England's Pietersen dilemma October 3, 2012

Being tough on KP

The power struggle between the ECB and Kevin Pietersen about the value systems of English cricket will only have been justified if it results in a happy ending
  shares 86

Those in charge of England cricket are convinced that Kevin Pietersen has been taught a lesson he will never forget as he returns to the England fold. In the words of the ECB chairman, Giles Clarke, he has one final chance to earn the forgiveness that is the very fabric of a civilised world.

As Clarke delivered his statement in a Colombo hotel with all the gravitas he could muster, he made it sound as if Pietersen had just been released from a lengthy prison sentence. Condign punishment had been exacted and it was now time to try to reintegrate him into "our society". It was an interesting choice of words. This power struggle, at its core, has been about the value systems of English cricket.

But what exactly did Pietersen do to incur England's wrath? On the grounds of confidentiality, that must remain unspoken. "We aren't here for archaeology," Clarke pronounced after it was asked of both men, perfectly properly, how Pietersen had got into this mess in the first place.

Archaeology was an appropriate image for the last few months, in which both Pietersen's career and England's World Twenty20 challenge have been in ruins.

At least England, and Pietersen, are digging themselves into a hole no longer. We have a framework in which we are told that both sides can move forward, a framework that Andy Flower, the team director, and the ECB board unanimously support. No one should doubt that Flower retains control and Pietersen is on probation.

It is Flower who is now in charge of the integration process, Flower who is in charge of suppressing the bad and seeking out the good. In this uneasy truce, England's team director has not lost one iota of his power - as Clarke made clear when he insisted as vehemently as he could muster that Flower will remain in his position until at least the end of the 2015 World Cup.

There is no good reason with goodwill on all sides why Pietersen should not be added to the England Test party to tour India. But the stand-off has stretched over nearly two months and, in that time, great damage has been done. England have lacked their most destructive batsman and arguably they failed to qualify for the World Twenty20 semi-finals as a result.

In a previous era, as Pietersen's relationship with the England dressing room became strained, there would probably have been a bit of a barney at the back of the Headingley pavilion. The following day, life would have resumed as something approaching normality and any black eye suffered by one of the protagonists would have been explained away as a ball that had reared up in the nets. It might not have achieved much, and it would certainly have not been very PC, but it would have been over quickly.

Nowadays, to move on - in a mutually constructive process naturally - it takes emotional apologies on YouTube, the mass interviewing of interested parties, involvement of agents, the to-ing and fro-ing of lawyers, emergency board meetings, reports, preliminary and final, "reintegration" processes stretching to several pages and who knows what else.

But what exactly did Pietersen do? If it has been accepted by both sides that he did not send derogatory text messages about Andrew Strauss to the South Africans, or reveal tactical secrets, what exactly did he do?

Archaeologists a few thousand years hence may study Pietersen's skull and have the power to conclude that in the summer of 2012 his ego had expanded like few cricketing egos ever seen before. The inescapable conclusion is that Pietersen had become so arsey that people - and we can assume that Flower and several influential senior players were prominent among them - had simply had enough.

"Archaeologists a few thousand years hence may study Pietersen's skull and have the power to conclude that in the summer of 2012 his ego had expanded like few before"

Great players - or, in Pietersen's case, players occasionally touched by greatness - can be difficult. They can also be inspirational. They dance to a different tune. "What should we do about Kevin?" has been a refrain throughout his career. The extraordinary self-confidence that can make him so gloriously successful on the field can occasionally make him taxing off it. That much has always been known.

In the summer of 2012, when he could not play the whole of the IPL or pick-and-mix his England games (a quite ludicrous belief that he could behave like an international tennis player), and was refused licence to reduce his involvement in England's highly disciplined training regime, things began to grate.

There are places on the England domestic circuit that he at times finds, shall we say, a little too provincial for his tastes, especially when the weather is churlish, the excitement is lacking and there seems no end to England's programme of one-day internationals.

The feeling took hold - and took hold among strong-minded men not given to fantasy - that the prime reason Pietersen was playing for England was that he needed to maximise his commercial appeal. He was the one South Africa-born player in England's side who had not persuaded his colleagues that he had true pride in the shirt. There was too much obsession with money.

"It's tough being me playing for England," he famously complained in a media conference after the Headingley Test against South Africa, in which he made a brilliant century. Strauss, his captain at the time, could not believe what he was hearing. "It's even tougher being us," was the private rejoinder of some of his team-mates.

Flower, who had seen the last England coach, Peter Moores, lose his job after Pietersen, as captain, encouraged and then led a rebellion, must have sensed familiar danger signs. What was it Flower had said in Kandy barely 24 hours earlier when asked if Pietersen was a good man? "I think we all have good and bad in us, all of us."

The England hierarchy is convinced that their uncompromising stance has left Pietersen shaken, that their assertion that the team ethic is more important than any glorious individual achievement has been sounded loudly. Pietersen now has the chance, once and for all, to harness his talents to the demands of the team. That it is his last chance could not be more certain.

He is also available for England for all forms of the game, his ambitions to play the whole of IPL abandoned, and if he vacillates again over where his priorities lie, his new contract will give him little room for manoeuvre. The ECB will congratulate itself that it has quelled a rebellion. But resisting the IPL in the medium term is unsustainable and they know it. If there is no accommodation with India, other stand-offs will follow.

In their desire to remind Pietersen of collective values, England's ambitions are to be lauded. Cricket has always required a delicate balance of individual achievement within a team setting, part of the reason it remains so engrossing.

It is just the delay that is so hard to stomach. England, for sure, had some important cricket on their mind when Pietersen intimated at Headingley that the world was against him and Strauss' resignation as England's Test captain did not make closure any easier - but a bit of multi-tasking would not have gone amiss.

The only conclusion is that England wanted to make Pietersen sweat and they probably secretly wanted to see how the team would do without him. Now they know. Pietersen is back, who knows for how long. Only if history relates that everybody lived happily ever after will this stand-off, a rather overblown stand-off when all is said and done, prove justified.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • JG2704 on October 5, 2012, 18:23 GMT

    @Hira1 - CTD Personally,I probably will place alot of the blame at Flower's door if/when we lose in India , just like I did when we lost in UAE ,drew in SL lost vs SA , and our poor T20WC but this is nothing to do with KP who played in most of those matches but due to formations for the test series and various tactical and selections for the T20 WC. I also don't think the majority of English fans would blame Flower if KP is not there in India and I don't think we'll do well there with or without KP. Many on here predict a 4-0 whitewash.Sorry but no player transforms a 4-0 WW into a positive score.I honestly don't believe it's a form reason why KP is returning.I believe it is totally a legal reason something like ECB don't have the text evidence but we all know that those texts were derogatory otherwise KP would have come clean straight away. The whole episode stinks.Please publish this time , nothing of offence or untrue and is a direct response to a poster/post

  • JG2704 on October 5, 2012, 12:27 GMT

    @Hira1 on (October 04 2012, 13:53 PM GMT) re not bending rules to accommodate him . I'm talking about the rule re ODI/T20 contracts not being separate , which led to KP himself retiring from ODIs/T20s. England made plans to play the T20WC without KP from then onwards. I'd like to have seen KP in the WC but I fully back Flower's decision and I believe he'd have carried out that decision regardless of the texts debacle. The whole thing has reached this stage because of KPs ego IMO. Wasn't Flower who tried to have the contracts bent to suit him was it? Wasn't Flower who sent the texts was it? BTW Please give me an example of where KP has been treated any worse by Flower than other England players under similar circumstances? I noticed you evaded this again. Please publish this time , nothing of offence or untrue and is a direct response to the poster

  • on October 5, 2012, 9:22 GMT

    But really, just what has KP done to merit his out or proportion punishment?? The second-rate cricket of the 20/20 team without him was egg-on -the face to the ECB. Players who can turn a match in a few overs, as Pietersen so massively can, do much more than their just make runs, they bring despair to their opponents in a way that strengthens the resolve and confidence of the whole team.

  • JB77 on October 5, 2012, 0:42 GMT

    @ Milhouse79 - if by 'gutted' you mean 'rolling around the floor with laughter' then, yes, we Aussies are gutted. It's been a long time since KP was a cricketing force to be feared - a fact that makes England's desperation to have him back all the funnier.

  • all-in-1 on October 4, 2012, 22:29 GMT

    Considering the last T20 against India, it was obvious that they where out played by the spin bowlers, they reached that score it was only because the tail enders scored few extra runs. It shows they need players who can stand up to spin and they have a player who can which is Pietersen, i agree he is not the best but he is the best that England have at the moment. it is a shame that they left him out of the T20 world cup. with him the result would have been much better. It doesn't take a genius to realise you need players who can play spin in the Asian pitches.

  • on October 4, 2012, 18:35 GMT

    @kaidranzer: I'm aware that you meant the England team - my point is he is not as good against spin as people on this site make out and that his recent record is no better than anyone else in the England team. His record against slow left arm bowlers is poor and has been for sometime. I'm not asking that he plays "miraculous" innings all the time, just a few more decent knocks - especially in the 1st innings - more consistently than he has recently. He's played for England for 7 years now and the matchwinning knocks he's made are actually quite rare considering the number of innings he's played. Chasing 140 odd in the second innings of the 2nd Test against Pakistan last winter cried out for a matchwinning contribution from him - to take the game by the scruff of the neck, but alas no.

  • on October 4, 2012, 18:27 GMT

    A pox on both their houses? Many mazeltovs Hoppsy - a sticky wicket navigated with Hutton-like mastery.

  • Hira1 on October 4, 2012, 18:21 GMT

    @Charlie101 no one knows the exact content of the text and when there is no proof of it then how ECB can win a legal battle against KP any ways I think KP is a great player and an asset to English cricket. as a fan I am not bothered about whether he is a good human or not but when he is on the field he is only playing for his team and you did admit that without him your team has gone so weak so sooner or later he has to be included in the squad the sooner the better

  • Jaffa79 on October 4, 2012, 18:08 GMT

    The Aussies have to be gutted. After their recent embarrassing pummelings at the hands of the old enemy, they desperately needed England to be without KP for the Ashes to be even vaguely competitive. Hang on, England won in 2009 with KP only playing a minor part and he didn't play during the summer ODI cakewalk. KP needs to play in India but I don't think we'll need him in the summer...

  • on October 4, 2012, 15:44 GMT

    One of the villain of the piece escaped unscathed, still 'flowering' in the bushes in the backyard! George Orwell, where are you? You were right on the penny when you wrote in your classic 'Animal Farm', ..."all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others"

  • JG2704 on October 5, 2012, 18:23 GMT

    @Hira1 - CTD Personally,I probably will place alot of the blame at Flower's door if/when we lose in India , just like I did when we lost in UAE ,drew in SL lost vs SA , and our poor T20WC but this is nothing to do with KP who played in most of those matches but due to formations for the test series and various tactical and selections for the T20 WC. I also don't think the majority of English fans would blame Flower if KP is not there in India and I don't think we'll do well there with or without KP. Many on here predict a 4-0 whitewash.Sorry but no player transforms a 4-0 WW into a positive score.I honestly don't believe it's a form reason why KP is returning.I believe it is totally a legal reason something like ECB don't have the text evidence but we all know that those texts were derogatory otherwise KP would have come clean straight away. The whole episode stinks.Please publish this time , nothing of offence or untrue and is a direct response to a poster/post

  • JG2704 on October 5, 2012, 12:27 GMT

    @Hira1 on (October 04 2012, 13:53 PM GMT) re not bending rules to accommodate him . I'm talking about the rule re ODI/T20 contracts not being separate , which led to KP himself retiring from ODIs/T20s. England made plans to play the T20WC without KP from then onwards. I'd like to have seen KP in the WC but I fully back Flower's decision and I believe he'd have carried out that decision regardless of the texts debacle. The whole thing has reached this stage because of KPs ego IMO. Wasn't Flower who tried to have the contracts bent to suit him was it? Wasn't Flower who sent the texts was it? BTW Please give me an example of where KP has been treated any worse by Flower than other England players under similar circumstances? I noticed you evaded this again. Please publish this time , nothing of offence or untrue and is a direct response to the poster

  • on October 5, 2012, 9:22 GMT

    But really, just what has KP done to merit his out or proportion punishment?? The second-rate cricket of the 20/20 team without him was egg-on -the face to the ECB. Players who can turn a match in a few overs, as Pietersen so massively can, do much more than their just make runs, they bring despair to their opponents in a way that strengthens the resolve and confidence of the whole team.

  • JB77 on October 5, 2012, 0:42 GMT

    @ Milhouse79 - if by 'gutted' you mean 'rolling around the floor with laughter' then, yes, we Aussies are gutted. It's been a long time since KP was a cricketing force to be feared - a fact that makes England's desperation to have him back all the funnier.

  • all-in-1 on October 4, 2012, 22:29 GMT

    Considering the last T20 against India, it was obvious that they where out played by the spin bowlers, they reached that score it was only because the tail enders scored few extra runs. It shows they need players who can stand up to spin and they have a player who can which is Pietersen, i agree he is not the best but he is the best that England have at the moment. it is a shame that they left him out of the T20 world cup. with him the result would have been much better. It doesn't take a genius to realise you need players who can play spin in the Asian pitches.

  • on October 4, 2012, 18:35 GMT

    @kaidranzer: I'm aware that you meant the England team - my point is he is not as good against spin as people on this site make out and that his recent record is no better than anyone else in the England team. His record against slow left arm bowlers is poor and has been for sometime. I'm not asking that he plays "miraculous" innings all the time, just a few more decent knocks - especially in the 1st innings - more consistently than he has recently. He's played for England for 7 years now and the matchwinning knocks he's made are actually quite rare considering the number of innings he's played. Chasing 140 odd in the second innings of the 2nd Test against Pakistan last winter cried out for a matchwinning contribution from him - to take the game by the scruff of the neck, but alas no.

  • on October 4, 2012, 18:27 GMT

    A pox on both their houses? Many mazeltovs Hoppsy - a sticky wicket navigated with Hutton-like mastery.

  • Hira1 on October 4, 2012, 18:21 GMT

    @Charlie101 no one knows the exact content of the text and when there is no proof of it then how ECB can win a legal battle against KP any ways I think KP is a great player and an asset to English cricket. as a fan I am not bothered about whether he is a good human or not but when he is on the field he is only playing for his team and you did admit that without him your team has gone so weak so sooner or later he has to be included in the squad the sooner the better

  • Jaffa79 on October 4, 2012, 18:08 GMT

    The Aussies have to be gutted. After their recent embarrassing pummelings at the hands of the old enemy, they desperately needed England to be without KP for the Ashes to be even vaguely competitive. Hang on, England won in 2009 with KP only playing a minor part and he didn't play during the summer ODI cakewalk. KP needs to play in India but I don't think we'll need him in the summer...

  • on October 4, 2012, 15:44 GMT

    One of the villain of the piece escaped unscathed, still 'flowering' in the bushes in the backyard! George Orwell, where are you? You were right on the penny when you wrote in your classic 'Animal Farm', ..."all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others"

  • Charlie101 on October 4, 2012, 15:32 GMT

    @Hira The central contract from the ECB will contain many clauses and rules such as bringing the game into disrepute etc which were broken by KP in his one text. The ECB did not want to get into a legal fight with KP because the whole affair has been devisive enough already and you may have noticed we have not been playing our best cricket - the bowling and fielding has suffered as well. A public court battle would not have been good for the players and I am sure you can understand that and it is nothing whatsoever to do with Flower's ego.

  • on October 4, 2012, 15:27 GMT

    4 months contract! Is England scared of touring India without KP, or what? Also, what injustice to all the young English boys who are coming up quite well. What they need is more exposure and experience. If this egomaniac is in, at least one such future prospect will be benched in every match played in India ... one of the best opportunities to toughen them up. What an injustice! What a shame!

  • GSandhu on October 4, 2012, 15:10 GMT

    @Long-Leg on (October 04 2012, 13:21 PM GMT) I never said A Cook is not a "great" batsman. I just said Pietersen "is" and I stand corrected. Why? Because all you need to do is look at the bloke's record. Better average, more runs than Cook to start with. Not to forget that KP can tear into any bowling attack on any given day while Cook is more of an accumulator. They are both good batsmen but KP is better. If he wasn't what he is, no one would bother about him being out of the team. I don't dislike Cook, I just love watching KP play with his aggressive batting. Cheers.

  • Hira1 on October 4, 2012, 13:53 GMT

    @ JG2704 what rule? if they were any written rules ECB could have ban KP for a year or so without having to fear about legal aspects against the action...this whole saga reached to this point because of Flower ego and trust me if Flower has some belief that Eng is able to cope up with indian condition without KP he would not have let him in ...any ways my point is if KP wont play in India than all pressure will be on flower and let him taste his own medicine.

  • Long-Leg on October 4, 2012, 13:21 GMT

    @Prasanth Krishnan: @Gsandhu: Where do you get the idea that Pietersen is one of the greats? I don't even think he is the best batsman in the England side. He is extravagant, infuriating and entertaining, but not a great player. Alistair Cook is the England batsman most likely to achieve the status of "great".

  • AndrewFromOz on October 4, 2012, 13:04 GMT

    Wrong. KP is currently dancing around his bathroom with his underpants on his head shouting: "I won! I won! They caved in and I am the BOSS!!!!!"

  • kaidranzer on October 4, 2012, 12:59 GMT

    @Dr.Vindaloo: You make a valid point but T20 serves as an introduction to cricket for the associates. In a way, it helps bring new teams into by leveling the playing field considerably.

  • kaidranzer on October 4, 2012, 12:54 GMT

    @Ian Burnett: Please read the statement again. I said he is the only batsman "in the English team" who doesn't seem to freeze while playing spin. It's all relative. And one bad series does not make a bad player. His record in the subcontinent, discounting the Pakistan series last year, is reasonably good. Talking about consistently playing those miraculous innings, well if he did that he would be Don Bradman. Also, I never said he is a great player of spin. He is just better than most of his teammates.

  • Selassie-I on October 4, 2012, 12:46 GMT

    @Dr.Vindaloo - I completley agree, winning a series in India would be a huge achievement for us. I used to be against T20, but now it does have seemed to have evolved to at least be a bit more tactical and certainly watchable, never the less a number has not yet been found to explain how many times more I'd rather see us win in India. We won the T20 cup about 18 months ago, and in the current format you only really need a run of form in about 4 matches to win it, 12 hours in total... that might not even win you a single test match!

  • Selassie-I on October 4, 2012, 12:39 GMT

    @mincing - the fact I think is SKY money + revenue from a test series far outweighs 2 weeks wages for the players. Also look at who plays in the IPL from the test squad - KP (& Morgan who's not regular) so the whole team should sacrifice a test series every year so KP can line his pockets? of course maybe more would be bought if they were available for the duration. Also another factor is that 95% of the british, cricket viewing, public don't give two hoots about a domestic T20 competition in India and why should we lose 50% of our international summer so our players can go play ina domestic league on the other side of the world, remember we only have the weather to play for 5 months(if that). Finally, and most importantly, the ECB is run by the counties, do you really think that they are going to hand away money so players can go and play in another country and get absolutley nothing for it? Not my opinions on the situation, just the facts. Maybe if the IPL were moved slightly...

  • letsgoproteas on October 4, 2012, 12:04 GMT

    ONE WORD - DOOS!

    Good luck with this 1diot in your team England. Sure he can hit a ball... but no player is worth all this stupidity.

  • ObjectiveCricketism on October 4, 2012, 11:56 GMT

    Let us hope the whole ECB/Pietersen saga finally resolves itself and all the involved, including the mischief-making team members and journalists, act with greater integrity and common sense in future.

  • mincing on October 4, 2012, 11:53 GMT

    The ECB has got it massively wrong with its general approach to the IPL. Instead of forcing players to come back early for test series in May which are only around to fulfill contracts with SKY, then why at the last negotiation with SKY did the ECB not reduce the amount of home tests to create more room in the schedule for players to play a full IPL season. Then as a result reduce the amount of money the players are paid in the central contracts to cover the loss in broadcasting revenue. The players are then given the opportunity to supplement their wages with a full season of IPL.

  • GSandhu on October 4, 2012, 11:40 GMT

    @Sakthivel - I do not understand where that comment is coming from. But to me it seems a bit personal and shallow. For the sake of answering it, let me tell you that there are thousands if not millions of fans of KP in India. I am only one of his die-hard fans. We love him for his cricket and his flair, and everything else in-between. I am so happy to see Kevin back into the English fold. I wish him best of luck in the future. For me, it is better if he plays against India in the coming tour as people like me watch cricket for players like KP. A good game played by the greats is worth watching. It does not matter who wins. Obviously, I will support India as I am an Indian but I will also cheer for KP when he bats. There are heaps of Indians who share my view, do not impose your mindset on the people you don't know. Offense taken but pardoned. Peace. GS.

  • SulT29 on October 4, 2012, 11:35 GMT

    I dont understand why cric info is actually putting Kevin Peterson's news on top of the World T20 matches? there is an excellent tournament underway and i am much more interested in how the teams are preparing for it. Maybe i need to go to another site than look at england team's domestic issues.

  • Dr.Vindaloo on October 4, 2012, 11:28 GMT

    @kaidranzer: no sour grapes at all - England is not my team! The point I was making is that it would be a much bigger achievement for England to win a test series in India than to win the made-for-television T20 World Cup.

  • Martensad on October 4, 2012, 11:00 GMT

    What many people don't seem to realise is that it is a two way process. It is not just KP making money out of the ECB. The ECB is also making money out of KP. He is one of the biggest stars in the game. He is a drawcard, particularly in places like India. People will go and see a movie because it has Brad Pitt or George Clooney. It is the same with KP. Cricket is a business as well as a game.

  • Prabhash1985 on October 4, 2012, 10:59 GMT

    I think Kevin Peterson should play for South Africa, where he deserves to be... He made a big mistake by playing for England... I don't think they care for you at all, Kevin.

  • timathews on October 4, 2012, 10:51 GMT

    I am very happy to hear that KP will be playing in India..! Undoubtedly, KP's one of the versatile players who's good to watch and a match winner. His addition to the England team is an added boost for them. Good luck Kevin..please keep away from controversies..!

  • amitgarg78 on October 4, 2012, 9:40 GMT

    As happy as I am to see KP back in the fold, I am equally certain that this mess was not of his creation alone. That his SA background, and generally (Over)confident attitude made him an easier target to go after, is not too difficult to understand. I wonder, if it had been the same if KP had actually been home grown talent. Some will say an "english" player wouldn't have done this in the first place but that merely underscores my point. How good have ECB been at integration? At this juncture, I don't think too high of the management team. Coping with difficult characters is part of management jobs and all I see here is one guy being picked on (publicly) by his team-mates and bosses alike rather than the one for all spirit mouthed since. That this all should've remained in private is obvious. Irrespective of how ECB reintegrate KP in the mix in future, they need to work out how they let it happen or it will happen again, to any other outrageously talented player, who will defy norms.

  • JG2704 on October 4, 2012, 9:32 GMT

    @Hira1 on (October 04 2012, 08:57 AM GMT) How exactly is Flower making it particularly difficult for KP? By not bending the rules to accommodate him? Sorry but I think you'll find that anyone who takes over from Flower would not be easily manipulated by KP either? Please give me an example of where KP has been treated any worse by Flower than other England players under similar circumstances

  • JG2704 on October 4, 2012, 9:25 GMT

    @m0se on (October 03 2012, 20:07 PM GMT) Well done for your sarcasm there but to m0st people on this side of the pond the IPL to us is as absorbing as the test series vs NZ is to you.Please publish this time

  • JG2704 on October 4, 2012, 9:25 GMT

    @Sunil Prasad on (October 03 2012, 18:52 PM GMT) No , that's what people like you told us would happen before the tournament started. We wouldn't even beat Afghanistan and then we wouldn't win a super 8 match. Don't get me wrong , we certainly didn't have a good WC but we did beat NZ in the super 8s or do you mean we didn't win a super 8s match except for NZ to which an Eng fan with the same mentality could say we were unbeaten in the Super 8s except vs WI and SL. Please publish this time , nothing untrue - unlike the post I'm responding to.

  • JG2704 on October 4, 2012, 9:25 GMT

    @Flat_Bully on (October 03 2012, 17:02 PM GMT) Maybe because he's a desperate man

  • kickittome70 on October 4, 2012, 9:07 GMT

    Giant egos - every team always has one or two. My beloved Aussie team has has it's fair share. Candidate one is a very, very good blond spin bowler. Sometimes you gotta take the good with the bad. But the very, very good blond spin bowler never, ever sided with the opposition. I played with a bloke who was a serial pest at our club, being very interested in other players GF's and wives, getting out of shape when enjoying the amber fluid - but he was a powerhouse player who single handedly won us heaps of games. It's tough to cut a bloke who is s great player and I can understand the dilemma that these teams face when adding up everything.

  • Chesty-la-roux on October 4, 2012, 9:03 GMT

    The reason pietersen is back in the england side is not because england 'need' him they do not. Nor is it because he 'needs' england, he most certainly does not. The sole reason this sorry episode has transpired the way it has is because the ECB lawyers will have advised giles that that he, and the bowlers who are the root cause of this issue, would have been found very much wanting in the upcoming court case.

  • Hira1 on October 4, 2012, 8:57 GMT

    KP must not go to India for test series, if he wont the blame of loosing will all be on Flower and most definitely that will be Flower last assignment ...KP come back will be very easy once flower resigns...

  • babowls on October 4, 2012, 8:55 GMT

    K. Peterson, We want him to back in business! How come such a player like him give up international cricket we're thousands of students big fan of him we like to see him in every formet of the cricket!

  • on October 4, 2012, 8:49 GMT

    not good news for indian fans though

  • ThirteenthMan on October 4, 2012, 8:44 GMT

    I think I agree with Guthers007. The problem with Pietersen is not what he has done but the kind of person he is. His record is too long to be ignored.

  • ste13 on October 4, 2012, 8:28 GMT

    Sorry, completely disagree. No player is bigger than a team. Moreover, players in the team should respect each other - otherwise it will always affect the team. Bringing back Pietersen is a bad decision - ECB should stick with younger players who act like players rather than celebrities.

  • jb633 on October 4, 2012, 8:25 GMT

    With KP in the side or not we will get thumped in India. It seems like our batting against spin has gone backward in the last few years. We used to have Tresco and Thorpe who were excellent players in the SC but now I think we only have Prior. Until the ECB prioritises the tours of the SC then we will continue to come unstuck against spin. Just like SC sides ( mayble excluding Sri Lanka) will come unstuck when the ball swings.

  • jackiethepen on October 4, 2012, 8:21 GMT

    I think there are many in the England game - as became clear from the phone in to Radio 5 Live yesterday - who believe the stand off wasn't long enough and that KP should have been dropped for far longer. The rush to "integrate" him into the England side is unseemly and due to the callow batting in the t20 WC. Flower backed his tyros to come good, despite all past warnings to the contrary - he is a stubborn man - but he could have admitted errors and turned to better batsmen like Bell and Cook and Taylor. Bell has transformed the ODI side by batting at the top of the order. Something Hopps has chosen to ignore. On Cricinfo we have seen the same overpraising of Bairstow, Buttler, Hales, Lumb etc in place of better players. When is the lesson learnt? Cricket is a tough game. It's going to be tough on KP too. False expectations are going to be tough to deliver. Meanwhile the principle of playing for England is demeaned by the undue haste of the money men.

  • RednWhiteArmy on October 4, 2012, 7:24 GMT

    Cant blame kev for wanting back into the team everyone watches. Love us or hate us, everyone watches us hahaha

  • Baber_Baloch on October 4, 2012, 7:17 GMT

    He should also be a apart of ENG odi team.

  • PPL11 on October 4, 2012, 7:15 GMT

    Good to hear KP back !! it will be good to see him playing again... Good or Bad you cant ignore player like him !!! Best luck

  • on October 4, 2012, 6:38 GMT

    @kaidranzer: "...He's the only batsman in the English team who doesn't freeze on the crease while facing spin". Hardly confirmed by his average against Pakistan last winter of 11.16. To England fans he is a player who can, occasionally, play stunning innings but doesn't do it often enough, especially in the first innings and to say he's a great player of spin is just incorrect as his frequent problems against SLA indicates

  • Neutral_Guy on October 4, 2012, 0:53 GMT

    Welcome back KP!! Hopefully, English cricket will rise to the occasion.. Hope KP has learnt a lesson.. Great move ECB

  • Puffin on October 3, 2012, 23:23 GMT

    I can't help thinking this will make little difference either way to upcoming England series against India and New Zealand. In the first case we know what happened last time England were in the area, and in the second, NZ are no challenge compared with SA.

  • Guthers007 on October 3, 2012, 23:09 GMT

    It wont be long before this guy messes up again. I've come across many people like this in the past and they never change. Mark my words, within 12 months Pietersen will cause trouble in England cricket, yet again!

  • Nutcutlet on October 3, 2012, 22:55 GMT

    Yes, here is the chance for KP to be 're-integrated' (& I too find that word one that makes me pause for thought) into what Giles Clarke is pleased to call 'our society'. The England cricket team, for better rather than worse IMO, is fashioned in the Flower-Strauss mold. At its core this has the 'All for one, one for all!' battle cry. In other words such success as it has enjoyed has been built on the absolute trust among the team that each member of it pulls in the same direction. KP forgot this in the wake of his IPL season eariler in the year. Not for the first time his ego, inflated by the noisy adulation he received in India, took over. He had got accustomed to being treated like an Indian star & there the stars call the shots, not the team & most certainly not the management. He had lost sight of the integrated nature of 'our society' (team director i/c) thus he needs to be reintegrated & to remember who he's playing for. His Three Lions tattoo is there to remind him, after all.

  • on October 3, 2012, 22:54 GMT

    Excellent article by David Hopps. I agree with most of it. However, I would hope that England's performance since Pietersen was dropped has played no part in Pietersen being given a contract and on course to resume his Engalnd career. England lost the Lord's test, unsurprising given the dramatic events that had been taking place. But there was an encouraging performance from Bairstow, who made 149 runs in the match. Let's not let KP's own innings of 149 at Headingley blind us to the fact that we also lost the Oval test with him in the side, a detail that has been conveniently brushed over.

    Without PIetersen, England went on to draw the ODI & t20 series v. SA. It was really only the World t20 where Eng came unstuck. That may be put down to an inexperienced captain & team selection. A couple of experienced players could have helped, not just KP. If he'd retired Eng would move on without him. He realises he needs to play for Eng & they are giving him another chance.

  • on October 3, 2012, 22:50 GMT

    It is sad that the beatings in T20 called for a U-turn.

    Had England done well, they would have ignored KP.

  • bexleylion on October 3, 2012, 22:38 GMT

    200ondebut - I sure hope you are right but i) will KP even be in the squad to play vs India and ii) England thrash India in Asiana...I don't think so! Lets see who's right after KP's next series?

  • kaidranzer on October 3, 2012, 22:24 GMT

    @Dr.Vindaloo: Sounds like sour grapes. Had England been in the semi-finals, you would have said "Ah see we reached the semis without KP". Now that England is knocked out, T20 WC is just a pyjama party. Go play India without KP in your team and lets see how that works out. He's the only batsman in the English team who doesn't freeze on the crease while facing spin.

  • on October 3, 2012, 22:04 GMT

    So ECB wants a massage ? What did I miss ?

  • on October 3, 2012, 21:04 GMT

    this whole episode of bowing in front of KP is ridiculous. he may be a good batsman but he is no Donald bradman. Heck he is not even a Kallis or a Hashim Amla. Stop giving him more importance that he deserves. hes going to retire in 2-3 yrs anyways so i dont see the whole point. what will England do after that? Live in past glory which is few and far in between? Pay some attention to young talent like Bairstow and hard working equally talented individuals like Matt Prior instead.

  • FieryFerg on October 3, 2012, 20:51 GMT

    Hopefully a few others in the dressing room ie Messrs Swann, Broad and Anderson will have been told to wind their necks in and that they are also far from indispensible. All three have been made to look very ordinary by Pakistan and South Africa this year and it's time to deflate the egos to an appropriate size! Include KP and it's four fairly over-rated talents who may soon find themselves the next Hoggards and Harmisons.

  • Eng_Nix on October 3, 2012, 20:37 GMT

    Shahid Afridi, Chris Gayle and Kevin Pietersen, all three are a part of the same league now with plenty of U-turns and twits and ego turns in their Cricket career as superstars of their respective teams!

  • 200ondebut on October 3, 2012, 20:27 GMT

    bexleylion - All due respect but your views are a long way from reality. I think you have started to believe what the Trols are saying is true.

    With KP England will thrash India like they did last summer. India will be humiliated once again and no doubt we'll have to listen to all the excuses from their fans.

  • on October 3, 2012, 20:14 GMT

    comeback KP so desperate to see you again playing for ECB

  • m0se on October 3, 2012, 20:07 GMT

    I kind of wished Pietersen played the entire IPL this year (instead of some absorbing England-NZ tests) but hopefully will get to see him in India. However, I think the powers of English cricket will deny him that and make his first assignment in the English team to be miss half the IPL.

  • bexleylion on October 3, 2012, 19:48 GMT

    hhillbumper - hear hear! you only have to look at all the teams and personnel with whom KP has previously been associated, and at how many 'mates' he appears to still have from those teams, and you get a pretty clear picture, a 'team' of one! A natural talent? yes of course, but a team man? no. His presence will most likely sink the ship, but how many good men will he take down with him?

  • OzWally on October 3, 2012, 19:37 GMT

    @ragavan natarajan. Neil Robinson didn't say they would beat India. Just that with KP their line up is stronger. Which is obviously true. Yes, they lost 4-0 with KP, without him the defeats would have presumably been even worse.

  • cloudmess on October 3, 2012, 19:33 GMT

    Sunil Prasad, England did not indeed win any of their 3 Super 8 games. Except the one where they beat NZ.

  • warnerbasher on October 3, 2012, 19:32 GMT

    Sad when a team needs a player more than a player needs a team. And thats exactly the situation England finds themselves in. Whether the damage can be repaired between the players is debatable but I don't think for a moment that the problems are over with. I look forward to the next instalment in the drama that is this characters life.

  • on October 3, 2012, 19:20 GMT

    @Neil Robinson oops! I got it wrong in my last comment. Sorry about that.!

  • on October 3, 2012, 19:18 GMT

    @Neil Robinson " All I know is that the English batting lineup WITH KP in India this November/ December looks stronger than that WITHOUT him"

    Buddy, England, with this same batting lineup (almost the same) came to India not long ago and got whitewashed yet you still manage to say that somehow. Whereas, KP, has always added significant value to the England cricket team whenever they toured India. No offence meant, but I'd be glad to know on what grounds you made the quoted statement.

  • mcsdl on October 3, 2012, 19:04 GMT

    English cricket has become a joke..!

  • on October 3, 2012, 18:59 GMT

    KP is trouble. His outburts will continue. But England is so desperate for batting talent that they will swallow thier pride and let him in. Everyone knew this was going to happen.

  • on October 3, 2012, 18:52 GMT

    final result is England has not won a single game in super 8 ..........

  • hhillbumper on October 3, 2012, 18:05 GMT

    he should not ever play for England again. This will just recur and he should just go play IPL for the next few years.

  • on October 3, 2012, 18:01 GMT

    At least there is a compromise - whether it is deferring a future problem or not, I and probably everyone else, am not sure. Only those involved will know that. All I know is that the English batting lineup WITH KP in India this November/ December looks stronger than that WITHOUT him. Whether the team is better, only the coach and the team know. To be honest, I would give way - I am happier letting KP play IPL in April / May than messing around on horrible green wickets playing New Zealand (next year). If that's what it takes, give way on it. QUID PRO QUO - KP acknowledges that it has been done as a favour - and the courtesy should be extended to any other player who wants to earn a fortune in the IPL

  • on October 3, 2012, 17:45 GMT

    Welcome back KP......cricket has been never t same for me witout u.....I dnt wnt to get into the past thngs....let t future be great for u n England.......

  • on October 3, 2012, 17:32 GMT

    "Those in charge of England cricket are convinced that Kevin Pietersen has been taught a lesson" LOL... Never read anything more hilarious than this ever before. It's England who learned the lesson for leaving him out.

  • Reverse_Bat on October 3, 2012, 17:02 GMT

    Absolutly Rubbish, England lost their creditial in the WT20, so they now need the service of KP, I rather term ECB as a loser, and KP has won the battle. I still don't understand why KP has made such a desperate move.

  • on October 3, 2012, 16:50 GMT

    I hope Pietersen and every other England player is required to play TWO 4 Day County Championship matches next summer if they are to be considered as available for selection for the First Test next season against New Zealand.

  • Dr.Vindaloo on October 3, 2012, 16:40 GMT

    Why is the delay hard to stomach? Why should this process have been rushed? Far better give Pietersen time to reflect on where his foolish ego trip had taken him. So England had to do without him for the T20 World Cup? Big deal - who really gives a stuff about the pyjama party? Far more important for England to reintegrate him for the India tests.

  • on October 3, 2012, 16:28 GMT

    Stay cool KP , you will wear English colours again . They know you are missed just like the Wesi Indies knew of Chris gayle .Only the high and mighty do such and get a wat with it . See you soon on the field of play .

  • on October 3, 2012, 16:28 GMT

    He is unarguably England's best batsman and arguably the most talented batsman of the current era...it would be a shame if his career gets curtailed abruptly..it's only in the best interest of English cricket that KP comes back to the team in all forms of the game..Hope cricket fans around the world get to see KP back in full form in the coming months.

  • jackiethepen on October 3, 2012, 16:13 GMT

    I'm not sure David about your final conclusion - about making Pietersen sweat. I think it is much more likely that the four month 'probationary' contract was not to his liking. Quite a bit more negotiation was needed. While one can understand why Clarke wants to move on, and to dig up the texts is obviously going to be too toxic, on the other hand is there a difference between provocative and derogatory? Provocative texts aren't going to be singing praises and that is exactly what derogatory means. Perhaps English isn't their forte. Doublespeak is, not sure that is going to do the job of rehabilitation in the true sense of the word. I would have thought later rather than sooner. Not an overblown stand-off but a genuine one by the evidence.

  • oj..cricfan on October 3, 2012, 15:46 GMT

    Pietersen has been taught a lesson or England have learnt a lesson. Eng board realised their BIG mistake.

  • Cricket_vs_Football on October 3, 2012, 15:41 GMT

    Guysssss where is the dignity/ of england is gone?? I duuno

  • Long-Leg on October 3, 2012, 15:34 GMT

    Excellent analysis David and one that rings true. Agreed with just about every word. But these are worrying times for cricket. I wonder how long the ECB can hold out against the bullying commercial muscle of IPL. What is not understood around the world is that we are northern hemisphere and that our seasons are different from every other test nation. The IPL tramples all over the start of our English summer. The ECB cannot move summer and so these kind of conflicts will continue.

  • bumsonseats on October 3, 2012, 15:24 GMT

    iv no time for clarke he the type of official that was in the old mcc that ran cricket for over a 100 years in england. if the offensive text message was of little importance why did england take so long to arrive at this judgment but more importantly why did KP not show these texts if that was the case. me think both parties have arrived at a compromise so neither looses face.

  • on October 3, 2012, 15:23 GMT

    What ever, we want to see KP back. He has couple of years left in him.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on October 3, 2012, 15:23 GMT

    What ever, we want to see KP back. He has couple of years left in him.

  • bumsonseats on October 3, 2012, 15:24 GMT

    iv no time for clarke he the type of official that was in the old mcc that ran cricket for over a 100 years in england. if the offensive text message was of little importance why did england take so long to arrive at this judgment but more importantly why did KP not show these texts if that was the case. me think both parties have arrived at a compromise so neither looses face.

  • Long-Leg on October 3, 2012, 15:34 GMT

    Excellent analysis David and one that rings true. Agreed with just about every word. But these are worrying times for cricket. I wonder how long the ECB can hold out against the bullying commercial muscle of IPL. What is not understood around the world is that we are northern hemisphere and that our seasons are different from every other test nation. The IPL tramples all over the start of our English summer. The ECB cannot move summer and so these kind of conflicts will continue.

  • Cricket_vs_Football on October 3, 2012, 15:41 GMT

    Guysssss where is the dignity/ of england is gone?? I duuno

  • oj..cricfan on October 3, 2012, 15:46 GMT

    Pietersen has been taught a lesson or England have learnt a lesson. Eng board realised their BIG mistake.

  • jackiethepen on October 3, 2012, 16:13 GMT

    I'm not sure David about your final conclusion - about making Pietersen sweat. I think it is much more likely that the four month 'probationary' contract was not to his liking. Quite a bit more negotiation was needed. While one can understand why Clarke wants to move on, and to dig up the texts is obviously going to be too toxic, on the other hand is there a difference between provocative and derogatory? Provocative texts aren't going to be singing praises and that is exactly what derogatory means. Perhaps English isn't their forte. Doublespeak is, not sure that is going to do the job of rehabilitation in the true sense of the word. I would have thought later rather than sooner. Not an overblown stand-off but a genuine one by the evidence.

  • on October 3, 2012, 16:28 GMT

    He is unarguably England's best batsman and arguably the most talented batsman of the current era...it would be a shame if his career gets curtailed abruptly..it's only in the best interest of English cricket that KP comes back to the team in all forms of the game..Hope cricket fans around the world get to see KP back in full form in the coming months.

  • on October 3, 2012, 16:28 GMT

    Stay cool KP , you will wear English colours again . They know you are missed just like the Wesi Indies knew of Chris gayle .Only the high and mighty do such and get a wat with it . See you soon on the field of play .

  • Dr.Vindaloo on October 3, 2012, 16:40 GMT

    Why is the delay hard to stomach? Why should this process have been rushed? Far better give Pietersen time to reflect on where his foolish ego trip had taken him. So England had to do without him for the T20 World Cup? Big deal - who really gives a stuff about the pyjama party? Far more important for England to reintegrate him for the India tests.

  • on October 3, 2012, 16:50 GMT

    I hope Pietersen and every other England player is required to play TWO 4 Day County Championship matches next summer if they are to be considered as available for selection for the First Test next season against New Zealand.