England's Pietersen dilemma

Strauss warning over Pietersen return

ESPNcricinfo staff

October 23, 2012

Comments: 40 | Text size: A | A

Andrew Strauss, Andy Flower and Kevin Pietersen observe England's net session, Abu Dhabi, January, 24, 2012
Andrew Strauss: "If everyone is happy in the dressing room they will play well. But if it's not resolved then it is a problem. I honestly think it's a real problem" © AFP
Enlarge

Andrew Strauss, the former England captain, has warned that the return of Kevin Pietersen to the squad could cause "problems" if the issues that led to Pietersen being dropped have not been fully resolved.

Pietersen was left out for the third Test against South Africa in August after sending messages about Strauss - who retired from cricket in the wake of England's series defeat - to members of the opposition. Pietersen had previously quit limited-overs internationals amid complaints about his schedule, although he has now reversed that decision. A parody Twitter account that Pietersen believed was being encouraged by some of his team-mates also caused a problem within the dressing room.

However, after being left out of England's squads for the World Twenty20 and the Test tour of India, Pietersen was given a route back into the side after agreeing a process of "reintegration" with the ECB and signing a four-month central contract. He was subsequently added to the touring party for India and Strauss believes it is in the team's best interests to mend the relationship with Pietersen.

"It will be difficult," Strauss said in an interview with the Guardian newspaper. "One of the problems is that there are two separate sections. One is going on in meeting rooms between KP and the players and on the other side is this media intrigue. From Andy Flower's point of view, they need to get that first part right. If everyone is happy in the dressing room they will play well. But if it's not resolved then it is a problem. I honestly think it's a real problem.

"If they can make it work, then obviously England will be a better side with KP in it because he's an outstanding player. But if, behind the scenes, things are difficult and resentment is harboured and, if KP is not fully committed to England, there are going to be problems. But it's in everyone's interests to make it work."

Strauss again denied that the Pietersen saga hastened his retirement but said he felt guilty leaving the issue for Flower, England's team director, and Alastair Cook, his successor as captain, to sort out. He added, though, that his decision to step away may have helped speed up the process of reconciliation.

"Maybe it actually makes it easier for the team that I'm not there because some of it was directed to me. It would have been harder if I'd stayed," he said. "I think that it can be [healed]. But everyone has to desperately want it to happen and they all need to let bygones be bygones and not have any grudges and bitterness. Everyone has to want to move forward for the right reasons. That's the question mark and so it's hard for me to tell. But it saddens me that we've been through this - after all the hard work we put in as a group for three-and-a-half years. We all genuinely believed in this special bond and chemistry we had. Unfortunately we've slipped from there and the guys are going to need to recover that. It's going to be tough."

Strauss also revealed that Pietersen was not among the England players to receive a personal letter informing them of his decision to retire. The letters were delivered individually to members of the squad playing an ODI against South Africa in Southampton during the time that Pietersen was not being considered for selection. Instead, Strauss delivered the news by text, admitting that it "was a strange time for the two of us. A lot had happened and during that period we were quite estranged from each other."

They have now put the episode behind them, with Strauss admitting things could have been handled better on both sides, although he stopped short of condoning Pietersen's actions. "Kevin has since come up to me and apologised for it and I respect that," he said. "He seemed contrite and I think he was sincere. Looking back I think it was wrong some of our players were following that Twitter account. But I still don't think it's a justification for what Kevin did."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by JG2704 on (October 26, 2012, 10:25 GMT)

@yavaid - re "Refusing to say this was not a winning team without KP in it" - HELLO.Eng played One test match without KP in it against the best test side in the world who happened to beat us in one of the 2 tests KP played in and were closer in that match than they were in the 1st test to SA.Also Jonny came in and in that test believe averaged better than KP in the series.Not saying Jonny is a better player than KP or we are a better side without him but that is what happened.In shorter forms while we had a poor WC we did OK without him in the side up to that WC and who's to say we'd have won more games with him in the side? It was bowling - more than batting - which let us down in the WC.If things have been said to KP by Eng players then yes they should apologise just as KP should apologise for anything derogatory he has said to them.No fan should apologise to KP unless they have said things which are proven to be incorrect.No one has shown evidence to prove that KP did nothing wrong

Posted by JG2704 on (October 25, 2012, 21:10 GMT)

@zenboomerang on (October 25 2012, 12:16 PM GMT) Hi - Re which comment exactly?

Posted by zenboomerang on (October 25, 2012, 13:16 GMT)

@JG2704... You are on the money...

Posted by JG2704 on (October 25, 2012, 12:32 GMT)

@yavaid - re "Refusing to say this was not a winning team without KP in it" - HELLO.Eng played One test match without KP in it against the best test side in the world who happened to beat us in one of the 2 tests KP played in and were closer in that match than they were in the 1st test to SA.Also Jonny came in and in that test believe averaged better than KP in the series.Not saying Jonny is a better player than KP or we are a better side without him but that is what happened.In shorter forms while we had a poor WC we did OK without him in the side up to that WC and who's to say we'd have won more games with him in the side? It was bowling - more than batting - which let us down in the WC.If things have been said to KP by Eng players then yes they should apologise just as KP should apologise for anything derogatory he has said to them.No fan should apologise to KP unless they have said things which are proven to be incorrect.No one has shown evidence to prove that KP did nothing wrong

Posted by JG2704 on (October 25, 2012, 9:11 GMT)

I'm starting to have a few theories about this. 1 - When KP retired from T20/ODIs it was around the same time as he was saying folk were jealous of IPL etc and maybe some of our players who put their names forward did feel a little jealous of KP when they weren't picked. 2 - Regardless of whether there was any input from the Eng players re the twitter account , if these players followed the account then KP might well take it as betrayal. It could be that KP was hurt by all this and I'm wondering now if he feels that Strauss betrayed him because in KP's eyes he felt Strauss should have had words with these players whereas Strauss just wanted to let it all blow over. KP has always struck me as not being the most secure of people , suffering from a little paranoiah and maybe he felt that Strauss not taking action was a sign of favouritism etc.. Just a few theories.

Posted by JG2704 on (October 25, 2012, 9:11 GMT)

Funny comments going round re who's whitewashing who. At the end of the day Eng whitewashed India in the most recent test series in England and Eng were whitewashed by India in the most recent ODI series in India. ODI series from 2006 are totally irrelevant as both sides personnel will have few players who'll have played that series and it was a different format. England fans should not read too much into last years whitewash because they have had a horrible 2012 in the test format and neither should India fans go cock a hoop about their chances based on a whitewash in a totally different format. Smart money would be on India but because they are in transition we really don't know. Strange as it sounds , I feel (because of India's situation) we have the best chance of pulling it off but at the same time we are just as likely to get whitewashed

Posted by JG2704 on (October 25, 2012, 9:10 GMT)

@bobmartin on (October 23 2012, 14:59 PM GMT) re "I feel sure the ECB, although they deny it, must have some knowledge otherwise they were open to all sorts of lawsuits for taking the steps they did." - Re lawsuits , I'm just wondering if that had some reason for KP's reinstatement? It just seemed to go from KP accusing other Eng players of doing things to his reinstatement in a matter of no time

Posted by JAZ_SINGH on (October 24, 2012, 22:19 GMT)

@Front-Foot-Lunge: Im not too sure what whitewashes / humiliations your talking about? In 2006 India beat England 6-1 in the ODI's, 5-0 in 2008 and 5-0 in 2012. You have not one a ODI in india since that one back in 2006. Now I think that is what you call humiliation mate!

Posted by couchpundit on (October 24, 2012, 17:50 GMT)

LOL - MR.Strauss you are right..as long as you were there it could not have been resolved...for two reasons 1. You REFUSE to see there is not winning English Team without KP, which England realised in recent months. 2. When you say " if KP is not fully committed to England", dont beat around the bush and say you are being taken out of context. The very thought that you(and certain kind of Englishmen) claim he might not be comminted to England, gives it away pommie!!

Now that England Supporters have resigned to the fact that they are nothing without KP...i would like to see apology from rest of England to KP, for insinuating that he is a traitor of sorts.

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (October 24, 2012, 13:12 GMT)

@Front-Foot-Lunge LOL humiliation in recent years? I think its only one year 2011(when our players took Eng for granted and omitted WI tour to nurse IPLinjuries)Take out that 2011 and you will definitely know who humiliated who for the most of time :)

Posted by priceless on (October 24, 2012, 9:13 GMT)

First it was SPORTSMAIL who got the story, Mike Atherton still hasn't answered how the mail got the story. Next it was Derek Pringle and his INSIDER drivel, now its the GUARDIAN'S turn. Maybe it will get to page 3 of the SUN. I wonder who the girl will be???

Posted by cric_freakNo2 on (October 24, 2012, 6:48 GMT)

strauss didnt understand but england team certainly understood what its position is without KP. eg: CLT20, ENG-SA 3rd test.

Posted by raj_24 on (October 24, 2012, 5:23 GMT)

@Nerav

Jimmy SC record is awful? Have you checked his Tests record in SC?

Jimmy got 5 wkts in 1st inn of test in SL @Galle.

In UAE (though not SC) he and Broad bowled superbly well.

just 3 tests in India and did well , got Sachin out 3 times i think.

Posted by cloudmess on (October 24, 2012, 2:13 GMT)

I'm not surprised by Strauss' reaction to the KP affair, but I am surprised at him going public about it at such a delicate time. There is no question that fuelling the endless media speculation keeps the issue simmering. I feel for Strauss - though the media has always been pretty much on his side throughout. History will recall Strauss' captaincy as 3 years of almost unbroken success, and will largely forget the sometimes destructive and immature behaviour of one star batsman.

Posted by nilesh91 on (October 23, 2012, 19:53 GMT)

@Front-Foot-Lunge : which given the whitewashes and humiliations on the field inflicted on them by England in recent years? Did you forgot we won a TEST SERIES in ENGLAND in 2007. When did Eng won a test series in INDIA? oh yes 28 years ago! I am fortunate enough to saw my team and great man RD with the trophy on England soil! are you?

Posted by   on (October 23, 2012, 19:53 GMT)

lol these guys are still at it

Posted by   on (October 23, 2012, 19:32 GMT)

Agree with Cpt.Meanster. Strauss is trying to reopen the can of worms. He is obviously not satisfied with KP's apology. KP is a treat to watch like Flintoff and guyz like that showcase English cricket. I won't be surprised if Swann or Broad are next in line to give interviews like these to unsettle the team.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (October 23, 2012, 19:22 GMT)

@Front-Foot-Lunge: What defeats are you talking about ? Barring last year's 4-0 defeat of India in England, it has been England losing everything against India. Want me to refresh your memory back to the tours of 2006, and 2008 ??? England never looked like winning anything, in tests and ODIs. What are you on about ? Check your stats. Besides, I am a huge supporter of KP. Many Indians would want him to score big in India and see India smash England to bits. It's kind of like the Tendulkar conundrum for opposition fans when their team plays India. Everyone want a Sachin hundred and their team to win the game. Same applies here.

Posted by Nerav on (October 23, 2012, 18:43 GMT)

@Front-Foot-Lunge - Urm for forget the ODI whitewash that England suffered when they visited India. And I dont think India are 'quacking in their boots' given that pakistan whitewashed England in the Tests. Its going to be a real shock for fans like yourselves that think England are so good. England have good bowlers in English conditions. In other conditions they are awful- check Jimmy's record in sub contient. Actually proves my point in that hes wonderful in England and shocking elsewhere given his ok career stats

Posted by AMRules on (October 23, 2012, 18:26 GMT)

Common straussy, everyone knew how important KP is for Eng team to do well in India. Smart ECB want to use KP for four months and then keep hold of KP until next tour to Sub-continent. Yet, No lessons learnt by Straussy n ECB.

Posted by   on (October 23, 2012, 18:16 GMT)

when can't they put the lid once and for all?? Strauss has done no good by revisiting the bygones!!!

Posted by mukesh_LOVE.cricket on (October 23, 2012, 17:43 GMT)

So KP is back , the guy is a class act and everyone knows how much england needs him ,especially given the fact that all their other players are clueless against spin (except may be trott) it would better if strauss would just keep quiet ,as a fan of good cricket i would love to see him in India

Posted by Nayel_19 on (October 23, 2012, 17:05 GMT)

Why can't they just let this topic go!!!!

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (October 23, 2012, 16:51 GMT)

AHHHHHH... so Mr. Strauss isn't so sure about KP's attitude YET ! Just the perfect ingredient to disrupt England's dressing room mood during such a tough tour to India. The Indians won't mind this. KP's presence + problems playing spin = plenty of problems for camp England. I think Strauss should learn a thing or two from Cook on how to 'accommodate' problematic 'star' players in a team setup. At the end of the day, everyone is playing for the name and money.

Posted by   on (October 23, 2012, 16:35 GMT)

Too much has been made out of because of what he said in an interview. this is absolutely rubbish.

Posted by TRAM on (October 23, 2012, 16:33 GMT)

A true well-wisher would talk positives and say 'we can solve this'. Saying 'if there is a problem, it could be a problem' is only negativity. Strauss seems he doesn't want the problem to go away.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (October 23, 2012, 16:31 GMT)

Short of stories to put up?? How does digging up a grave feel? This was borededom personified the first time. It should be left well alone.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (October 23, 2012, 16:29 GMT)

Bit of a misleading title - Pietersen and the boys have made up, and India is quaking in it's boots (which given the whitewashes and humiliations on the field inflicted on them by England in recent years, we can blame them?). Go score a double hundred Mr Pietersen.

Posted by CricIndia208 on (October 23, 2012, 16:26 GMT)

Great guy. Feel sorry for him, he retired early.

Posted by   on (October 23, 2012, 16:21 GMT)

strauss still being a sour doos! get over it, you are past, and KP is back

Posted by InnocentGuy on (October 23, 2012, 16:05 GMT)

Nice. Way to stoke the fire again Straussy. This might be the best thing you've done to English cricket yet.

Posted by   on (October 23, 2012, 16:05 GMT)

Struassy England needs KP at this juncture than they need you...

Posted by   on (October 23, 2012, 16:04 GMT)

" If everyone is happy in the dressing room they will play well." If its true, then why England lost the 3rd Test and knocked out from WT20 before semis after all they had a happy dressing room without Pieterson? Team unity comes from winning, if the team is winning the players are happy.

Posted by bobmartin on (October 23, 2012, 15:59 GMT)

When the Pietersen affair first reared it's ugly head it appeared that his "punishment/reconciliation" would take some time. However all that seems to have been forgotten in the obscene haste by the ECB to get him back for the tour of India. Pietersen has a track record of upsetting nearly every team he has played for. Therefore I'm not convinced that things are going to be as rosy as they appear on the surface. We don't know what was said in those texts, and I feel sure the ECB, although they deny it, must have some knowledge otherwise they were open to all sorts of lawsuits for taking the steps they did. The players must realise that too. All I can say is watch this space.

Posted by Rastus on (October 23, 2012, 15:55 GMT)

Keep quiet Straussie old chum, it just sounds like sour grapes.

Posted by Barkers on (October 23, 2012, 15:51 GMT)

They have said they are moving on & everyone knows there will be challlenges ahead with egos & cricket so why would he come out & talk about this? Why point out there is the team section & the media section, that they need unity & then give the media/public more to think about by chipping in with '' I honestly think it's a real problem '' ?? You just have to love English way of handling, reacting & reporting things. I remember a time when cricket was reported & commented on. Now all of the reports start with scandal, perceived problems or asking if something will become a problem rather than the task at hand. Less press & more cricket please!

Posted by jonesy.2 on (October 23, 2012, 15:44 GMT)

i thought he had retired hehe, i was hopping he would be missing against us in the uk and the return in oz. i hope its not like the last time he played in the ashes we just could not bowl to any of their batters.

Posted by Sinhaya on (October 23, 2012, 15:37 GMT)

Please let Kevin Pietersen in for god sake! England batting will be a bit fragile without KP.

Posted by zuber21886 on (October 23, 2012, 15:34 GMT)

andrew strauss has always been a problem to world cricket.

Posted by WheresTheEmpire on (October 23, 2012, 15:24 GMT)

Strauss is a good man and was a good captain whose efforts were badly undermined by the actions of some of his players. Some England supporters will close their eyes and just hope this Kevin saga magically disappears. However every time one of the protagonists is interviewed or whenever a series reaches a critical point the events of then past 3 months & questions regarding Kevin's mindset will, naturally, be raised. I would not be surprised if a TV miniseries is being planned. Matt Dillon would be a good double for the starring role but probably doesn't know a no-ball from a basketball. Sacha Baron Cohen can do both irony and accents and would be a better choice. What about "There's no 'I' in Kevin!" for a title?

Comments have now been closed for this article

TopTop
Email Feedback Print
Share
E-mail
Feedback
Print
Country Fixtures Country Results
1st Investec Test: England v India at Nottingham - Jul 9-13
India 457 England 352/9
Northants v Somerset at Northampton
Jul 12-15, 2014 (11:00 local | 10:00 GMT | 06:00 EDT | 05:00 CDT | 03:00 PDT)
South Division: Essex v Kent at Colchester
Jul 12, 2014 (14:30 local | 13:30 GMT | 09:30 EDT | 08:30 CDT | 06:30 PDT)
Durham v Warwickshire at Chester-le-Street
Jul 13-16, 2014 (11:00 local | 10:00 GMT | 06:00 EDT | 05:00 CDT | 03:00 PDT)
Essex v Hampshire at Colchester
Jul 13-16, 2014 (11:00 local | 10:00 GMT | 06:00 EDT | 05:00 CDT | 03:00 PDT)
Lancashire v Notts at Liverpool
Jul 13-16, 2014 (11:00 local | 10:00 GMT | 06:00 EDT | 05:00 CDT | 03:00 PDT)
Worcs v Leics at Worcester
Jul 13-16, 2014 (11:00 local | 10:00 GMT | 06:00 EDT | 05:00 CDT | 03:00 PDT)
North Division: Derbyshire v Yorkshire at Chesterfield
Jul 13, 2014 (14:30 local | 13:30 GMT | 09:30 EDT | 08:30 CDT | 06:30 PDT)
Complete fixtures » | Download Fixtures »
News | Features Last 3 days
News | Features Last 3 days