England news

Flower unmoved on Pietersen stance

Andrew McGlashan

July 15, 2012

Comments: 116 | Text size: A | A

Andy Flower and Kevin Pietersen chat at training, Trent Bridge, May 24, 2012
Andy Flower is determined that Kevin Pietersen's situation does not become a distraction © PA Photos

A return to one-day internationals for Kevin Pietersen appears unlikely which means his ambitions to play in the World Twenty20 will continue to be scuppered with Andy Flower, the England team director, sticking to his original stance on the issue.

Over the week Pietersen has said he wants to play "three or four" more years in all international formats providing a schedule he is happy with can be negotiated with the ECB. Initial meetings have taken place with the board, but they do not want to be in the situation where a senior player is seen to be picking and choosing when he plays on his own accord.

Pietersen continues to believe the demands placed on him if he plays all three formats are far too great. However, claims that "I've never been looked after" appear a little wide of the mark given the security that comes with central contracts and the support he has had when injured.

Pietersen's retirement from ODIs meant he became ineligible for Twenty20 international selection as the ECB central contracts stipulate players have to be available for both formats. England need to submit a 30-man World Twenty20 squad to the ICC by Wednesday so time is running out for the situation to be resolved in Pietersen's favour.

Flower, a man of principle who counts loyalty as a major factor, does not see a way back for Pietersen. "As things stand at the moment, no, there isn't,"he told the Mail on Sunday.

"The situation is the same as it was when he first approached us. The ECB are determined to protect all three formats of the game and part of that is not setting a precedent of allowing players to retire from one-day cricket alone.

"The intent behind it is that we are serving English cricket in its entirety," Flower added. "We have to take personalities out of the equation. We all are lucky enough to have the choice about what we do. There are many people in this world that aren't lucky enough to have a choice. Here we're talking about a sporting situation and we all have our choices. I don't have to sign a contract with the ECB if I don't want to."

In the week leading towards the start of a major Test series against South Africa, which will determine the No. 1 ranking, Pietersen's stance has created a talking point that Flower wishes was not around.

"Situations like these make it a little more complicated," he said. "It doesn't mean that they can't work but it does make it a little more complicated. And I tell you one thing, none of us can afford for these types of issues to be distractions."

Geoff Miller, the national selector who is in charge of putting together the preliminary World Twenty20 squad, said if Pietersen was fully committed to 50- and 20-over cricket he would be welcomed back in the team but his name had not been involved in recent selection discussions. "My job is to pick players who are available," he said.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by 12thUmpire on (July 17, 2012, 15:35 GMT)

The main subject here may be Kelve, a distraction will be Bopara during the series. He is certainly a test-class…against any weak attack. But ECB will unfairly expose him to SA attack, (much like exposing him to England attack itself!) After this series, he'll be "rested" or "rotated" and it'll be Morgan who will thrash the next weak opposition. Not that the latter is of test-quality against the best attacks either! The brazen fact is despite all claims to the contrary, England have a vacancy at №6. Remember Punter's claim that the Oz rebuilding was complete?

Posted by whatawicket on (July 17, 2012, 14:45 GMT)

randy/joneys think yourselves lucky that the Australian cricketing season is not say jan to may then look for the exodus of the aussie cricketers

Posted by AKS286 on (July 17, 2012, 14:17 GMT)

@randyOz you can see the posts since ashes even more than other fans advocating khawaja rather than Oz and also they know nothing about khawaja but they still advocating khawaja.

Posted by AKS286 on (July 17, 2012, 14:15 GMT)

@ RandyOZ on (July 17 2012, 09:34 AM GMT) i'm very much AGREE with you. eng team is a mixture of opportunist who migrate to their country. believe it ot not but IF bopara, panesar, solanki, ramprakash play for eng then INDIANs are more happier than POMS believe me because they know they are our players.

Posted by Valavan on (July 17, 2012, 14:03 GMT)

@Jatin, how did you miss the T20 played between India and England in Kolkata in 2011. When you remember the ODIs England lost in India, so convinently forgot the ONE T20 India lost last year under SWANNs captaincy. wake up mate INDIA is now the LION at HOME, LAMBS away situation.cricinfo please publish.

Posted by JG2704 on (July 17, 2012, 14:01 GMT)

@fr0nt-foot_lunge on (July 16 2012, 12:35 PM GMT) re "We'll be back to copying the Aussie set up, like we did last time, to see how they manage their star players " - Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't it the Aus players who were going home injured during their recent 4-0 defeat to England? Why would we copy them?

Posted by JG2704 on (July 17, 2012, 14:01 GMT)

@Swerver on (July 16 2012, 14:16 PM GMT) apparently he did talk to ECB re this and they've been ongoing for a while. As I said earlier , I don't have a problem with him retiring and I don't have a problem with him returning either but I don't like the way he is returning and still having little digs about being badly managed etc. Either play unconditionally and enjoy it or stay retired. I wonder if Flower might be waiting for KP to retract some of the stuff he has said before considering playing him?

Posted by _myk on (July 17, 2012, 13:36 GMT)

Protecting the integrity of Test cricket and the English domestic season is more important than a T20 WC, and a lot more important than one player, no matter how good he is.

KP's stance is all about IPL, something very few people in England care about. We just don't want to see a load of second rate Australians bash around dire medium pace bowlers on a flat track. The recent WI and Australian series showed just how poor those kind of players are on a decent track, and we're desperately hoping the Saffers are as good as they think they are in order to get a good series.

Posted by RandyOZ on (July 17, 2012, 9:34 GMT)

The problem facing flower is half of his team only play for money, because they aren't actually english. It's hard to motivate people when they have no connection or pride for the country they are representing. You have to feel sorry for the guy.

Posted by OliverWebber on (July 17, 2012, 7:45 GMT)

Well, it's official now: KP (according to Test Match Special) wants the whole IPL window off, which would mean missing 2 tests against NZ just before the Ashes. It's not about being "looked after", it's about the size of his wallet. I was in two minds about the validity of his stance, but not any more - it's clearly pure greed. ECB should tell him where to go.

Posted by Snick_To_Backward_Point on (July 17, 2012, 7:15 GMT)

Jatin - disagree with you entirely! SA's bowling attack is not much sharper. Think any impartial observer would say they are so evenly matched you can;t separate them. I would have said England's attack had the better balance with Swanny however, I was impressed by Tahir at Somerset and think he is a dark horse. Truth is IMO both sides are so evenly matched it will come down to the smallest of details. You also have to give England a slight edge for home conditions. I suspect that the Boucher / ABDV situation could be an influential factor in the first test. If weather permits I see a drawn series or give it 1-0 to England.

Posted by Snick_To_Backward_Point on (July 17, 2012, 7:10 GMT)

Giovaughn Wilson "KP has paid his dues" - really? Admittedly I only get to see things from the outside but my impression of KP is not too good. He strikes me as the sort who stamps his feet when he doesnt get his way and holds people to ransom. I have never bought into his 3 lions tattoo and "Englishness" believing his motivation to play for England was based upon revenge for SA's rejection. He appears to be a divisive influence in the dressing room and worst of all - he plays for himself - not the team IMO. If a record is in KP's grasp the record comes first - not the game context which is why he has let England down so many times when the situation has called for calm and rebuilding (after a mini collapse for example). His defense? "That's the way I play!" Not good enough. If KP could control his ego and play for England out of the right motivation he could go down as one of the greatest - his very mental frailties will likely ensure he goes down as an under achiever IMO.

Posted by Jatin. on (July 16, 2012, 22:49 GMT)

To all the English fans: Don't just celebrate yet....England are yet to prove themselves as a Powerhouse in alien conditions (read Subcontinent). They have been winning in England but yet to win a major series outside England. Though they have won last Ashes in Australia but it was Australia who lost it because of their poor team selection rather than England winning it. For me, the series even bigger than Ashes is beginning in 3 days time. I don't see England winning even one match in the series. For me SA is favourites to win the series because of much sharper bowling attack than England but also because of Kallis, Amla & Smith....SA today have the best & most potent lineup for Test Matches....cant wait more....bring it ON.

Posted by Jatin. on (July 16, 2012, 22:34 GMT)

@ A_Vacant_Slip: Which world are you living in ??? When was the lat time England defeated India in India in a limited overs game.....England have lost 10 ODIs on the trot in India. In 2008, under Pietersen, England lost 5-0 & in 2011, England under Cook lot 5-0. Please check your stats & post correct picture, mind you England is yet to play a T20I in India.

Posted by   on (July 16, 2012, 22:07 GMT)

KP has payed his dues. He has performed well for England on countless occasions He has a family & is 30 odd years old. It would make good sense for England to save KP for the Occasions that really matter like Test cricket & world cups because when it matters is when KP is always at his best.

Posted by   on (July 16, 2012, 22:01 GMT)

Gayle & KP are two outspoken individuals yet they are huge assets no matter which team they are playing for. England should allow KP to select the ODI series in which he participates as in reality many of them are not of great significance e.g. the series just concluded vs Australia. England does not need KP in their Odi team to do well especially in English conditions. In Asian & Australian conditions however KP is vital to England chances of success

Posted by ashes61 on (July 16, 2012, 21:38 GMT)

Nutcutlet's remarks are absolutely spot on. What many Indian fans (not all I admit) don't seem to understand is that we recognise who has put ENG on the road to where we are now. And it isn't KP!!! AF inherited a mess in which Pietersen had a part and has accomplished astonishing results. He has tapped into what the English appreciate more than anything - unselfish teamwork, all for one & one for all, WITHOUT exception! Of course we enjoy attractive & entertaining players, but only within a team context. We NEVER appreciate individual records at the expense of team performance. No interest in individual stats compared with the efforts of the team as a whole. KP's contribution over the last 4 years has been very moderate. His T20 WC performance was, remember, only in the lowest form of the game. Would the English be prepared to lose the T20WC rather than risk AF's team building ethos? Of course! And lose KP from ODIs too? Yes. And even from the game's highest form, Tests? Certainly.

Posted by A_Vacant_Slip on (July 16, 2012, 19:38 GMT)

@fr0nt-foot_lunge on (July 16 2012, 12:35 PM GMT) - don't agree with thrust of your post. England performance is not slipping. England performance is improving in Test and improving rapidly in ODI. Already outstanding in T20 - current World Champs, even beat India in India. Since arriving in Australia October 2010 England Test record is played 20 won 10 lost 5. Rain mess up 3 of those Test and turn them into draw. 10 of those Test have been played away. England away record in that time is played 10 won 4 lost 5 (1 loss was in Australia can be forgiven....!). By England standard this is away record is good. England at home = formidable, any format. KP is legend no doubt about it but he cannot be seen to dictate - look what happened last time.... It is not good for team culture. As England fan - so long suffering, why not enjoy good time and good quality. We need not find fault this is good time for us England fan. please publish.

Posted by whatawicket on (July 16, 2012, 18:27 GMT)

which front foot lunge do we have on here the english version or the the aussie version. im not sure which.

Posted by AKS286 on (July 16, 2012, 17:18 GMT)

IF KP will join the odi and t20 squad (in my views he must be out ) then who will be axed bopara , morgan who? these players fought hard against Oz and most imp. thing these are with eng when eng is worrying about who will replace KP. very unfair to these batsmen. stay away KP your presence will break the morale and faith of bopara and morgan and other young players.

Posted by MMahmood1 on (July 16, 2012, 17:16 GMT)

KPs relationship with the A. Flower is at the lowest. Two authoritative personalities can't stay long, one has to give up. In my view KP will be history in next six month or so. He will eventually have declare retierement

Posted by HadleeCrowe on (July 16, 2012, 15:39 GMT)

same issue as with freddis ...undeniable superstars but egos that odnt work in the team environment.... keep him out and england will do well

Posted by   on (July 16, 2012, 14:58 GMT)

Don't Worry GuyZ. He Will Come BAck In The TEam.

Posted by Swerver on (July 16, 2012, 14:16 GMT)

Isn't KP doing this backwards? Maybe I'm wrong and he did approach the ECB first and that wasn't reported in the press or I missed it, but surely it would've made more sense to speak to the board first and see if there wasn't a way less game time in the ODI format could've been arranged to all parties' satisfaction? Instead it appears he's drawn his line in the sand publicly with a "resignation" and then tried to negotiate afterwards. And shouldn't he (or his agent) know the terms of his contract with his employers i.e. both limited overs formats or neither? If I resigned and then told my boss "but I'm willing to work under this set of circumstances" I'd get laughed right out onto the street. If I went to him first and said "These are my concerns" it'd be a different matter. I understand KP's points, they're valid …but he really could've done this better and if the ECB (right or wrong) concede, they're leaving themselves open for more of the same from other players.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (July 16, 2012, 14:09 GMT)

This may be difficult for some cricket fans on the subcontinent to follow, but Andy Flower's response to KP's apparent change of heart was entirely predictable. KP had signed off from all ODIs and by so doing, broke the terms of the contract (whether the contract itself was a sensible one, or the right one, is immaterial here) & having bound himself to the contract, he made himself ineligible for consideration of selection for England's T20 commitments. In England, no player is considered greater than the team, (England is not India, for which I am grateful!) neither does management feel so insecure that it is tempted to cave in to the clamouring mob. Furthermore, in the last two years, Eng. cricket has risen to pre-eminence on a set of tested principles, & first of these is the mantra: all for one and one for all - in other words absolute, tight-knit unity. That's how the Ashes have been taken back & retained. That is Eng's gtest strength. Tough on KP, but he too shd have known that.

Posted by   on (July 16, 2012, 13:51 GMT)

It seems as if Kevin Piertersen is taking a page out of Tendulka's book - play when I want to, and what format I want to play in. He wants to manipulate the scheduling to suit his way and to have the powers there be , give him favored treatment. The game is bigger than Piertersen. He is not cricket - cricket is going to be here when he is long gone. Further more, Piertersen's absence is providing someone else to step up and reveal his talent!

Posted by   on (July 16, 2012, 13:40 GMT)

KP Version 1 : conceived, designed, and produced for the South African market. KP Version2 : Re-designed and exported for the English market. Now, the local products are performing well in the English market and it may not desperately need this fancy import. At least the Chief Import Director seems to think so (and I agree). KP Version 3 : Should be redesigned and exported to either Australian or the New Zealand market, where the local products are temporarily malfunctioning. If Australian & New Zealand products also start doing well... then, we will think about it. Anyway 20-20s are mushrooming all over the globe!

Posted by Front-Foot_lunge on (July 16, 2012, 12:35 GMT)

The problem with this stance from KP and from the ECB (read miller and Flowers) is that is so uncompromising. It's fine to take the high moral ground when things are going well, but harder to justify it when the team isn't going so well. England tenuous reign at the top is already slipping, what with players becoming increasing distracted from their main role, that is, playing cricket. When results start not going England's way, then the ECB's stance becomes cermudgeonly. PLayer composure becomes fractured and performances plummet further. Perhaps these are the beginning cracks in the England setup that will only expand as performances slip. We'll be back to copying the Aussie set up, like we did last time, to see how they manage their star players.

Posted by wnwn on (July 16, 2012, 12:28 GMT)

Apparently Pietersen has just said that he will only play ODI matches for England if he is allowed to play the full IPL and miss the test matches in May. If this is the case i think it's time for England to move on from Pietersen and introduce new players like Taylor, Compton and Hildreth in his place.

Posted by Riderstorm on (July 16, 2012, 12:16 GMT)

I admire the conviction of ECB and Andy Flower in dealing with KP here. I for one supported the decision of KP when he opted to forego ODI and T20I's. But, his reversal and his arrogance in his stance irked me quite a lot. The option of players getting to choose the series to play is inappropriate in a team game for which sachin has set a dangerous precedent opting to play IPL and CLT20 while letting go of internaitonal matches. Wish Indian Board could be as strong as ECB is toward sachin as well.

Posted by Green_and_Gold on (July 16, 2012, 12:14 GMT)

IF KP can make a full commitment to T20 and Test cricket then he should be selected on merit in both formats. If he dosent want to play ODIs then let the new players come in and establish themselves. KP could have continued to do both and not retire but why would you want a guy in the dressing room that dosent want to be there.

Posted by   on (July 16, 2012, 11:54 GMT)

He has made himself available for both one day formats so all they need to do is not pick him for the 50 over games, but let him play T20. It will be crazy if he is not playing in the world T20.

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (July 16, 2012, 11:53 GMT)

@Simon_T, im not sure its that simple any more, KP put his stake in the ground the moment he 'retired' from the ODI and T20i games, as a result the ECB and Flower will not back down now, if anything they are now in the driving seat as it was KP that blinked first by u-turning on his reitrement from the shorter forms. Also the ECB wont sanction him missing the whole of the first series of a summer, as they have built a team on consistent selection over the last few years, resting players when needed, or in the case of bowlers when showing signs of minor injuries/niggles that may develop further, added to that KP's Surrey contract is dependant on him having a Central contract and hes got no where to go except freelance in T20 leagues around the world most of which pay significantly less than his IPL and Central contract.

Posted by 5wombats on (July 16, 2012, 11:43 GMT)

It's pretty obvious that Flower is going to take an unbending attitude to this. Can't have players, no matter who they are or how good they think they are dictating what does and doesn't happen. That would lead to the kind of free-for-all we've seen in other countries and their cricket teams have suffered. One of the reasons that Englands stock has risen in recent years is the utter strength and inner conviction of Andy Flower - and this has rubbed off on the players to good effect. Flower/ECB aren't going to let all that evaporate just for the want of one player. Bad timing by KP as well; Flower won't forgive him for that either.

Posted by JG2704 on (July 16, 2012, 10:47 GMT)

I've read quite a few comms re KP and his family commitments. I'm not sure if I'm speaking for the majority or minority here but I didn't have a huge problem with him retiring and spending time with his family even though he's a top player and any team with KP (with the right mindset) in it can only benefit. If that's what he wants to do then fair play to him. What I really don't like is that he is coming back and giving the impression that it's reluctantly. He was to be given the WI ODI series off which is no less than any other Eng player and as for those who say about him wanting to spend time with his family , no one's stopping him but just like if you joined one of the forces , you can't start picking and choosing where and when you want to go. For me KP would have had a whole lot more respect if he stayed away - even if he was playing IPL and all the other well paid T20 bashes - than coming back reluctantly.

Posted by Simon_T on (July 16, 2012, 10:17 GMT)

Is it time for a classic British fudge? Pietersen makes himself available for all forms of the game and the ECB chooses to rest him for the majority of ODIs..


Posted by GreenGoat on (July 16, 2012, 10:14 GMT)

no one cares abt friggin Flower or Geoff Miller... we wanna see KP here in SL.

Posted by CM2012 on (July 16, 2012, 10:03 GMT)

This is ridiculous! when a player aged 31 with young family and a super star of the winning T20 team cannot be selected in a WC squad? Then who are they going to select? I completely agree with KP and he has to maintain the balance between work & life. If Dhoni, Sachin, Viru and even Gambhir can choose the series and game, then why no KP. Come ECB u cant be too boorish !

Posted by Damo_s on (July 16, 2012, 9:55 GMT)

@daisyHaySeed - "families are shipped out on mass for away tours" This is great for those with few commitments and dont mind spending weeks away from their friends whilst living out of a hotel room. Once any children are 4 and start school then the families can't go anywhere unless its during school holidays. Basically it just doesnt really work once familes are involved. That said, for the amount of money they earn I would happily put up with being away from home for a few long periods. Use the money wisely and retire young. Sounds ace to me

Posted by kashijee40 on (July 16, 2012, 9:36 GMT)

i think its a good call from coach "Andy" and it is a example for all other players as well. Not doubt Kp is one the best bt he is again negotiating on his own terms which will effect the team and also allows others to do it as well. It will have a bad effect on the team. Player must c the National interest first

Posted by   on (July 16, 2012, 8:43 GMT)

Hats off to ECB and Andy Flower. Some poeple here are missing the point that KP is not actualyl selecting the formats to play, but he wants to select the matches/tournaments/series which he wants to play or not. Which is not a good way of implimenting his own decisions to ECB.

Posted by   on (July 16, 2012, 8:30 GMT)

He said he will play ODI's so wat is the problem??? He's 31 with a young family he has done the hard yards give him a break wen he needs it, Sachin and Sehwag pick and choose so y cant pieterson??? totally ridiculous

Posted by Crick.lover on (July 16, 2012, 8:21 GMT)

Sometimes, no matter how good a player is, they are a negative influence in a team and as a result, the team doesn't perform as well as they should. I don't know if that is the case with KP, but it may very well be when one reads his comments in the media.

Posted by JG2704 on (July 16, 2012, 8:18 GMT)

I'm actually starting to think that although KP is the best ODI/T20 batsman , England would be better off without him with the attitude he is showing. I think I'm siding more and more against KP with every article I read. I mean even now he just can't seem to help himself. The "never looked after" quote and him saying that he will play for Eng even against the ludicrous schedule. I'm sorry , those comms do not install confidence of a player who wants to be back in. Had he said something like "I was tired and regret my decision and will do whatever it takes to get back into the side" then I'd say fair play , give him another chance. But he is talking like he's doing it against his will. I do worry about how it will influence his attitude towards tests if he is ignored for the shorter fmts and I can see it all coming to a head where KP never plays for Eng again which would be sad but if he is not showing the right attitude , no matter how good a player he is do we really want him?

Posted by JG2704 on (July 16, 2012, 8:17 GMT)

@Shyam Palakodety on (July 15 2012, 20:40 PM GMT) As an Indian fan , how would you feel if Kohli did this sort of thing? Flower was actually an extremely decent player (esp in tests) and I believe was ranked as thee best test batsman in the world when playing in a very weak Zimbabwe side. He also kept wicket although I'm not sure if he did so throughout his career. Anyway the fact is that Flower is the boss and unless his demands are totally unreasonable he should be respected as much if he was the best player in the world or had never even played cricket

Posted by JG2704 on (July 16, 2012, 8:17 GMT)

@Maria Figueroa on (July 16 2012, 02:55 AM GMT) as I believe someone else has already pointed out , it's about timing etc and the way it's all done. No one can really question Strauss's commitment to his test role. This is purely why he gave up the shorter forms (for longevity in tests) and Strauss never even slightly tried to blame ECB and also he has never put his name forward for IPL. Also his timing was better too - right after a world cup and not just before it. Players like Cook and Trott possibly won't get back into the Eng side in T20 but they would have to play those games too if selected.

Posted by JG2704 on (July 16, 2012, 8:16 GMT)

@UN_Jonty on (July 16 2012, 02:37 AM GMT) And before that 1 test in SL , KP played 8 inns in SL and UAE and did not go past 50 once .

Posted by py0alb on (July 16, 2012, 8:13 GMT)

Andy Flower really is looking more and more like King Canute on this issue. Just pick the best team from the players available. If the schedule is so ridiculously packed with meaningless games that the players would rather sit them out, then change the schedule, don't demonise the players for their honesty. No-one wanted to play this stupid ODI series against Australia; we didn't, they didn't, so why pretend like it was important?

Posted by Masud_BITK on (July 16, 2012, 7:59 GMT)

ECB should be firmed on the decision they made. ECB should work for everybody and for cricket. KP can easily deny play when he is not happy by consulting with the ECB. However, the way he showed his anger, it looks ECB can't win without him. Only one player can't make much difference (forget about Chris Gayle) in a team but most of players. KP should rethink his decision for his supporter like me and come back with accepting generic condition what ECB made. I admire the dare of Andy, he is the top coach on this plannet now. Michael Clarke has understood clearly what Andy made England.

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (July 16, 2012, 7:13 GMT)

@Posted on (July 16 2012, 02:55 AM GMT), You mention Strauss, picking which formats he plays, without any context, the simple fact is that Strauss hasnt played T20 in ANY form for 3 years (since the WI's tour in 2009), so has no form in which to be picked, he also hung up his ODI gloves after the 2011 WC. As for cook, I believe he is available for selection in T20's however England do not call on his services as there are better players available, that doesnt mean he cant be picked however if the need arises.

Posted by   on (July 16, 2012, 6:59 GMT)

I think KP should be playing in all 3 formats of the game,maybe sometimes a player could feel that too much of cricket could ruin his future but i think he has the right to rethink his decision and decide on what he wants to do.........if he is not playing well ,then the ECB and the coach could take what ever desicion they want..........but right now KP is at his best and we need to see him in the side.for the sake of cricket lovers.....

Posted by   on (July 16, 2012, 6:57 GMT)

nope he says he should be allowed to choose which games he wants to play in all three formats .people are missing the point . strauss plays all test . what kp is saying he should be allowed to pick and choose .

Posted by Haleos on (July 16, 2012, 6:36 GMT)

Well done ECB. Hope some other boards learn how to handle retirements and not make it a joke.

Posted by bobagorof on (July 16, 2012, 4:46 GMT)

@Maria Figueroa: is that because Cook doesn't want to play Twenty20, or has he just not been selected for it? His record in T20 is not very good, certainly at international level, but he stayed on with the Twenty20 squad in February without playing a match (having captained in the ODIs beforehand). As for Strauss, I believe he's a Test-only player now, like Pietersen has become. He doesn't even play the shorter formats for his county anymore. So it looks like the policy is being applied to everyone equally.

Posted by   on (July 16, 2012, 4:28 GMT)

Full marks - for all the reasons already mentioned by previous commenters - to Flower for standing his ground. If KP's in need of a rest from the (admittedly insane) schedule he's involved in, then he needs to re-negotiate his IPL contract - rather than his ECB one - so he can play a shorter IPL season. That's what Marlon Samuels did before he toured England with the WIndies recently. That said, however, there's a very simple solution to the KP problem: one that would also ensure that *every* player in England's ODI/T20 squad remains rested, focused & as injury-free as possible, viz. implement a *genuine* rotation policy in which batsmen as well as bowlers are regularly rested from all but England's most vital matches. If England were to pick five specialist batsmen for each game from a regular batting pool of, for example, eight, that'd mean that each batsman would be given approximately a third of England's games off. No room for complaint in such a scenario from *anyone*, surely?

Posted by jmcilhinney on (July 16, 2012, 3:59 GMT)

@Maria Figueroa on (July 16 2012, 02:55 AM GMT), good grief, have you read anything on this subject recently? The contractual condition in question states that any player who wants to be available for one limited-overs format must be available for both. This has been printed many, many times. With regards to Strauss, he has chosen to retire from all international limited-overs cricket and play just Test cricket, which compiles with the condition. With regards to Cook, he plays ODIs and is available for selection for T20s, which complies with the condition. Cook wants to play T20s but has not been selected to do so. Noone is being given special treatment but, if they were to change the rule to suit KP, that's exactly what would be happening. What happens the next time a player doesn't agree with one of the contract conditions? The rule is not inconsistent at all and, while you may not agree with the logic of it, it is perfectly sound logically too.

Posted by satish619chandar on (July 16, 2012, 3:23 GMT)

Andy had been a telling influence of the current English team.. So far in couple of series, England didn't miss KP.. I feel England can cope without KP and even if they dont defend their T20 title, it wouldn't be due to KP factor.. England need to do whatever it takes to make him last longer.. I am not sure how they will fare after Post-Andy era!

Posted by   on (July 16, 2012, 2:55 GMT)

Strauss has been allowed to choose what version of the game he plays. why not Pietersen.? Cook does play tests and ODIs but not twenty-20. Why cannot the rule be changed so KP can play Tests and twenty-20 ? Why is Cook given special treatment. This rule that Flower and the ECB have made is just inconsistent and illogical It should be changed. Surely any two forms of the game are enough?

By the way, Pietersen's mother is English. One English parent is a parental situation he shares with many millions of English people.

Posted by UN_Jonty on (July 16, 2012, 2:37 GMT)

KP is good in sub continent pitches,even in sri lanka.Without kp England will lose ..

Posted by   on (July 16, 2012, 0:24 GMT)

If England don't sort out KP for the World T20 they are more stupid than I ever thought. Does anyone think he isn't our best player....Get over your pride and pick the best team. We do have a chance if we play our best side.

Posted by   on (July 15, 2012, 23:13 GMT)

@Shyam Palakodety - what utter drivel. Andy Flower is arguably Zimbabwe's greatest batsman to date and was no 1 in the World rankings for a while. Check Flower's Test & 1st Class average - both better than KP's. For all his brilliance, KP handled this whole situation badly and it's spectacularly backfired. Just because he changes his mind doesn't mean the ECB has to jump until they have had the opportunity to discuss and maybe alter the contingency plans they put into place when KP "retired". Having said that, England have a far better chance of defending the 20/20 World Cup with KP in the team ...

Posted by shillingsworth on (July 15, 2012, 23:00 GMT)

@JG2704 - KP's claim that he hasn't been looked after is the one which really grates with me too. It is certainly cheap. What about the efforts of the medical team when his achilles went in 2009?

Posted by AusieBangaleeShameem on (July 15, 2012, 22:40 GMT)

Good job Flower in sticking with your good principle, which the modern day cricket is missing & creating all sort of mess.

Posted by cric698 on (July 15, 2012, 22:03 GMT)

'The game is poorer for the likes of coaches such as Andy Flower. KP is 'n times' the player Flower can ever dream to be'-.............................................................................................................

You obviously have no idea about the type of player, person and individual Andy Flower is! Firstly he was a wonderful Test batsmen, Captain and wicketkeeper.... his Test average finished higher than Pietersens.....that playing for one of the minnows, having to face all the best bowling. He was world number one batsmen, something Pietersen hasnt achieved. He stood up against a dictator, sacrificing his career and home as well as endangering himself and his family in the process.

He has a deep rooted morality, is a extremely hard working individual (just look at the work he put in to get to World No. 1 Batsmen) and I can see why people would run through a brick wall for the man. Its not Pietersen that England should fear loosing its A. Flower

Posted by applethief on (July 15, 2012, 21:42 GMT)

@Jarr30 Because "smaller nations" like Pakistan whip England in test series. Or have you not been paying attention?

Posted by kallis57 on (July 15, 2012, 21:00 GMT)

Not sure I get this. KP is now saying he will obey the ECB ludicrous rules and play all the nonsense games the ECB want to shoehorn into any given year. This being the case we surely pick our best side which would include KP who unless I am very much mistaken is rated the best T20 batsman in the world. Not to pick the best T20 player in world cricket for your T20 world cup squad would be utterly perverse.

Posted by JG2704 on (July 15, 2012, 20:43 GMT)

I don't like KP saying he's not been looked after. Flower said he was going to be rested for the WI ODIs which is no less rest than any other players have been given. Seems a bit cheap to me

Posted by JG2704 on (July 15, 2012, 20:41 GMT)

What I do find interesting is the contrast between English fans with KP and WI fans with Gayle. By and large it seems that England fans are in support of Flower whereas WI fans by and large seemed to lambast WICB for Gayle not playing for WI in recent years. To me Gayle is certainly no better morally than KP - Probably worse

Posted by JG2704 on (July 15, 2012, 20:41 GMT)

I have respect for Flower for making this decision but I hope he doesn't cut off his nose to spite his face if KP shows the commitment/right attitude to England. I'm quite for making KP wait to get back into the sides - giving him a probation period as it were. I wonder if KP's head has been turned one way and then another by different people. It seems strange to have such a quick change of mind. I'm with those who say KP thought Eng would fail without him and he's be able to dictate his own terms about coming back. Seems his gamble has backfired. I just hope it doesn't affect his attitude to tests. I'll be really interested to see how KP is when we take a wicket etc. He always used to be one of the 1st in the celebration huddle but I noticed in the last test he was a peripheral figure when we took a wicket

Posted by JG2704 on (July 15, 2012, 20:40 GMT)

@MysterySpin on (July 15 2012, 17:08 PM GMT) TBH , I wouldn't be surprised if talking/listening to Gayle and others started all this

Posted by   on (July 15, 2012, 20:40 GMT)

The game is poorer for the likes of coaches such as Andy Flower. KP is 'n times' the player Flower can ever dream to be... yet it is the lesser ones judging the future career of KP, the great entertainer. KP should be brought back if he is available... Andy doesn't pull in the crowds, KP does - that is a big difference.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (July 15, 2012, 20:31 GMT)

- @daisyhayseed If you read what I wrote properly then I am not actually advocating sacking the coach first-mine is a moderate position. I think there would have to be many hours of negotiation first. What I am saying is that flexibility and compromise are necessary.In fact some of what you say in your last post I agree with. If only everyone were the same though...it would be hellish dull.The fact is that we do not know what is said behind the scenes. Further I would not take Bell out of opening as I have always thought he should be opening in ODI's since he last did it ages back.(iam very pro- Bell too,very!) Anyway lets hope this problem is resolved amicably because in the final analysis both KP and Flower are necessary ingredients. in any case Miller wants KP. And most sane people too. He is our Viv!

Posted by Baundele on (July 15, 2012, 20:05 GMT)

I like Flower and hope he keeps his strong stance against KP. I do not want England winning the T20 title again. Long live Flower.

Posted by Alexk400 on (July 15, 2012, 19:54 GMT)

KP is not gona miss T20 worldcup but England certainly will.

Posted by   on (July 15, 2012, 19:17 GMT)

Nice to see Flower sticking to his former stance. There need to be people of such strong personality in other cricket boards to save cricket. English cricket won't be left poor if there is no Pietersen. Pietersen needs to realize it. There are others waiting for their chance in the wings. As for the players being available for both ODIs and T20s rule, I am not in favour of it; but if this is ECB's stance then it should be respected.

Posted by daisyhayseed on (July 15, 2012, 19:06 GMT)

maximum6 - If Pieteresen was feeling tired, or felt that he was being treated poorly, why didn't he discuss this matter with his employers? The ECB presently takes care of it's players better than the majority of International Cricket Boards.

Central Contracts provide financial security to Englan players, families are shipped out on mass for away tours and players are now being reseted when required. Given the above, surely he could have spoken with his employer about missing a couple of ODI's? This would have been a more proporionate response rather than retiring completely from limited overs cricket to show that you are disatisfied with the system you work within?

Finally your argument for sacking another coach who has found himself in dispute with KP is bonkers. What sort of statement would it make to sack someone who has done so much to repair the damage that was caused during the KP - Moores dispute?

Posted by   on (July 15, 2012, 19:02 GMT)

im glad that ECB have stood up this time,KP's attitude started to become a joke,thinking that he is bigger then the sports.if he wants rest then y did he say no to IPL and rest for over a month....

Posted by wnwn on (July 15, 2012, 18:35 GMT)

@Jarr30- England have never played a test series against Kenya in their history and if they did each match would last 1 day.

Posted by Shafi79 on (July 15, 2012, 18:06 GMT)

so let me get this straight, if he retired from Tests everything would be ok, but the fact that he retired from ODI's means he cant play T-20 .... that is just plain stupid!!!

Posted by davidatlas999 on (July 15, 2012, 17:59 GMT)

@Jarr30 you sure pakistan is a smaller nation in cricket.these top played defeated by pakistan recently 3-0 in a uae.u forgot people have short term memory problem a lot these days.if eng rested there top player i think pakistan will b the winner of t20s in odi both with no loss isn't?

Posted by da_man_ on (July 15, 2012, 17:58 GMT)

I find it interesting that Jarr30 thinks subcontinental teams and West Indies are "smaller" teams, while New Zealand are not...

Posted by AKS286 on (July 15, 2012, 17:55 GMT)

KP retirement ang blaming ECB is not a JOKE. stick with your decision just before Wednesday he said that he is ready to play for 3-4 yrs. KP entry will bring instability in the team. no matter who you are but doors are closed (this is what i expect from ECB). just wait SLPL is going to start then BBl then IPL enjoy.

Posted by knan on (July 15, 2012, 17:46 GMT)

KP - Picking an choosing ? Must have got the idea from SRT. Or maybe KP is feeling insecure after Bell's performance at the top of the order.

Posted by OliverWebber on (July 15, 2012, 17:42 GMT)

Much as I admire KP, the timing if this announcement shows an extraordinary lack of sense. Furthermore, it looks very much as though his main concern is time off to play in the IPL - although only he knows his real reasons of course. I think Flower is right to stand firm - if KP were welcomed back with open arms then the message is that players can reach a privileged status where they can pick and choose to the detriment of the team. We will miss KP in one-day games, there's no doubt, but not so much that it's worth sacrificing team unity.

Posted by AL-11 on (July 15, 2012, 17:11 GMT)

Jarr30 on (July 15 2012, 15:33 PM GMT) "I don't understand why our top players needs play unwanted test series against smaller nations like Bangladesh, Pakistan, Kenya & WI and increase chances of getting England should rest their best players"

@ Jarr30...i'm pretty sure you are not a serious cricket fan, otherwise you would've known that kenya isn't a test playing nation and that one of the 'smaller nations' you mentioned whitewashed your top-ranked team 3-0 recently... and that too with all your top players in attendance

Posted by MysterySpin on (July 15, 2012, 17:08 GMT)

Looks like the ECB are taking a leaf out of the WICB manual of have to handle players. Kevin should ask Chris Gayle for some advice on how to get back into the team after a couple years wasted on the sidelines.

Posted by neilyb on (July 15, 2012, 16:57 GMT)

Thought it would be worth reminding Jarr30, that team England recently lost 3 nil to one of his 'smaller' test teams (not sure where Kenya come into it) If you want to be the regarded as the best you need to beat everyone, everywhere.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (July 15, 2012, 16:46 GMT)

@daisyhayseed Ever heard of the expression-'Don't cut off your nose to spite your face'. Adherence to some dubious principle is all well and good if you want to play the martyr. Gayle vs WICB is a fine example of noone going anywhere for the sake of principle.

Posted by serious-am-i on (July 15, 2012, 15:49 GMT)

if Ian Bell failed as an opener, we might have not had seen Andy Flower refusing or taking an stance such as this, as everyone would have lashed out at him.

Posted by shillingsworth on (July 15, 2012, 15:45 GMT)

@Werner Blomberg - You refer to 'the traditional Britishesque of the cricketing establishment'. An odd turn of phrase, particularly when its spokesman was born and raised in Zimbabwe and represented that country as a player on many occasions. The English cricketing establishment actually reflects the diverse nature of the country at large and is anything but 'traditional'. For every die hard who harps on about Pietersen's background, there are far more who have consistently supported him and take great pleasure in his cricketing feats as they would for anyone else representing England. If he does feel unwanted, there is scant justification for it, nor it is a feeling apparently shared by Trott, a player with a similar background.

Posted by daisyhayseed on (July 15, 2012, 15:42 GMT)

maximum6 - I'm going to take your comment as a joke, even if it isn't intended to be.

If I understand your thinking, exceptions to rules should be made for truly great players and if a coach isn't prepared to do so he isn't appropriate for the post. Mmmm, need we forget who was one of the leading figures at the helm when English cricket was last in turmoil. It is also worth noting who led the team out of this turmoil to a remarkable turn around in fortunes and put English cricket to the point of being number one in all forms of cricket. I know who I side with in this debate. I also know who I would show the door to if they aren't happy complying with rules that the rest of the squad follow without dissent.

Posted by Damo_s on (July 15, 2012, 15:40 GMT)

KP is a great batsmen but I think the team as a whole is playing better without him. Bell has done great so far

Posted by Jarr30 on (July 15, 2012, 15:33 GMT)

I don't understand why our top players needs play unwanted test series against smaller nations like Bangladesh, Pakistan, Kenya & WI and increase chances of getting

England should rest their best players

Posted by   on (July 15, 2012, 14:41 GMT)

Hat's of to ECB, here is a cricketing nation who is willing to protect the game at any cost. Even the biggest superstar cant faze out the principles and laws that the ECB have put in place for the better of the game. There is a popular trend amongst Senior cricketers who pickn n choosing (specially in ODI format) games which realy opens the door for younger players to approach cricket in a different manner and forget its trdiational values and philophys.

Posted by   on (July 15, 2012, 14:40 GMT)

It's nothing at all to do with KP being from South Africa; it's KP's ego. Also, who on earth would fire Andy Flower over this? I wonder what planet people live on at times.

He had the chance for a rest, but he chose to play in the IPL for a lot of money instead. I've no sympathy for that. You can't have everything.

Posted by   on (July 15, 2012, 14:37 GMT)

This is a difficult situation, we can't have players dictating their availability but one look at the scheduled shows that some flexibility is needed. Anyone who is playing all three formats will be lucky if their children recognize them. I personally don't understand the logic of lumping T20 and ODI together, currently its OK to retire from both to play tests but retiring from just ODIs is somehow a terrible sin. Apparently this is because the preparation is linked but you have to wonder how much given that Cook is ODI captain and is not even in the T20 squad.

Posted by Muhtasim13 on (July 15, 2012, 14:37 GMT)

Well, KP brought it on himself. Had he not been trying to bring the spotlight on himself, he could have saved all this ordeal

Posted by 200ondebut on (July 15, 2012, 14:21 GMT)

The battle of the egos!!! At the moment seems that Flower's is the biggest. Cricket administrators love rules as it gives them something to hide behind. They need to realise though that it is all about the players. They are the ones the crowd comes to watch.

Posted by   on (July 15, 2012, 14:20 GMT)

Oh KP, I bet you're regretting calling for Flower's sacking now, aren't you?

Posted by pvwadekar on (July 15, 2012, 14:18 GMT)

Very good decision by England and Andy Flower. No player is bigger than the game. If KP is really tired of the schedule then he can forego playing in IPL. Hope that the BCCI can grow a pair and tell Tendulkar to play in ODI and tests or just tests. He cannot choose where to play and where not to play.

Posted by whatawicket on (July 15, 2012, 14:17 GMT)

he had problems with Nottingham and left he had a problem with Hampshire and left. he was made captain and wanted the coach sacked, and both were sacked him as captain. have that argument with flowers at your peril not only will you not be selected in the short form of cricket but then i would expect i would not hold your breath over test cricket either. the ECB will always back their coach on this issue. what will happen KP, i expect he will play every game the coach requires him to play.

Posted by   on (July 15, 2012, 14:08 GMT)

Andy Flower do whatever it takes to bring Kevin Pietersen back !

Posted by whatawicket on (July 15, 2012, 14:04 GMT)

well said flowers he says he wants to play in all formats but in the next breath he saying be selective to which formats. the coach and his team decide which games a player needs resting for, JA was not happy at been omitted from the last test v WI. but had to accept that. KP has been left out of previous odis and if he had kept his mouth shut im sure that would have been the case. but as is normal he finds that hard to do. if the ipl had not been around i sure that this would not have been an issue. hes a batter for gods sake why does he need a rest. listen to him, if hes saying similar to his previous statements dont put his name down for the 30 T20 WC and he can kick his heels watching it at home with his wife and kid. go back over the last 7 years hes played and see how many times hes changed his mind on numinous topics.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (July 15, 2012, 13:57 GMT)

In a situation that calls for flexiblilty and compromise the England management want to be seen to be as firm and unmoving when all they have to lose is....one of our true great batsmen. Obviously players cannot train etc wityhout rests and management should be wiling to let players have days off in order to maximise their performance. personally I do not know how tyhey keep going like that. Some principles may be worth dying for etc, but certainly not this. Part of management skills is managing each person in a situation which really does not require a one size fiits all policy but quite the opposite. Perso nally if push came to shove I'd show Flower the door, albeit,reluctantly.

Posted by yocasi on (July 15, 2012, 13:26 GMT)

Windies fans, please take note. See that Flower can make these statements without being roasted alive? Once "star" players start getting preferential treatment, team morale and discipline inevitably drop and performance begins to slide. If management doesn't stand firm, it becomes a free-for-all with no winners in the long run.

Posted by   on (July 15, 2012, 13:25 GMT)

Pieterson knows that he will never get the attention that players of his skill get in other nations. He craves this but knows full well he will never get it from the British public. He knows that he's not English and i have a feeling that this leaves him feeling a sense of unease and possible loneliness. This unease gives him a sense of 'not belonging'. Not wanted by South Africa at the nascent stage of his cricketing displays and not wanted by the traditional Britishesque of the cricketing establishment makes him yearn for a true place of physical and inner acceptance. I have little doubt that he IS wanted and valued as a player but his cricket-manner ethos relocates him to the British cricketing periphery. Kevin dare I say will never be wholesomely embraced by the English cricketing establishment and 'South African Born' will continually feature or prevent him form being labelled as a great English Batsman.

I would expect future retirements from Mr. Pieterson in the future.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (July 15, 2012, 13:25 GMT)

Most importantly, I hope that this whole affair doesn't leave any lasting ill-feeling that affects the team as a whole. I don't necessarily hold it against KP for bringing the issue back up now if he really wants to play the WT20, but if that is a priority for him then he probably should have just delayed his retirement until then. There's no indication that the ECB are going to move on this so there are only two possible outcomes that I can see coming from this: either things stay as they are and KP doesn't play any more limited-overs cricket for England or KP plays all three formats and accepts that he will be rested for the odd series but at the discretion of the team management. If he says he's back and then retires again after the WT20 then that would really cause friction and jeopardise his Test place too, so I don't see that happening. If he does come back and play all formats, I just hope that he doesn't harbour resentment.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (July 15, 2012, 13:17 GMT)

I don't necessarily agree with the rule that if players want to play T20, they must also be available for ODI's. In my opinion, these two formats are worlds apart. But I never liked Pietersen's attitude! The guy is talented, nobody can deny that. He is not, however, above a team, and the way England have gelled together and performed so well as a unit, Mr Pietersen will no longer be an automatic shoe-in now. People calling for Bell/Trott/Bopara's etc. heads really need to take a good, long hard look at their performances over the 'summer'... I want players that talk with the bat/ball in the England teams, not with their mouths/gadgets/tattoos! Take note David Hopps.

Posted by EnglishCricket on (July 15, 2012, 13:15 GMT)

Flower is the man like his style.

Posted by Stark62 on (July 15, 2012, 13:09 GMT)

He has been selected for the Test squad and will be present in the dressing room.

Will this turn into a Pietersen vs Coach II?!?!

Posted by VillageBlacksmith on (July 15, 2012, 13:04 GMT)

kp obviously has not learnt very much if he thinks he can take on Andy Flower and win, either face to face or through his representatives, or especially through the press... Saying he has never been looked after is total nonsense & has made me lose any admiration I had for him.. It's about principals and loyalty Kev... there will be no doubt be a few Eng players laughing up their sleeves as well as fans... If he doesn't get what he wants and if he hurries up perhaps he can take Boucher's place?

Posted by allblue on (July 15, 2012, 12:59 GMT)

"meant he became illegible for Twenty20" Um, do you mean he couldn't be read any more? Or did you mean ineligible? Andy Flower is a hard man, cross him at your peril. Still, the temptation to have KP in the T20 World Cup squad must be very strong for the selectors, but KP must accept the basic dictum of any team sport that no man is bigger than the team. Fascinating to see how this all unfolds.

Posted by ashes61 on (July 15, 2012, 12:54 GMT)

Thank goodness for people like Andy Flower - clarity of thought, integrity & deep experience (and No 1 batsman in the world not so long ago himself). KP may be a wonderful entertainer when batting - sometimes! - but having retired from pyjama cricket of his own free will, he can have no complaints at all. He has been molly-coddled at every stage of his career - and, by Andy Flowerr, VERY well managed & looked after. Allow KP to rock the boat now and the team-building of the last 3 years goes out of the window. He is an attractive & (very occasionally) a destructive batsman but allowing him to disrupt plans and become a destabilisingn influence in the squads - yet again - would be disastrous. He's not THAT good! We are where we are today principally because of AF - not KP. Carry on Andy - England is extremely lucky to have your services.

Posted by landl47 on (July 15, 2012, 12:47 GMT)

England simply can't afford to let someone like Pietersen decide he will play IPL rather than be available for England, or it won't be long before central contracts will be meaningless. England are fortunate to have a number of players in the squad who are very committed to the England side and I'm sure Flower will not allow one selfish player to get special treatment. KP needs to rethink his position and do it fast, or he'll be watching the World T20 from his armchair. If he thinks Andy Flower is going to be the one to blink first, he doesn't know Flower.

Posted by   on (July 15, 2012, 12:31 GMT)

We want KP back, but not at ANY cost. No player is bigger than the team, and the team have been doing very nicely without him tyvm. On the other hand I do think it is stupid to lump t20 and odi in together. If the odi format is that frail then maybe it should be allowed to die with dignity instead of constantly playing around with the rules, and making players play it if they don't want to.

Posted by jezmondo on (July 15, 2012, 12:24 GMT)

well said andy-again. This is a team game and pieterson needs to realise that. Personally dont want him back odi team seems to be doing ok thanks.

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Andrew McGlashan Assistant Editor Andrew arrived at ESPNcricinfo via Manchester and Cape Town, after finding the assistant editor at a weak moment as he watched England's batting collapse in the Newlands Test. Andrew began his cricket writing as a freelance covering Lancashire during 2004 when they were relegated in the County Championship. In fact, they were top of the table when he began reporting on them but things went dramatically downhill. He likes to let people know that he is a supporter of county cricket, a fact his colleagues will testify to and bemoan in equal quantities.
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