England's Pietersen dilemma September 8, 2012

Pietersen names Twitter suspects


Kevin Pietersen has pressed England to carry out a serious investigation into his suspicion that his England team-mates Graeme Swann and James Anderson were feeding information to the KP Genius parody Twitter account in a prolonged stalemate that continues to dog attempts to reintegrate him into the England team.

Pietersen has made an England investigation a central part of any rapprochement. Initial meetings with the England coach, Andy Flower, a week ago failed to find immediate common ground for a resumption of his international career.

The England selectors are due to announce in the next few days the Test squad to tour India. Pietersen was also not named in England's list of central contracts for 2012-13 although it was indicated that other names could be added.

The account, which suggested Pietersen was vainglorious and obsessed by money, was followed by several members of the team and, at times, even elicited a good-humoured response from Pietersen before his attitude abruptly changed as his relationships with the ECB and his England team-mates deteriorated.

Richard Bailey, a cricket lover who shares a house with a couple of members of the Nottinghamshire team and is a friend of England's T20 captain Stuart Broad, has admitted he was behind the account and insists no one else was involved.

Broad has denied any involvement or knowledge of the account and it has subsequently been discontinued. An ESPNcricinfo investigation also exonerated Broad and suggested that Bailey was the only person responsible.

But Pietersen remains convinced that other England players were involved - and he has made his feelings clear. If he is to reach what he views as a fair compromise with his reputation intact and with an admission of faults on both sides then it seems that he is not prepared to let this matter rest. Whether a dressing room could knit together again after such a lengthy dispute is questionable.

Specifically he feels that the contents of private conversations between him, Anderson and Swann were referenced in various tweets. As a consequence, Pietersen feels he has been the victim of double standards after being disciplined for sending private messages to members of the South Africa touring party that contained derogatory comments about recently retired England Test captain Andrew Strauss.

ESPNcricinfo is not aware that Pietersen has provided definite proof that either Swann or Anderson were directly involved.

The episode is a headache that will not go away for Flower. Coming days before England depart for Sri Lanka in an attempt to defend their World T20 title and ahead of the naming of the Test squad for India, it is a distraction that he and the players could well do without. If Pietersen has hard evidence to support his views - and it is hard to see how he does - then the results could be devastating.

With both sides apparently too entrenched in their views to accept an amnesty, it is also hard to see a happy ending to a saga that continues to damage the individuals and the England team.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Andrew on September 11, 2012, 23:46 GMT

    @JG2704 on (September 11 2012, 16:20 PM GMT) don't get me wrong, I think Swanny's frankness is a breath of fresh air in a world of sporting cliches, however, I think those comments whether frank or not, CANNOT add to team stability IF you were KP!

  • John on September 11, 2012, 16:20 GMT

    @Meety on (September 11 2012, 11:07 AM GMT) Now to me those comments are frank but not totally derogatory. I mean he clearly states "in my opinion" . I'm not sure how many games KP captained Eng in anyway but maybe even from just being in the set up , without actually playing under a certain captain you can see things you think are not right in order to form an opinion.

  • david on September 11, 2012, 14:54 GMT

    bobmartin sorry my guess is that time will be called on his career. i just cannot see how he can get back into the dressng room. in a team sport you all have to have the mentality of us against them, and i feel the other players dont think that. the 2 senior professionals swann and anderson have come out and said similar. the old adage time is a great healer maybe in future series. but for me, bye bye kev

  • Bob on September 11, 2012, 13:07 GMT

    Guess we'll find out shortly if Pietersen has a future with the England team..Seemingly the selectors are meeting today to select the squad for India which is due to be announced before England depart for the T20 WC on Thursday. My guess is that he will be pencilled in pending the outcome of the next meeting/s between "the exalted one" and the England management. My hope is that they wash their hands of him because, given his form for upsetting team mates and the powers that be, how can they be sure that this latest incident will be the last.

  • Steve on September 11, 2012, 12:59 GMT

    It would help if he had the slightest sense of humour. It'll be a great shame if it's the end for him, but the less like football cricket remains the better. Why doesn't KP just tell us he's sad and will stop celebrating his centuries.

  • Andrew on September 11, 2012, 11:07 GMT

    @jg2704 - correction. It was an article on Swann on this website in October last year - BUT it was quoting from the book. Swann said "...I wouldn't say he was a useless captain, but he wasn't my sort of captain..." & "...but he was never the right man to captain England in my opinion..." Which IMO is a smokescreen as Swanny hardly played under KPs captaincy.

  • Hira on September 11, 2012, 11:02 GMT

    @JG2704 so you are not following all news regarding KP since this saga begin, any ways you can read statement of SA team manager Dr. Mosagee regarding KP text involvement. ECB never contacted SA board officially to reveal the content and KP cannot be punished for any thing personal and unofficial. Now i think all this is irrelevant since ECB is about to name the side for Indian tour and as expected KP name is not there so I feel that both the parties are not basically interested in sorting this issue. KP is happy that he can play full champion league, IPL and Big Bash where as England is happy not to have him in the team that is what both parties were aiming for since long. In short term both have achieved their motive and the sufferer is only cricket and its fan.

  • David on September 11, 2012, 10:28 GMT

    @ashes61 - completely agree - his form is fitful more than consistent. On the other hand, if your personal cricket journey begins in '61, then you must be aware that no-one has scored more runs at a higher average than Pietersen since Barrington. On stats alone he's the best England batsman for nearly 50 years. He's a sort of inside out Boycott - enormous ego, utterly self-motivated, and inflated by self-awareness of his genius. As it was for Boycs, none of these things are especially attractive characteristics, and blind us to how good he is...when he can be bothered. Very difficult man to have in or leave out.

  • david on September 11, 2012, 9:59 GMT

    as a contracted player swan can not just get a book published with the content not checked. the ecb look at all book before and any item not considered appropriate has to be removed similar i think andersons book just out will have also gone down that road. im not sure the coach has much to do with that part though. swan has always been out spoken as most cricket corespondents like to interview him because of this. im sure swan would never say anything about KP that he would not say to his face. it must also be remembered that swan has had previous with KP in so far he plays for nottingham were KP had his second altercation of his career and a rift with them were he also chucked his toys out of his pram

  • Martin on September 11, 2012, 9:52 GMT

    @Ian Burnett There is a fine line between taking the mick and being bitter about a player and waging a media campaign against them! If true (and i beleive it is) it is an aweful thing that Swann and Anderson did to undermine KP. Your comments about him being motivated by "shed loads of money" come straight from that blog which evidences that damage it did! If they were really just taking the mick they should have manned up and apologised that they took it too far. Clearly they weren't and you cant honestly beleive that that age old excuse of "we were just joking" applies here. I guess you had better rethink who is the real man is. I wont call Anderson and Swann spineless but they should man up!

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