England news

Pietersen talks ongoing - Cook

George Dobell

September 20, 2012

Comments: 49 | Text size: A | A

Alastair Cook, Lord's, September 20, 2012
Alastair Cook believes Kevin Pietersen could still play for England again © Brand-Rapport

Alastair Cook has revealed that meetings between Kevin Pietersen and the England management will continue during the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka but was unable to provide any hopes of an immediate reconciliation between the player and the ECB.

England will begin their attempt to retain the World T20 title, without the services of Pietersen, on Friday. David Collier, the ECB chief executive, and Hugh Morris, the managing director of England cricket, are both in the country, where Pietersen is working as a television summariser.

Pietersen was not considered for selection for the Test tour of India after it emerged that there was a breakdown in trust and respect between him and the rest of the team and Cook, England's new Test captain, admitted that the team would miss his batting.

"Time is a great healer," said Cook, who sits on the selection panel but does not have a vote. "Kevin has proved in all conditions around the world that he is a world-class player. He will be missed. It's a sad circumstance.

"I did have a meeting with Kev. Clearly the issues haven't been resolved and that is why he is not available for selection at the moment. Time, hopefully, will be a healer and we'll be able to move on. At the present time, though, the issues haven't been resolved so he can't be selected.

"Meetings are still going on in Sri Lanka at the moment. Hugh Morris and David Collier are out there. But we're trying to conduct this behind closed doors so we can get the best possible outcome for the English cricket team. It's sad that this has happened and that we're not taking Kevin to India, but that is the reality.

"We are trying to do what is best for English cricket. There is nothing else in our minds. We always try and do that and we are trying to resolve these issues.

"I think he can play for England again, certainly, but there are still issues to be resolved and until that happens he is unavailable."

Pietersen is not the only familiar face missing from the India tour squad. England are also without Andrew Strauss who, after 7,000 Test runs and 21 centuries, has retired. Bearing in mind that England are also likely to be without Ian Bell for at least one Test, as he returns to England to be with his wife, who is expecting their first child in late November, and England may have to field a very inexperienced batting line-up. But it is perhaps Strauss who Cook will miss most.

"I have spoken to Straussy and I will more over the coming months and years," Cook said. "There will be times when I pick up the phone to him, so I hope he doesn't just let it go to answerphone! I feel I have a really good relationship with Straussy. He was the best captain I played under in the way he led men. If I can lead men like he did, I'll be very happy.

"He was so genuine in what he said. He just commanded respect in what he said. When he spoke, people listened. He would never expect anyone to do anything he wouldn't do. He was just a bloody fine man.

"The best advice I could give the new players is that the game doesn't change. Sometimes people pull on the England shirt and think you have to play a different way. You don't. I know we have a challenge in front of us in India. We know they have an amazing home record. But I'm not leading a team out there to lose. We're going out there to win. We've nothing to fear. If we play as well as we can, I can see no reason why we can't win."

Alastair Cook is supporting Buxton's Less Is Best campaign. Pledge to lessen your environmental impact and win 2013 Ashes tickets at www.buxtonwater.co.uk

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by Alexk400 on (September 22, 2012, 12:14 GMT)

WIthout DRS England have no chance in India. Simply because Dhoni is like python in india wait for prey to show up at right time. he has lots patience. That said if England can draw the game if they bat well. Trott is the key for england. As long as he bats england will be in driver seat. England will know its different to bat india because energy in crowd supports india. You feel alien. Just like indians felt they were in alien conditions in England so much negativity.

Posted by JG2704 on (September 21, 2012, 19:21 GMT)

@jmcilhinney on (September 21 2012, 11:10 AM GMT) I still think a cooling off period would be good if we want KP to play again. I'm not sure when the T20/ODI party is named but I'd rather he missed that and increase the chances of him coming back for England again than the 2 parties try to rush negotiations and it all fall apart to a point of no return.

Posted by JG2704 on (September 21, 2012, 19:20 GMT)

@maximum6 on (September 21 2012, 12:10 PM GMT) They probably won't post my comment but on what basis do you say that the decision on KP returning/not returning is purely based on the so called clique? Could it not be because KP is being stubborn about certain conditions? Please also remember that the reason for KPs exclusion in the 1st place was for derogatory texts which were A- about Strauss who is nothing to do with the so called clique and B - The texts were sent to members of their then current opponents SA which surely makes the issue a whole lot more serious.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (September 21, 2012, 12:10 GMT)

the idea of trying to achieve dressing room harmony is frankly ludicrous unless it is with your best players and like at school, work, in a family, a varied assortment of individual just have to make it work, because they are there for profeesional sports, not to have an uproarously amusing and jolly time. If they do, so be it. A lot of players have not clicked or rahter have quite simply loathed one another. it is unfortunate here that in this hitech too much has come out, and social media is a perfect vehicle for ramping up rows etc. Cook should have to know how to deal with every player, but he does not have to ask the bowlers for permission as to who he picks as batsmen. England unfortunately seems cliquey which is a big pain. People should just keep it to themselves and not make everyone else subscribe to the raison d'etre of a friendship. Obviously yoyur best players play. End of story. Hating your spin partner for instance does not seem to affect performance.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (September 21, 2012, 11:10 GMT)

@JG2704 on (September 21 2012, 09:18 AM GMT), I wouldn't necessarily discount the possibility of KP playing in the limited-overs legs of that India tour. If that is to happen then there is a bit of urgency in getting the issue resolved. If KP is considered already to be out of contention for those series too then I'd be inclined to agree with you, but I don't think that that is the case.

Posted by JG2704 on (September 21, 2012, 10:58 GMT)

@ Anand Singh on (September 20 2012, 19:42 PM GMT) On what basis do you think that Strauss's influence would hinder KP's return? Strauss said on Sky text (and the story is probably still there) that KP has apologised to him and from what little he said he seemed to have made his peace with KP. Strauss comes across as a person who won't hold a grudge and I'd honestly say that Strauss being involved in negotiations would actually help KP get back into the set up.

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (September 21, 2012, 10:41 GMT)

it's good to hear cook who seems like a level headed guy say that the door is open for kp. but we constantly hear from all parties that they want discussions to take place behind closed doors and then go on to talk about the issue albeit in general terms such. why not just adopt a 'nothing to say' attitude until it's been resolved. whilst kp is their best batsmen more so for his experience of indian conditions through ipl, this is one of the weakest indian teams for quite a while and that's saying something with only kohli who been has superb form in the last year being the only positive. i don't think eng's batters will be too worried about the spinners because currently they're nowhere near kumble class or can do what ajmal did in the uae. i'd like to see turning pitches to give indian spinners as much assistance as possible but that would also favour panesar possible more than swann. if eng do play 2 spinners it'll interesting to see who their 2 quicks will be.

Posted by whatawicket on (September 21, 2012, 10:09 GMT)

KK_cricket. KP has not got a ecb central contract. so he can go and play in whatever competition he wants. but i will tell you this. if and its a big if. if hes selected for england again god forbid, i bet he put england 1st, i would put my pension on it. remind me on in june when that comes about.

Posted by whatawicket on (September 21, 2012, 10:02 GMT)

phoenixsteve the old adage you can only pick from the players available. the T20 if it does poorly in SL is not the same issue as a test series in india. i have not heard a eng player or official that has positive opinions on KP for the incident that got him benched. i can understand your comment if say he was not selected purely on say age,form, whatever. but its the same as a ban he just cannot be considered plain and simple.so saying if only we had picked whoever and the result would be different. never in my 40 odd years of watching cricket have i heard that said, other than supporters. unlike most teams england have always put what it thinks is the right thing to do. that is not only on the sports fields but in life.

Posted by FreddyForPrimeMinister on (September 21, 2012, 9:57 GMT)

"A bloody fine man." The same can be said of Cook himself. I have slight doubts about him as a captain, simply because he still appears to be so young and perhaps such a nice guy that certain players (like KP perhaps?) will think they can take advantage of that. It would be interesting to know the true thoughts of some of the senior players in the dressing room about having Cook as captain. Hopefully the mental strength that has served him so well as a batsman, often in the most trying of circumstances, can be replicated in his captaincy. Encouragingly, you do get the impression that if anyone can bring KP back into the fold, it could be the calm and thoroughly likeable Mr Cook.

Posted by KK_Cricket on (September 21, 2012, 9:53 GMT)

@Charlie101: Regarding DRS, yes BCCI and India both lose out on a good tool but again, do you have solution to their question regarding its reliability and is it full proof? No.. but I agree, it should be accepted sooner then later.. And regarding India losing to Aus and Eng, I would blame Dhoni and not selectors and not the seniors.. Seniors or any team members are bound to fail at some point.. Even Ponting struggled for don't know how long.., Smith was out of touch for SA but they were persisted and came back strongly.. So, don't agree with that.. If Ojha had been there for AUS tour, story would have been different.. so its Dhoni who should have asked his board to provide him with variety.. Still believe, Gambhir should be the captain for tests and Dhoni should lead in ODIs/T20s and give away to Gambhir/Kohli in an year or so..

Posted by whatawicket on (September 21, 2012, 9:45 GMT)

going by cefax in the uk KP has met and apologized to Strauss but it had nothing to do with KP getting back into the team.but KP is hoping to be considered for the NZ series. i hope he dont wait to long by the phone because he had his day. maybe he will realize what you can do and say in a team environment, as i dont think his team mates will forget.

Posted by SamRoy on (September 21, 2012, 9:42 GMT)

England can win India if Dhoni plays all his favourite cricketers in the test team namely Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Vinay Kumar and RP Singh along with old man Sachin. Otherwise, if India plays Robin Bist/Rahane, Gambhir, Pujara, Kohli,Sehwag (yes in middle order), Rohit, Dhoni, Ashwin, Ojha, Umesh and Zak/ Awana/ Shami Ahmed; England has zero chance of winning

Posted by Long-Leg on (September 21, 2012, 9:30 GMT)

The main issue here has nothing to do with texts and who said what to whom. Nor does it have much to do with dressing room harmony. The real issue is whether or not KP is committed to English Cricket. If he would rather play in a T20 Indian domestic competition next year than turn out for England against NZ in test cricket then I hope he never puts on an England shirt again. He has a simple choice, stay loyal to the country which welcomed him and helped him make his name, or chase money all over the world. He cannot do both. Come on ECB, you are doing well. Stay strong for all those England fans who love their cricket.

Posted by VillageBlacksmith on (September 21, 2012, 9:30 GMT)

And there's me thinking kp just retired HIMSELF from all short forms...???! Anyone remember that? Anyone remember the facts?? It has nothing to do with the ECB, eng players, the full moon etc etc... He retired himself from this, and eng have prepared for this tournament without him... quite rightly... PS Got anyone else to write about??

Posted by JG2704 on (September 21, 2012, 9:18 GMT)

I've got to be honest , I do feel it would be best to adjourn talks/negotiations. The reason being that the T20WC squad and Indian touring party have been named without KP in it and there is no rush to get anything sorted now. I think it would do both parties good to take a few steps back and reflect before negotiations are restarted again.

Posted by Yevghenny on (September 21, 2012, 9:15 GMT)

Pick KP and leave the other 10 to come to terms with it - they've certainly been able to manage OK upto the south african series - why on earth is it a problem now?? These primadonnas are not there for a big social, they are there to represent England at international Cricket.

Posted by Chesty-la-roux on (September 21, 2012, 8:49 GMT)

The pressure is really on broad, swann and anderson to perform in the India tests. They will be acutely aware that the reason Pieterson, englands best batsman by a country mile, is not playing is down to them. If and when england start losing in India, these bowlers performance will be under intense scrutiny. Unfortunately I don't think cook is a tough enough character to take the necessary and correct action. Someone needs to sort this out and quickly, english cricket has become nothing short of a comedy show.

Posted by Mahesh_G on (September 21, 2012, 8:48 GMT)

@Charlie101 -hello charlie?how r u?do u know how sachin played tests with SA in south africa before england's 4-0 debacle?well that was also overseas.sachin scored 2 centuries while everyone was struggling against the likes of steyn and morkel.if sachin fails again in another series,i would also support selectors to drop him.

Posted by Rastus on (September 21, 2012, 8:33 GMT)

"there was a breakdown in trust and respect between him and the rest of the team and Cook" - I would pick KP first as the best player in the team and then find 10 other people that trust and respect him. Who cares what the other players think, as long as when KP hits the field he is trying to get as many runs as he possibly can, that is his main job in the team and no one does it better.

"Straussy was the best captain I played under in the way he led men. If I can lead men like he did, I'll be very happy" - Yes a a brilliant leader, look what happened a complete breakdown in team spirit and your best player sending derogatory texts to another team and subsequently being kicked out of the squad. Is that really being a "brilliant leader"?

Posted by Jack_Tka on (September 21, 2012, 8:28 GMT)

As KP has already appologized, its the ECB that has to make up their mind. I think there are quite a few bruised egos in Eng camp, who want KP to bow his head in front of them, which unfortunately is not going to happen. Also, when the fellow teammates who indulged in Twitter parody never got reprimanded from ECB side shows that the exercise is dubious. Its a partial game going on in the EBC camps, and I hope that COOK is not part of that game. Please Publish.

Posted by Charlie101 on (September 21, 2012, 7:55 GMT)

@KK Cricket The reason India has suffered 2 test white washes to australia and England is because the BCCI is so weak that the "star" batsmen have been selecting the team and playing themselves when they are way past their sell by date ( exception Dravid ). Laxman should have been dropped after the England series and carried on to Aus but had no option when Dravid retired from test cricket . Another case is the DRS system - Sachin does not like it so neither does the BCCI !!!

Posted by satish619chandar on (September 21, 2012, 7:17 GMT)

On the other side, should KP really be talking with ECB? They have indulted him to the maximum and to share the dressing room with the likes of Swann, Broad and Anderson will further ignite his ego. Better for KP to earn in T20 leagues and live a peaceful life rather than living a life which would hurt him and his ego. With the current dressing room, KP will surely face the situation again sooner than later.

Posted by KK_Cricket on (September 21, 2012, 6:29 GMT)

I know when they will select KP.. They shall do it when NZ tour England, when IPL would be on.. They want to deny KP playing the IPL.. BCCI is a much better then ECB.. Ego Comes Before anything.. even success and fairness.. Sad to see a match winner sitting as an expert doing nothing..

Posted by electric_loco_WAP4 on (September 21, 2012, 6:24 GMT)

Hey Cook, your mediocre England team would struggle to save a whitewash against Bangladesh in Bang with their left arm spinners making rich pickings out of these hopelessly inept Eng batsmen -I would think Ind in India would be a slightly more daunting prospect to fancy a win.Well without your South African superstar ,Eng is a bog average side who fancy a good fight for the 7th or 8th place with the likes of the WI and New Zealand and you know it,don't you?Well,it will be interesting to see if Eng do manage another embarrassing whitewash against the likes of these two sides...

Posted by jmcilhinney on (September 21, 2012, 6:23 GMT)

@zenboomerang on (September 21 2012, 04:26 AM GMT), I'm not sure that it was over-confidence. My impression was that the England batsmen were a bit afraid to play shots. There was all this talk before the series about "attritional cricket" and I think that they got a bit carried away with that. It seemed like they thought that the best option was to simply defend and the runs would come in time. When their defence proved inadequate they didn't seem to have a plan B and the sweep was over-played out of desperation. Obviously they had trouble picking Ajmal and the fact that he doesn't necessarily spin it a lot in either direction was to his advantage, because balls that may otherwise have beaten the bat took the edge. It wasn't just Ajmal that did the damage though. If they can actually play the right length in India it will be an improvement over UAE, where they were caught playing back to fuller balls far too often. They need to be far more positive than they were in UAE.

Posted by   on (September 21, 2012, 5:49 GMT)

This is utter nonsense. "talks ongoing" ? What Pietersen did was immature and arrogant, but he has already apologized. ECB should just accept it and bring him back. What else is there to "talk" about? Making a big deal out of nothing. Such rubbish from ECB. And until now, I thought BCCI was by far the worst cricketing board. I think ECB comes a close 2nd.

Posted by senthil25 on (September 21, 2012, 5:02 GMT)

England Player in these tour they will learn how to dance bharatanatyam & kathakali from indian spinners.................iam eagerly waiting for that match............dont give silly excuse...........man.........its time for pay back......

Posted by zenboomerang on (September 21, 2012, 4:26 GMT)

@jmcilhinney... I think the Eng v Ind Test series could be close, even 2-1 to Eng... History may be against that, but watching WI's in India in which some games were close & Roach played 1 Test, Narine wasn't there, Chanderpaul missed 1 Test - then yes, Eng have a good chance... The only problems for Eng is their 'psychological' weakness to spin in the sub-continent & whether the 2 new batsmen can cope with their new duties away from home... The batsmens approach in the UAE spoke of over confidence against the Pak bowlers with many sweep shots going to hand - hopefully the recent Saffa experience has brought home a few cold truths & the batsmen learn to be more controlled in their attacking play... Ohh, also dropped catches have been a bugbear to your chances in recent times...

Posted by satish619chandar on (September 21, 2012, 3:46 GMT)

Is there any purposes over these unwanted talks? Come on. KP did what any guy can do to come back. Now the ball is in ECBs court. Do they need meetings to accept the apology? Cook knows he can do more things with KP than without KP and pushing his max to get the things resolved. If there was anything that is positive for KP, that is the retirement of Strauss. Certainly the progress wouldn't have been to this level with Strauss as the captain.

Posted by mikey76 on (September 21, 2012, 3:00 GMT)

As opposed to Australia who are minnows now! Yeah England have a dearth of young talent. You'll find that out over the next 18 months Randy when we spank you.

Posted by drsankalp on (September 21, 2012, 2:55 GMT)

England will get whitewash in India more pathetic than India got in England be because I don't think any match will last for more than 4 days.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (September 21, 2012, 2:45 GMT)

Cook seems a fairly pragmatic fellow and he certainly seems to want KP back in the team. I would expect that he would also be talking to the other players, helping to smooth the way there too if there is any lingering resentment. I think that if the ECB genuinely didn't want KP back then this would all be over by now so I'm confident that he will be and that it's just a matter of when. What was already going to be a tough Test series to win in India is all but a write-off as far as results go now, but that's not the end of the world. The main priority from my point of view was improvement rather than winning the series anyway. First and foremost England need to hold their catches. Secondly those batsmen who struggled in UAE need to step up and show that they can handle spinning conditions. If the bowlers perform as they did in UAE then I'll be happy with that. A decent contribution from the new guys in trying circumstances will be good news. Losing is OK as long as they're competitive.

Posted by Massive_Allan_Border_Fan on (September 21, 2012, 2:10 GMT)

If the talks aren't working, scrap them. England can work out for itself whether it wants KP for his batting, in which case issue some token penalty and let him back in the side, or doesn't want him, which appears to be the current case. Similarly, if KP wants to play for England, he needs to eat somehumble pie and admit his serious mistakes and personal failure of teamsmanship recently. It sounds like neither party really wants the other, in which case why bother with talks? KP can start training for the IPL, make his bucks, go back to South Africa's nice climate and text his buddies all he wants.

Posted by Hira1 on (September 21, 2012, 2:05 GMT)

"Cook, who sits on the selection panel but does not have a vote" so what authority Cook having as a captain, ECB wants all yes boss attitude kind of player where certainly KP doesn't fit in.

Posted by Hira1 on (September 21, 2012, 1:58 GMT)

what is the point of these needless ongoing talks its going in for over a month and rather than resolving it ECB made it a complete mess.....ECB is jealous of KP being chased by all these leagues so they wanted to make sure he remain uncertain and not to sign them for the entire tournament. Its better ECB goes their own way and let KP make his own...

Posted by Manush on (September 21, 2012, 0:43 GMT)

I find Cook's opinions are signs of healing process and hope he will successfully bring back the missing Star.The ECB is should show impartiality and bring those behind KP's critics to book. But the Indian tour is doomed to be one sided favoring the host, and familiar old English dance against spin will be enacted without KP!!!.

Posted by RandyOZ on (September 20, 2012, 23:32 GMT)

The South African, Pietersen, albeit overrated (though not in the same echelon as Swann, Broad and Bell - he actually has some talent), is probably England's best player. They simply cannot afford to drop him because as we all know, there is absolutely zero talent coming through. As we all saw in the U19 world cup, England are going to be a minnow very soon.

Posted by Stateside_Steve on (September 20, 2012, 22:52 GMT)

What are they still talking about ? If I remember correctly KP has apologized and expressed unequivocal desire to get back on the side. What else do you need from the man. Are they talking about partial availability for national duty ?, are they talking about counter apology from Broad and gang ? Confusion reigns

Posted by JamesTHEwalldravid on (September 20, 2012, 21:35 GMT)

I like cook. He seems like nice level headed guy who wants the best for his team. As a player he was showed determination which I admire. Yes he has significant technical flaws, but that is very common anyway for most batsmen these days. His patient style will bring him many more runs for us to enjoy. Regarding the KP issue I'd say that "if no one is above the game" as many people have been shouting the last few weeks than Eng should set an example by dropping Andersen, Swann, Bresnan, Broad, Hales and a few others. Yes KP may be a "bad man" in some ways, but even he was forced to keep his mouth shut while the likes of Swann and Andersen made public statements about how they were glad he was no longer captain just a year or two ago. KP had to eat it up and pretend that everything was fine. How is that fair? But we don't live in world filled with justice. Different strokes for different folks and different rules for different fools, as the saying goes.

Posted by Rushikey on (September 20, 2012, 20:51 GMT)

It looks like, England will bring KP back only after another embarrassing series defeat in India. God Bless Them!

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 20:39 GMT)

i think alistair cook is smart enough to realise that with the batting line up he is taking to india, his team cannot win. i was at the pca stadium in mohali a couple of years ago and saw first hand a brilliant hundred by kp in that test there. england are making a huge mistake by not taking kp to india---whatever the issues might be. this england team selection is not on merit. ecb is busy settling its own scores with kp leaving the england batting lineup highly fragile in the process.

Posted by phoenixsteve on (September 20, 2012, 20:24 GMT)

This is quite a gamble by messrs Morris and Flower. Their immiediate future lies in the balance of the current England side/set up? If England fail in Sri Lanka and also in India it would seem reasonable to blame management for not selecting the strongest unit? KP could have the last laugh in about 4 months time when Flower and Morris are forced to resign! Or maybe Cook will resign first and really set the proverbial cat loose? Talking of last laughs..... I recall Bob Monkhouse saying "my family laughed when I told them I was going to be a comedian...... hah.... they're not laughing now"! Pricelss. COME ON ENGLAND!!!

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 20:21 GMT)

Yes Agreed Strause was the nice Captain

Posted by SurlyCynic on (September 20, 2012, 20:21 GMT)

As long as Broad isn't involved in the meetings in Sri Lanka then they should go fine. I still don't understand how someone like Broad can be captain of England in any format.

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 20:08 GMT)

For the good of English cricket please go away KP!

Posted by TheBengalTiger on (September 20, 2012, 19:57 GMT)

England getting in their excuses already. Typical

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 19:42 GMT)

cook needs to stop talking with straussy if we were to have any hopes of KP making a comeback :)

Posted by whatawicket on (September 20, 2012, 19:23 GMT)

now then george what can you make of this.

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