England's Pietersen dilemma

Pietersen set for Flower talks

Andrew McGlashan

September 1, 2012

Comments: 36 | Text size: A | A

Kevin Pietersen looks on from the balcony after his first-ball duck, Hampshire v Surrey, CB40 Group B, West End, August, 19, 2012
Kevin Pietersen has been in Surrey while out of international action © Getty Images
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Kevin Pietersen was expected to meet with Andy Flower, the England team director, on Saturday in the first stage of trying to save his international career.

Pietersen was dropped for the final Test against South Africa for sending, what he admitted in his first apology to the ECB, were 'provocative' text messages to friends in the South African team. He was also left out of the squad of the World Twenty20 despite making himself available for all cricket in a video posted on YouTube.

Since the situation reached its tipping point in the days following the Headingley Test, when Pietersen gave a press conference where he said "it is tough being me", the ECB have made it clear that the talks to try and resolve the stand-off will be done behind closed doors.

If the meeting with Flower shows progress, beginning with Pietersen providing a full, honest apology, then it is expected that further talks will take place then involving Hugh Morris, the managing director, and possibly new Test captain Alastair Cook.

On Wednesday, when he was confirmed as Andrew Strauss' replacement, Cook said that he would become involved at some point. "I've been on the outside for a lot of the saga," he said. "Clearly I'll get involved over the coming weeks."

Strauss, for his part, insisted that the Pietersen situation had no bearing on his decision to retire although before the Lord's Test against South Africa - which was Strauss' 100th - he admitted to feeling "let down" by Pietersen's actions which are believed to have included texts about Strauss.

Before he stood down, Strauss said it would not be a quick process to reintegrate Pietersen with the team and Flower will want plenty of assurances before showing his faith in the batsman.

While England were playing the opening one-day internationals against South Africa, Pietersen, who had previously retired from one-day cricket earlier in the summer, was in County Championship action for Surrey where he struck 163 against Somerset at Taunton. He declined the opportunity to say anything the day Strauss retired.

However, on Friday a magazine interview that had been done before the Test series was published in the Cricketer in which Pietersen took a swipe at the ECB over the IPL. "Test cricket is right up there, most definitely," he said, "but IPL and Twenty20 cricket is a matter of fact now. Every board has accepted it apart from the ECB, unfortunately. Some part of international cricket may have to give because the IPL is not going away."

If there is progress in the talks between Pietersen, Flower and the ECB the earliest he could return to the side would be the Test series against India which begins in mid-November. The squad for that tour is expected to be named in early October although central contracts are due to be handed out by the end of this month and possibly before the players leave for the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by Commenter123 on (September 4, 2012, 16:54 GMT)

Vinoth , No one man can save a team. Even Sachin could not bring worldcup for 20 years. Cricket is a team game. I don't understand why it's so hard to grasp that?

Posted by ooper_cut on (September 4, 2012, 11:15 GMT)

Guess it might be time for ECB to go cricket hunting in SA again. This time they can also cover Zimbabwe, might get a Hick or a flower too.

Posted by 158notout on (September 3, 2012, 10:59 GMT)

Jeez, is this still going on. Once again we see a definite line down the middle here. Pretty much all england fans say good riddance, some things are more important that winning (e.g. respect for teammates) and also that the team is more important than the individual and that there can not be one rule for one and another for the rest. Most Indian fans seem to be happy with all the misdemeanour's as long as he is one of the best batsmen. This highlights a difference in cricket culture in the two countries. India is happy to go down the idol worship route and be held to ransom by players if they return the favour with performance. england rather build up a team to challenge even if it means sacrificing the best player if they dont toe the line. Interesting. Unsurprisingly as an England fan I agree with the ECB. Would be happy if KP was dropped permanently but, if HE can sort himself out and abide by the standards, morals and rules laid out then perhaps there is a way back for KP

Posted by whyowhy on (September 3, 2012, 10:46 GMT)

Maybe Flower can fix him up to play for Zimbabwe ......... How many IPL's will he need to qualify to play for Zimbabwe ??

Posted by   on (September 3, 2012, 10:14 GMT)

Hurahh... KP should be be back... He is man who can save English cricket and it was he who brought England to Glory.

Posted by JG2704 on (September 3, 2012, 7:56 GMT)

@satish619chandar on (September 03 2012, 04:39 AM GMT) PS - I do hope it is resolved but I'm not sure it will be. I think trust is a big issue here. If KP had kicked off behind closed doors but to the individuals faces then I'm sure it would be easier to work around. I'm certainly not going to judge KP or ECB until I know what was said in the texts. But if KP feels hard done by then how can any of us say whether he is being hard done by until we know what he said?

Posted by JG2704 on (September 3, 2012, 7:51 GMT)

@maximum6 on (September 01 2012, 22:47 PM GMT) I've tried to respond to you on the other thread and put across 2/3 lengthy posts (several times inc on this thread) re KP and Karthik but for whatever reason ESPN have not published which is a shame but there you go

Posted by JG2704 on (September 3, 2012, 7:48 GMT)

@satish619chandar on (September 03 2012, 04:39 AM GMT) Who knows? I have heard rumours that it was about tactics etc , but no one knows for sure. Not sure why ECB have not published the texts etc. Could simply be that they want to keep the matter hushed until it has all been resolved one way or the other. Whatever happens I've not heard KP say one word about him being harshly treated re this particular matter and Kp is not usually shy with his opinions. Reading between the lines it suggests that KP knows what he said/did was very wrong

Posted by satish619chandar on (September 3, 2012, 4:39 GMT)

@JG2704 : That makes me wonder what the heck is going on. For ECB who revealed the media almost everything that KP did to keep mum on the content in the maligning texts is rather suspicious. Had it been the team tactics, i have no doubt that ECB would have made it public and removed KP forever. I guess it should be some foul mouth of the captain and other team members. And, its a acceptable thing for using bad language as all use it..

Posted by satish619chandar on (September 3, 2012, 4:36 GMT)

Let the talks begin and the issue resolved soon. Cricket misses KP and ECB too will sooner. KP too will miss the platform which gave him the superstar status.

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Andrew McGlashanClose
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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