP has been utterly stupid in the past few months and you can't help but feel he will be regretting so much of what he said and did. The sad thing is that he is an awesome cricketer but seemingly not a very likeable man - though that's only an impression as I don't of course know him! Funnily enough, the one sentence that stands out more than any other over the recent sorry weeks came not from KP or any of the England players or management. It came from Hashim Amla after one of his seemingly many recent brilliant innings. When told that he was now officially ranked number two batsman in the world, he laughed and said, "I'm not even the second best batsman in my team!" If only KP could learn from that wonderful modesty. A true sporting genius doesn't need to tell people how good he is - he should let others do that for him...

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (August 30, 2012, 19:38 GMT)

While I don't agree with his zig-zag attitude, he was RIGHT about the IPL's influence on world cricket. The ECB are simply arrogant !! Every national board have embraced and welcomed the IPL allowing their players the liberty to play in that tournament except the guys at the ECB. Why are these ECB executives so stubborn ? They whine and hide behind the excuse of test cricket. If test cricket is so pure then it will survive irrespective. Because, ultimately it's the players that will play the game. The ECB have gotten A LOT of things wrong. For starters, they should push back their summer season by a month. That is, they should begin in June instead of May. That would allow any contracted English player to play in the full IPL. Also, 2 test series in a single summer is RIDICULOUS. Why not instead have ONE good series against a worthy opponent and it should be a 5 match series without any meaningless ODIs. So yeah, the ECB have got it wrong BIG time.

Posted by 12th_man on (August 30, 2012, 19:30 GMT)

KP is a fantastic player and needs to be managed properly. If things don't work out for him in England he maybe forced to go back to S.A. What a team that would be!

Posted by RameshSubramaniam on (August 30, 2012, 19:26 GMT)

I would like to see ECB and Flower's approach if England loses T20 and India tour badly along with current series against SA.

Posted by KrishnanN on (August 30, 2012, 19:12 GMT)

Using England my arse! Look, he needs England and the English test/t20 team needs him, so let's cut the crap and let the man play, I say!

Posted by Jonathan_E on (August 30, 2012, 19:05 GMT)

Players need to understand that they are not a "brand", and that the entire cult and ethos of "celebrity" and "being famous for being famous" is stupid and vacuous. People who laud Pietersen to the skies for "being a game-changer" forget that there are many people in many other teams who have higher batting averages than he does - and in a few cases, particularly Kallis, better bowling averages too.

In short, Pietersen has a similar average to Adam Gilchrist who was not even a specialist batsman, and Gilchrist did not get into celebrity culture and promoting an overblown ego. Nor does Ponting, nor does Kallis, nor did Hayden, nor does Graeme Smith, nor does Amla. Nor, even, did Viv Richards, or Javed Miandad back in their day. Nor Dravid, Jayawardene, Sangakkara or even Tendulkar despite the best efforts of his fans.

I'm not sure that even Brian Lara tried to be as much a "celebrity" as Pietersen seems to want to be, although he is closest...

Posted by pr3m on (August 30, 2012, 19:02 GMT)

If they take these outdated comments seriously, they're being drama queens. England need to awaken to the fact that Pietersen is a champ, and he had issues with the IPL which he's now sorted in his head. They need to treat him well, and get back to him, to win. Isn't that why sport is played, instead of harping on team ethics?

Posted by creekeetman on (August 30, 2012, 18:55 GMT)

agree with you alex, and especially those with such "high morals" that would refuse the money he was offered.

Posted by aim0017 on (August 30, 2012, 18:54 GMT)

Okay, so KP said something ECB and other players did not like. He apologized and tried correcting his mistake. Am i missing something or ECB & his team mates are overreacting??

Posted by Nmiduna on (August 30, 2012, 18:49 GMT)

well, Mr. Hopps, forget the situation, forget its KP, isn't ALL he has said is true?..its what the experts admit, its what boycott says, its what any sensible person who is not a partisan would say.for all is excess and indianness, IPL is sth that is here to stay. and if people can be a little bit more sensiblei and think about cricket as a whole(not as a country or taking anything personal),IPL can actually benefit cricket.In a world of BPL and grand-slams offering millions for other professionals, y should cricketers sacrifice it when it all can be adjusted with a bit more sensibility? play tests for your country, play IPL for urself(not counting the entertainment and hence the attraction it gets, thereby spreading the game thus helping it thrive!). come on guys, no one is black or white.those dnt even exist in movies now! one can be a patriot AND play in IPL.KP's only fault is his personality,the way he handles things and he's not wrong if he thinks 'what if i played for India...'

Posted by   on (August 30, 2012, 18:43 GMT)

I hope STRAUSS wasnt shown the door early just to get KP back into the team, whatever happens on the pitch n dressing room shud always stay there, its an unwritten law in sport and KP broke this and shudnt be let in the team again.

Posted by   on (August 30, 2012, 18:29 GMT)

I'm starting to feel the teensiest bit sorry for KP. Yes, he's the ever-vocal chairman of the "I Love KP" Fanclub, but he always has been. I would expect that, like most seemingly egoist people, he's actually feeling unhappy in himself. His recent behaviour seems to suggest so.

Posted by   on (August 30, 2012, 18:29 GMT)

I've read this, and there are no qualms that relate to this current issue at all. It depends on how you understand what was quoted (and this was said BEFORE the spat). KP is right, Test Cricket is the ultimate, but T20 and IPL are here to stay and you can't ignore it. England created the T20 competition in 2003 and it has taken the world by storm. If anything, KP's implying that you use the IPL to build your brand. The ECB hasn't really accepted the IPL as a major tournament, and you can't criticise a man for earning his keep. Everyone's allowed to earn their money in the ventures they choose. If you were offered $2 million to work for 8 weeks, would you pass it up? It all boils down to the player, and unfortunately for the ECB, KP is their only superstar player. You'll find other England players on lower contracts but it's still a perfectly valid way of earning money. I see no issue. This situation needs to be resolved now.

Posted by sust2001 on (August 30, 2012, 18:22 GMT)

@ Rajiv Radhakrishnan: Every professional cricketer needs money, and certainly, KP is not different from other. Any team in IPL did not provide free money. Any amount of money got decided based on player's talent at the very beginning of each season, otherwise every player from Indian team (for example) would receive equal amount! Please learn to give value to any talent in this world and KP is just one of those individuals, who deserves honour and respect. KP is neither using test-cricket nor using ECB for finding a position in any of IPL teams. Instead, he has been showing his full respect to ECB and cricket by saying that he is available for ECB in any format of cricket.

Posted by   on (August 30, 2012, 18:12 GMT)

Not that I defend KP, his problems with the ECB are for them to resolve.

Bottom line is IPL is here to stay . Its India's premiership and who cares if ECB shows disregard for it. The players get their worth, cricket loving fans have made it a success in India and globally and it will continue to attract the best.

Every country now has their own T-20 league ~ a complete disaster... guys learn from India pls ...we are ahead by 5 years .. way beyond any other cricketing board..if u cant respect it .. have the courtesy not to offend it !

ECB can continue their boring Geoff Boycott styled PRO-40 or whatever its called, not a soul watches it anywhere in the world. India is the power house in cricket , like it or not !!

Posted by Ricky_the_Ponting on (August 30, 2012, 17:59 GMT)

While I agree KP needs to learn a bit on softer aspects of working together with others but what ever he has said is what every cricker would say. He has got the guts to say openly. Others mumble and talk behind the doors.

Posted by xylo on (August 30, 2012, 17:55 GMT)

Well, hard to accept, but this is the truth. If the ECB is going to bury their heads in sand, then I wonder who is going to be at loss.

Posted by bumsonseats on (August 30, 2012, 17:48 GMT)

its been said before like the engish weather he can his change opinion on an given day .he seems now to understand that england called his bluff with the threat that his england days may be over.

Posted by Erebus26 on (August 30, 2012, 17:13 GMT)

This will undoubtedly be used as something else to beat KP with. I think KP said a lot of things that he has now regretted but it's now time everybody moved and stopped dragging up the past.

Posted by CaptainKool on (August 30, 2012, 17:11 GMT)

ECB is acting as a villain. Even Flower is agree to make an IPL window so what's all these fuss about?

Posted by JerryV on (August 30, 2012, 16:53 GMT)

It is quite clear that the powers that be do not want KP, regardless of his abilities and the small matter of him being their best player.

This interview will not help. I think that KP should cut his losses and move to the Caribbean. He will love the beaches and the locals could use his skills in 5 years.

Posted by Alexk400 on (August 30, 2012, 16:44 GMT)

Just leave the guy alone people. He is great player.

Posted by StJohn on (August 30, 2012, 16:37 GMT)

Surely KP has a bit of a point though - a window should be created for the IPL. Frankly, if the ECB had been prescient and less easily seduced by a certain now-disgraced Texan banker then they might have retained first-mover advantage by commercialising T20 here first, in the way that it has been done in India. After all, wasn't T20 invented in England? Sadly we have a long tradition in these Isles of inventing things but then allowing others to cash in on our creativity. As for what KP said in the interview, isn't the above article putting a little too much faith in the journalist to quote KP accurately and in context?

Posted by   on (August 30, 2012, 16:34 GMT)

KP needs to be given the winter off. He needs to be taught a lesson. It appears that he is using Test Cricket to get the money from IPL! i.e. using England!

Posted by Nuxxy on (August 30, 2012, 16:32 GMT)

It's not going to make things easy, no. On the other hand, I don't feel he said anything wrong. It just seems insensitive in the current impasse, but it was said before that.

Comments have now been closed for this article

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David HoppsClose
David Hopps David Hopps joined ESPNcricinfo as UK editor early in 2012. For the previous 20 years he was a senior cricket writer for the Guardian and covered England extensively during that time in all Test-playing nations. He also covered four Olympic Games and has written several cricket books, including collections of cricket quotations. He has been an avid amateur cricketer since he was 12, and so knows the pain of repeated failure only too well. The pile of untouched novels he plans to read, but rarely gets around to, is now almost touching the ceiling. He divides his time between the ESPNcricinfo office in Hammersmith and his beloved Yorkshire.
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