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Strauss reveals Pietersen troubles

ESPNcricinfo staff

September 28, 2013

Comments: 71 | Text size: A | A

Andrew Strauss walks off in his 100th Test having made 1, England v South Africa, 3rd Investec Test, Lord's, 4th day, August 19, 2012
What should have been a celebration of his 100th Test transpired to be a frustrating end to Andrew Strauss's career © Getty Images

Andrew Strauss has revealed for the first time how he feared his England team would be undermined by Kevin Pietersen's antipathy towards those running English cricket long before matters came to a head in a home series against South Africa in 2012.

The fallout from the ECB's refusal to sanction Pietersen's wish to retire from 50-over cricket, and also be free to play more IPL, was seen in a long-running furore centred upon a series of disenchanted text messages sent by Pietersen to South African players.

Strauss has now admitted that he suspected "treachery" as the affair so dominated the summer and ensured that what should have been a celebration of Strauss' 100th Test at Lord's instead became a frustrated climax to his career. He retired "tired and generally hacked off with life".

In his new autobiography, Driving Ambition, which is being serialised in the Daily Mail, Strauss tells of how he took Pietersen aside at a golf day ahead of the South Africa series to discuss his state of mind. "I had heard some troubling rumours he might be preparing to separate himself from English cricket after a further attempt to get the ECB to yield ground had failed," he writes.

"At a golf day a few days before the first Test, I took him to one side to ask what was going on. It was clear he was far from happy. I challenged him to think about his legacy and the goals he wanted to reach with the rest of his career. Unfortunately, we were interrupted and it is fair to say that I did not know at the time quite how close he was to the edge."

England suffered a heavy defeat in the opening Test and the Pietersen situation worsened in the week of the second Test at Headingley. "On the practice days, he seemed completely withdrawn, as though he was consciously distancing himself from the team, and on the first day of the game itself he seemed determined to let everyone in the ground know just how unhappy he was.

"As captain, I could not let it go and I called him into a back room to make it clear his behaviour was unacceptable. I was shocked by his lack of contrition and his apparent hostility towards me. It felt as though he was trying to goad me into a confrontation. It was almost as if he was trying to engineer an excuse to turn his back on the team."

Despite his issues, Pietersen played one of his finest Test innings at Headingley; 149 that helped England get a foothold in the series. But in his press conference that followed, he expressed his difficulties and suggested he was about to take some decisions that "would make me very happy".

"I was unsurprised to then hear Kevin had given a disturbing press conference following what was a thrilling drawn Test match. What greatly puzzled me, though, was his comment that, 'It's tough being me, playing for England', seemingly implying he was being treated badly by his team-mates in the dressing room. For me, he had crossed the line. He seemed to be at best destabilising and at worst undermining our carefully cultivated team environment."

Strauss describes the draining effect Pietersen's behaviour had on his captaincy. "I feel incredibly tired, as though I have simply run out of energy - I have nothing more to give," he said. "I am also wallowing in a rising tide of sadness. This is not the way I wanted my England career to end."

Pietersen was dropped for the final Test at Lord's but the issue marred Strauss's 100th Test. He retired following the defeat and admitted his "unbelievable frustration" at the manner in which his carer ended.

"This is the last time I will make this walk as an England cricketer, although I am far too frustrated, tired and generally hacked off with life for it to be a rousing emotional affair," he writes. "I find my space in the far corner of the room, near the television set, and sit down. I pack my helmet in my kitbag and then bury my head in my hands. For 10 minutes I sit, unable to move."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by ArthursAshes on (September 30, 2013, 13:55 GMT)

Shame that Strauss has chosen to dig this up again so soon after his retirement. First, he will have been paid well for his autobiography, probably knew that the KP saga would be a big selling point especially as it is still fresh in the memory. Second, the Daily Mail will have paid him to serialise it and probably only did so because they wanted the KP story. Third, Strauss obviously waited until the Ashes were over before bringing it all up again. This suggests he had one eye on his potential future ECB employment and didn't want to upset anyone by selling something to the press while the series was still ongoing. That would have undermined a carefully cultivated team culture in Cooke's team I suppose. It all suggests a slightly Machiavellian planned approach at not wanting to upset his chances with the ECB, while making some money from his side of the story.

Interesting, but if Pietersen behaved as above, he'd be hung out to dry.

Posted by   on (September 30, 2013, 10:35 GMT)

Strauss is an exceptional man, he never did anything untoward as a cricketer. Absolute professional. He commands respect. A true gentleman, I hope he has some role for the ECB.

Posted by Deuce03 on (September 30, 2013, 8:31 GMT)

Strauss was a fine player and an excellent captain; I don't understand the anger towards him in these comments. Not that his record compared to KP's is really all that relevant here, but it's worth noting that when England were doing the captaincy hokey-cokey in 2008-9 they had very similar batting averages and Strauss a higher number of runs. He was a spectacular batsman in his early career, too.

Strauss may not be blameless in the issue but he was largely a victim caught in the crossfire between bureaucracy and ego, in the most challenging series of his captaincy no less. That a player and captain of his calibre and experience was hounded into retirement over this issue was and remains disgraceful, and he is absolutely entitled to have his say. He's handled the whole thing with dignity and in this passage doesn't really tell us anything that we didn't already know. In any case it's surely better to have the facts than relying on rumour and innuendo.

Posted by Charlie101 on (September 30, 2013, 7:42 GMT)

I do not think it is a shame that Strauss retired so early and whilst Alastair Cook has done a fantstic job I would have liked to have Strauss captaining the side certainly for this summer . I do not think that this affects team moral or any of Strauss's ambititions for the ECB job as the players and the management all know exactly what happened and the language in the book seems very measured. The explosive book will be KP's when he decides to write one !!! I hope the SA player who leaked the texts will be named but I guess we will know the name and the content of those texts about 1 week before the 1st test of the South African series next winter !!!

Posted by   on (September 30, 2013, 6:51 GMT)

In hindsight as a proud South African, I am happy he chose to represent England in international cricket.

Posted by OneEyedAussie on (September 30, 2013, 6:19 GMT)

@ jmcilhinney on (September 30, 2013, 5:22 GMT) : if what you describe is accurate then the end result was ironic indeed. Egalitarianism to preserve team harmony? Didn't work out so well.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (September 30, 2013, 5:22 GMT)

@OneEyedAussie on (September 30, 2013, 2:49 GMT), those are too different issues or, rather one issue and one non-issue. KP WAS allowed to pursue his IPL career providing that it did not interfere with his Test match duties. That's exactly what did happen. The first Test of the England summer was always too early for KP to be able to see out the IPL season and still be properly prepared to play that game. As for not being allowed to retire from 50-over cricket, the reason is quite plain. It was in the central contract that KP signed that if you wanted to be available for one form of limited-overs cricket then you had to be available for both. If the ECB were to waive that for KP then they couldn't refuse to do so for other players too. If they did that then they would run the risk of having players available for Test cricket for the prestige, T20 for the money and refusing to play 50-over cricket at all, thus basically killing off the format.

Posted by Rally_Windies on (September 30, 2013, 3:40 GMT)

well andrew...

i suppose it was Kevin who made fun of Kevin on twitter ...

and it was kevin who leaked the text messages to SA players to the ECB .....

yup that was all kevin ....

Needless to say, it seems Andrew was completely unaware of the animosity of "certain" players who constantly bullied and made fun of kevin ....

I guess the he had to be unaware, cuz he has totally refused to mention it .....

Posted by simon_w on (September 30, 2013, 2:54 GMT)

@Nicholas Horne -- huh? utterly baffled as to what in this article indicates a lack of grace or dignity on Strauss' part. Nothing here speaks to that one way or the other...

Posted by OneEyedAussie on (September 30, 2013, 2:49 GMT)

From an outsider's perspective, I still find it very difficult to understand why KP was not allowed to retire from ODI cricket and pursue his IPL career (providing that it did not interfere with his test match duties). Also fascinating is that Strauss appears to report only one attempt on his behalf to deal with KP's malcontent - although perhaps there will be more detail in the book. The insistence from some quarters that KP ended Strauss' career is beguiling - I would say that England massively overhyped themselves and then were subsequently humiliated by SA was the true culprit.

Posted by   on (September 30, 2013, 0:22 GMT)

This needed to be said. For far to long people have been too precious about telling the truth about what kind of a personality Kevin Pietersen is to play alongside, and captain. The whole affair involving texts to the South Africans, his refusal to play 50 over cricket and his portrayal of himself as somehow special in contrast to the rest of team strongly intimated that he was the childish, self centred egotist we all suspected. Strauss's comments merely confirmed all of that. Furthermore, to have the best England captain of the modern era laid so low psychologically by Pietersen just shows what sort of person Pietersen really is.

Posted by ashlatchem on (September 30, 2013, 0:01 GMT)

carefully cultivated team environment.... That should go down wonders now once you get the ECB job Straussy old boy. It's disappointing that Strauss has let KP get under his skin so much that he can't let this go. I mean I know it's his retirement & the last time ever blah blah blah but Strauss always seemed a high road guy to me - a proper one too think Dravid or Amla can't see them acting this way... & to everyone who says this is what happens when ppl retire who have Dravid or Laxman slagged off now that they r gone? It's safe to say they probs would've had a few issues with ppl but don't think we will hear it. You want to know what I think? - At the end of the day they both get/got paid obscene amount's of money to chase a ball round a field so whichever 1 u support u should certainly salute the other and who really knows what happened? I'm still trying to work out how the hell they fooled us into paying them to play cricket....

Posted by willsrustynuts on (September 29, 2013, 20:41 GMT)

Too soon Andrew. Talking about current players like this is out of order.

Definitely not looking for that job with the England team then?

Well done on erasing all that great work as captain in one swift swoop.

Posted by Baundele on (September 29, 2013, 20:04 GMT)

KP is a relatively softer target. I wonder what Strauss wrote about the team management.

Posted by   on (September 29, 2013, 20:03 GMT)

Based on memory, i was in the UK at the time of this series, KP wanted quit 50 over cricket and keep playing t20 cricket for England as well as llay full IPL season. This was not acceptable to ECBor his test captain that KP was misusing his player power and creating disharmony, KP arrogantly tried to prove himself undroppable with that ton, yet for the greater good they risked an important player and dropped him. I think it was a wise choice, the team is more important than one players abuse of their position power in the team.

Posted by Deuce03 on (September 29, 2013, 12:55 GMT)

Strauss was a fine player and a fine, arguably even a great, captain; had the ECB shown him more faith in 2007-8 and if he hadn't taken on the captaincy his legacy as a player probably wouldn't be in doubt, but he was always a team player. Whether he had as much star quality as KP is largely irrelevant. That he was hounded into retirement for losing in the most challenging series of his captaincy was bad enough; that this happened against a backdrop of being publicly undermined by his star player (one with a history of disagreement with the board) was appalling. He's entitled to have his say and he appears to have done so fairly; moreover I don't think he ever handled the affair with anything but dignity.

Criticising him - the innocent party caught in a crossfire - for putting his side of the story a year after it happened, is a bit off.

Posted by Westmorlandia on (September 29, 2013, 12:13 GMT)

KP was pretty out of line in the whole affair. He's an England player and the team's success had been based on everyone focusing on the team. He wasn't. The whole "tough being me" thing just shows what a sensitive soul he is, but he should have just grown some backbone.

All the anti-Strauss comments here are ridiculous. The only thing he's arguably done wrong at any point is go public before KP retired, but I don't actually think that will affect the England team all that much because they all know exactly what happened anyway and have got over it! Strauss needed to tell the story if he was going to do a book (and why shouldn't he do a book?).

The fact is KP is a better player than Strauss was is completely irrelevant to absolutely everything.

Posted by Ms.Cricket on (September 29, 2013, 11:43 GMT)

Strauss is entitled to his opinion but that does not mean he is right.

Posted by AlexfromPessac on (September 29, 2013, 10:49 GMT)

A lot of cricket autobiographies criticise team mates harshly. Atherton and Gooch are diplomatic in their books but do criticize certain players and officials. Boycott is pretty harsh on many (!!). If you want savage read Botham's comments on Peter Roebuck, real character assassination. I think Strauss is doing what most ex players do, and he DID wait until after retirement to do it, which I think is an absolute must.

Posted by 200ondebut on (September 29, 2013, 10:25 GMT)

This just goes to underline my view that the whole affair was due to the mis-management by the ECB hierarchy of KP. The reason why they didn't want KP to play in the IPL was not cricket based - but based on the ongoing spat between Giles Clarke and Lalit Modi. Clarke didn't want their star player supporting the IPL.

When he walked onto the pitch KP was able to put these issue behind him and perform spectacularly. Strauss clearly wasn't able to do the same.

Posted by Front-Foot-Sponge on (September 29, 2013, 10:01 GMT)

I'm surprised at the anti-Strauss comments, he is one of the main reasons England reached number one (as well as every other side being fairly weak at the time). But now things are levelling out. Once England get their hiding in Australia in the near future, the norm will be restored and you can't blame Strauss.

Posted by   on (September 29, 2013, 9:27 GMT)

So many on here seem to be trying to have a say on Strauss not being a 'Great ' player. What on earth has that to do with what Strauss has said on the Pietersen issue. KP should have kept quiet about any problem he had with anyone in the team at any time. Any opposition would find this a great spur to see the team they are to play, having an internal spat and at each others throats. Strauss as England captain has only so much power and cannot have done as much as he would have liked and it is impossible to shut someone like KP up as he will always be his own man doing what he liked including telling the opposition , things about his captain. The word 'pathetic' does not spring to mind when writing about Strauss as he captained a seemingly happy side with so many strong and stroppy personalities. History will show Strauss in a good light despite some of the ridiculous comments posted here.

Posted by   on (September 29, 2013, 9:26 GMT)

For a man aspiring to the top job in English cricket, Strauss displays surprising self-centredness in dredging up a topic that can't possibly benefit the current England team. How does attacking the team's best batsman possibly help morale or team spirit? Maybe he's just frustrated that the spotlight is not on him anymore. But whatever the reason, this can only harm relations within the England camp. These mundane "revelations" should have waited until Pietersen retired.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (September 29, 2013, 8:01 GMT)

@ Posted by DaisonGarvasis on (September 29, 2013, 6:58 GMT: the stats may not lie if you are considering a comparison based exclusively on batting capabilities. As you must acknowledge, cricket is not as simple as that (hence its fascination). It just so happens that Strauss was captain & no assessment of his worth can ignore that overwhelming contribution to the success of the side in his charge. And what's more, there is, I think, a premium on the contribution that is made by opening batsmen; many would argue that it is the most high profile place to bat as getting off to a good start (or not) so often sets a tone for the innings. What #3,#4, #5 & the rest achieve is always against the backdrop of the success (or otherwise) achieved by the openers. In short, Strauss' influence on the side was immense & not susceptible to pure stats.

Posted by   on (September 29, 2013, 7:38 GMT)

Think its a one-sided version. Of course Pietersen did cross the line, but the captain, the coach and the administrators couldn't manage the backdrop events well and that eventually led to KP going off the path, Strauss too is responsible in leading events to the way they did. Interested to know how he and the coach handled Swann's attack on Pietersen....

Posted by DaisonGarvasis on (September 29, 2013, 6:58 GMT)

Does anybody now not believe what KP said "its hard being KP, playing for England"? Strauss HAD to write this piece and rub it in. We all know what is Strauss stature and what is KP stature in world cricket - a good player and a great player! In their case even the stats dont lie!!!

Posted by Nutcutlet on (September 29, 2013, 6:47 GMT)

Strauss, the captain of England, generally had the respect of the cricketing world. Sound judges (there are one or two who aren't sound judges who make that clear herebaouts) recognised the fundamental decency of the man & his contribution to England's Test match success. They also acknowledged that his relationship with Andy Flower was a double act made in cricketing heaven; they sang in close & mellifluous harmony. Then, as in all the best melodramas, came the man in the black cape & the wkd body art. He had his own sinister music & it wasn't consistent with the team's tunes. He identified with the enemy camp, who spoke & thought a bit like him & with whom he shared a mistrust of the English gentleman. Now, the dust apparently settled (& whether KP realised it or not) he's actually has provided his erstwhile capt with the chapter of Drving Ambition that will engage readers far more than any other & ensure good sales. Hey ho! Strauss MD of the ECB? Nah. Not while KP's still around.

Posted by   on (September 29, 2013, 4:49 GMT)

Strauss- The politician.

Posted by   on (September 29, 2013, 4:27 GMT)

I think this issue has been dragged too much. In my opinion KP crossed the line and was punished. How it was handled is a different matter and now it is history. I have always felt sorry for Strauss as I thought he was gentle.

Posted by hengispod12 on (September 29, 2013, 3:38 GMT)

Kevin Pietersen can be an absolutely thrilling batsman, when he wants to be. The ODI's v Australia. He wasn't up for and failed in every game. His recent Test hundreds? Superb. Near genius. His character? As Strauss intimates, usually selfish

Posted by r1m2 on (September 29, 2013, 3:21 GMT)

Strauss should definitely feel pathetic, Pietersen is the only English batsman who can take England to victory. If England is going to win, it was, is and will be because of Pietersen for as long as he's around.

Posted by   on (September 29, 2013, 1:34 GMT)

These ex-cricketers will do a great service to the game if they talk only about the cricketing achievements, successful strategies, failed plots, lessons learnt and the pride of playing for the country in their autobiography instead of detailing about the controversies and commenting about their team mates. All this talk of unity and team environment are all tosh if you throw mud on your mates and bring the dressing room happenings to print to make money. This is similar to Graeme Swan commenting about Pieterson in his book and Stuart Broad taking Twitter to criticise. Shameless fellows!

Posted by vj3478 on (September 29, 2013, 0:33 GMT)

'It's tough being me, playing for England- Pietersen has every right to say this and it's true as a player he can choose the format he wish to play and he was referring to double standards by ECB

Posted by CricFan78 on (September 28, 2013, 23:50 GMT)

Despite KP's faults it is quite clear that Strauss and Flower failed as leaders too in this episode and no one including ECB came out clean.

Posted by sportofpain on (September 28, 2013, 23:38 GMT)

KP is a genius and needs to be handled well. Strauss was a good cricketer but nowhere near KP. So must have been hard to deal with someone like KP. But as someone else said Cook seems to be handling him well and KP delivers and seems to be happy. Keep in mind the India series win would not have happened were it not for KP's brilliance. Don't put handcuffs on him. Let him flourish - he only has 2-3 yrs left in any case so we all want to see him shine.

Posted by   on (September 28, 2013, 22:35 GMT)

I've always held Straussy in high regard as a leader of men, and his 21 tons for England were higher than most. Good player, maybe not great, but he's always seemed like a genuinely nice man with never a bad word to say about anyone. And he, like anyone, is entitled to write a book about his life. There's nothing "new" here but so what?

Posted by shillingsworth on (September 28, 2013, 20:35 GMT)

Despite the lurid headline, Strauss hasn't actually revealed anything of note which wasn't already in the public domain. Those who claim to know exactly what was going on and who was at fault are no better informed than before. It was a dispute which escalated, probably from small beginnings. The fact that it did so reflects badly on all parties concerned. Taking sides in a dispute which was resolved months ago and where your information comes solely from media reports seems pointless.

@naamprik - You seem to embody those who are quick to rush to judgement on the basis of very little. Your comments on England are bizarre. The UK has a long history of immigration and emigration. Where you happen to have been born has accordingly become less and less relevant. Pietersen has UK nationality and is as entitled as any 'young English lad' (as you so quaintly put it) to represent England. He follows in a long line of England cricketers born outside the UK.

Posted by   on (September 28, 2013, 19:58 GMT)

KP is a matchwinner, a modern great and unsurprisingly, a player whose ego needs a better handling. Once upon a time Botham was a similar character, and instead of asking him headmasterly questions, Brearley simply stoked his ego. Similarly, Australia always knew better than to give Warne captaincy, even if a touch unfairly. Even though Waugh had bitter disagreements, he didn't write 'books' or ask his cronies to tweet against Warne. Pietersen will never be an ideal team-man, but England's inability to accept him completely is partly culpable there. Strauss was a fine captain and a pretty decent bat for England - but let's leave it at that!

Posted by ARad on (September 28, 2013, 19:06 GMT)

I don't know about you but if I were accosted based on "some troubling rumours" and then was lectured or "challenged to think about my legacy and goals" (without allowing a full discussion because there was interruption), I won't be too cuddly afterwards. Whether I was cuddly or not, further assumptions about whether I "SEEMED completely withdrawn, as though [I] was consciously distancing himself from the team" and "SEEMED determined to let everyone in the ground know just how unhappy I was" may reveal as much about me as well as the person who makes these judgements. Then, if I say that "'It's tough being me, playing for England', seemingly implying I was being treated badly by his team-mates in the dressing room," it may come from my paranoia that has derived from your paranoia. Has Strauss ever heard about self-fulfilling prophecy? Anyway, we should all applaud this contribution from Strauss to England's Ashes preparation this winter. It will sell a few more copies of his book too.

Posted by   on (September 28, 2013, 19:01 GMT)

Andrew Strauss remains one of my favourite English players and was definitely my favourite England Captain. I never held Strauss in any doubt at any time during the Pietersen saga, but I still wish he had refrained from publishing his opinion in his book.

Posted by cnksnk on (September 28, 2013, 18:55 GMT)

"Undermining a carefully cultivated team culture". Strange sentence. A team culture evolves over a period and is made up of what each player brings to the tea . Seeems Strauss and some of his coterie like Broad and anderson were itching for a fight. KP is a genius and such people are usually handled slightly differently. Strauss should have kept in mind that the ECB handled KP's captaincy in very poor fashion. Cook seems to doing ok. Clearly a large part of the blame for the sorry state of affairs lies outside Stauss'S door as a not so great man manager.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (September 28, 2013, 18:03 GMT)

No new news here: We all knew about Strauss's stand off with the egocentric KP long ago. Question is, how come he's now stabilized in a unified team and continues to be a batting legend? With but a few minor adjustments, by continuing to be Kevin Pietersen has been th secret of Pietersen's endurance as a test great.

Posted by TestsareBest on (September 28, 2013, 17:45 GMT)

It's telling that Straussy realises that KP is box office and will even help him sell his book. Strauss was a great leader and top batsman and this is a little disappointing. But he lives in the real world and the publishers will want a return on their advance.

Posted by   on (September 28, 2013, 17:42 GMT)

@arnav.c: A fair question and I certainly wasn't expecting Strauss to retire from domestic cricket as well as international cricket, but he correctly determined that he was no longer secure enough against the very best bowlers, and so he thought that opening up the batting slot to a promising youngster and giving them a chance of building a long career would be the best thing for England's point of view. His record as an opening batsman (7037 runs at 41) speaks for itself and he had a distinguished career, but his technique and eye were steadily declining. He couldn't quite bring his bat down quickly enough to the fastest bowlers any more - Morkel in particular hurried his technique noticeably.

As an aside though, let's have a look at his averages: vs Australia - 1421 @ 39. vs India - 929 @ 44. vs NZ - 813 @ 50. vs Pakistan - 793 @ 34. vs SA - 1113 @ 38. vs WI - 1408 @ 48. Only against SL did he have a "poor" record.

Posted by   on (September 28, 2013, 17:26 GMT)

Its clear that the publishers wanted to sell using a good controversy, its a pity that Strauss agreed to this tactic. The focal point would be on his issues with KP rather than his own career.

Posted by liz1558 on (September 28, 2013, 17:25 GMT)

@ravishashtrisucks - didnt Ian Bell out-bat everyone in the last series, including KP?

Posted by arnav.c on (September 28, 2013, 17:12 GMT)

As an Indian, I always wondered why Strauss had to retire after the pietersen saga...?? If he was in the right and as the leader of team, why did he retire after the Lords test..??? Pietersen was disciplined and dropped..that could be understood....but what happened to Strauss that he had to retire???? An intriguing story I must say !! Somebody please do explain...

Posted by naamprik on (September 28, 2013, 17:06 GMT)

I always thought that Andrew Strauss was a man of principle, and this article has confirmed this view. But it is absolutely amazing to read the response of some England supporters, who seem to regard Strauss as the villain in this saga. Sky did a really good backgrounder on Pietersen at the time, which showed that his behavior during this period was consistent with his earlier behaviour at the county level, and back in South Africa. He really does have some history in complaining about managers and captains. KP has shown repeatedly that he only thinks of himself. While there is no doubt he is a brilliant and exciting batsman to watch, there is equally no doubt that he is the consummate mercenary. It is difficult for those who are not English, to understand how they can be happy to have all the foreign-born players in the team at the expense of the young English lads. And particularly so, when when it is someone as self-centered as KP.

Posted by husseybukhari on (September 28, 2013, 16:16 GMT)

With all due respect to Andrew Strauss. He has been a wonderful player, an even wonderful leader and team man. It is quiet tough to read what he was going through while dealing the pietersen saga. But listening to him on commentary and post match anlysis's he almost never mentioned about this whenever he was asked about this. His autobiography could always have done without this, without mentioning the day at the golf course. A career that has been marked by ashes victories and debut hundreds, in my opinion dont need these things. This is perhaps a marketing technique by his publishers to rally interest in the book so they could make money. And whats interesting without a few revelations these days? :)

Posted by milepost on (September 28, 2013, 16:07 GMT)

I'm an Aussie too and I don't know one who wouldn't tip their hat to Straussy. We don't know these guys, we can only form an impression from afar but he was class on and off the field. Pietersen has always had that air that he was hacked off at SA for not loving him. Skilled player and I agree with @batsmanwhobowls, you want to see good cricket especially if you are on the receiving end (@FFL, you wouldn't understand) but he's a South African playing for England or at the very least a team player only playing for himself. In saying that and politics aside if you are paying £95 a ticket you want KP batting, simple. Let England worry about his commitment.

Posted by   on (September 28, 2013, 15:59 GMT)

Lest we forget despite all the issues that were happening at the time, Strauss was out of form. It was just a matter of time.

Posted by venkatesh018 on (September 28, 2013, 15:41 GMT)

Looks like a pretty riveting read.

Posted by Trickstar on (September 28, 2013, 15:39 GMT)

I think this speaks more about Strauss' leadership skills than it does about anything else tbh. Of course the usual suspects will be here to tell us KP is the devil etc but lets be honest this alll saga , as Flower as aid himself should and could have been avoided with better management. Strauss though seems to want to not let this go. I must have read about 3 or 4 articles he wrote about KP this past year, it seems it's his only subject to write about and seems content to go over old ground. Great timing as ell just before they set off on another Ashes tour.

Posted by KingOwl on (September 28, 2013, 15:28 GMT)

Strauss was a good man. It's a shame it had to end like that. People who run English cricket are totally responsible for that.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (September 28, 2013, 15:08 GMT)

Yawn!! why not leave well alone?it was a storm in a teacup then and now it ain't even that. Shame on anyone wanting to resurrecting this utter rubbish again!! Our team was almost brought to its knees last year by this and it was not KP doing it. All it did was bring a load of nationalists out of the woodwork, and people who had just learnt the joys of spelling and their facile little comments over the word team.Lets get on with Montygate and leave this saddest of sad episodes firmly in the past.There is only one KP and like Viv there won't be another one along for a while.

Posted by salazar555 on (September 28, 2013, 14:45 GMT)

No one player is bigger than the team, not even Pietersen. What surprised Pietersen is people in England actually agreed that if he was causing problems then he should not be in the team.

Posted by   on (September 28, 2013, 14:07 GMT)

Oh dear. Seeing Andrew Strauss briefly at Lords this summer I congratulated him on the graceful and dignified way he'd handled his captaincy and his exit; but, unless these extracts misrepresent his views, my opinion changes. It's a shame but, whilst Pietersen remains an England player -- for many years, I hope -- Strauss disqualifies himself from any position of authority within the ECB.

Posted by   on (September 28, 2013, 13:55 GMT)

"Carefully cultivated team environment".

What a nauseous concept.

Posted by ravishastrisucks on (September 28, 2013, 13:44 GMT)

Problem with england team is that that they can't drop Kevin Pietersen because he is the only aggressive batsman in current england team.he is the only batsman who can take on opposition bowlers in this team.if you take Kevin Pietersen out of england team then england run rate goes nowhere.

Posted by   on (September 28, 2013, 13:21 GMT)

love you Straussy & all you have done for English cricket a true leader when we needed one

Posted by AKS286 on (September 28, 2013, 13:19 GMT)

I don't want to remember those days but again after one year by reading this column i recall my memories and again I want to mention this ECB is superior to any player. Cleverly KP retired just before ODI series against Oz, he thinks ENGLAND depends upon him & imagines that Oz will thrash Poms but deep thanks to Morgan on that series.

Posted by landl47 on (September 28, 2013, 13:16 GMT)

Not the best timing for the release of this material. Obviously, this is an excerpt and the tone of the book generally might not be as negative. However, it's not likely to send Pietersen into the imminent Ashes series in a better frame of mind.

I've made no secret of the fact that I viewed Pietersen's behavior last year as selfish and unacceptable. Nevertheless, it's good that the rift was healed by some hard work from Cook, Prior and others. It didn't need to be opened again at this juncture.

Not a great addition to Strauss' legacy.

Posted by BatsmanWhoBowls on (September 28, 2013, 13:10 GMT)

As an Australian, I really hope Pietersen hangs around. Mostly because of the old anecdote; "it doesn't matter how my team scores their runs, but if I have to watch the other team score runs, it may as well be nice to watch." By which I mean I'd rather watch a Pietersen century than a Cook century, as I'm sure the English fans would rather watch someone fluent .

Posted by Trickstar on (September 28, 2013, 13:09 GMT)

Lets be honest if I was Pietersen, I'd have complete antipathy towards those running the ECB. How many times have confidential and private meetings and contract talks have the the ECB leaked to the media over the years, I've lost count.

Posted by Optic on (September 28, 2013, 12:50 GMT)

@OhhhhhMattyMatty So there we have what exactly. There isn't anything here that we didn't know before and nothing that he should ever be dropped for, just Strauss trying to sell his book. Said it at the time and I'll say it again, still can't believe what a mountain they made out out of this mole hill. Players falling out and being unhappy, Strauss should have been in the England dressing room in the 70's & 80's this wouldn't have even been news.

Posted by vatsap on (September 28, 2013, 12:38 GMT)

Well done Straussy ... like the English captains before you who wash their linen in public, this is excellent. A matter that was done and dusted has to be forked out. Good luck to England's Ashes and I guess lot of book sales. What ever happened to the old saying of what happens in the dressing room stays there.

Posted by MarkTaffin on (September 28, 2013, 12:29 GMT)

I hope there's something missing from the narrative here - because if Strauss's only efforts to confront the Pietersen situation before the first SA Test, to prevent it blowing up, involved a brief interrupted chat during a golf day, it seems are rather half-heated effort, and doesn't remotely reflect well on Strauss's leadership and ability to confront the mess that Pieteersen was bringing about

Posted by OhhhhhMattyMatty on (September 28, 2013, 12:10 GMT)

So there we have it. Replace him with Gary Ballance! Bat Woakes at 6 and Ballance at 5!

Posted by Optic on (September 28, 2013, 12:04 GMT)

I know this is a extract from his book but it seems nowadays Strauss has nothing else to talk about except KP. I used to quite like Strauss but he's making me rethink that. All he ever seems to write about in news articles is this subject, move on Strauss, everyone else as. When you think of all the bad things sportsmen can do, like take drugs, cheating etc etc it makes all this rather unimportant. Ateotd both sides were at fault in the saga, as Flower has openly admitted and it should have been nipped in the bud long before it ever got to the stage it did. As for using the word 'Treachery', what a drama queen.

Posted by Patdabac on (September 28, 2013, 11:57 GMT)

I don't like Pietersen . But without Pietersen, the England team is lost. Not just in Test matches but also in T20's and ODI's. That was the main reason he was allowed back into the England squad.

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