England news

KP questions deserve answers

The abrupt discarding of England's highest international run-scorer appears to have been the result of catastrophic mismanagement. The ECB owes us all an explanation

George Dobell

February 5, 2014

Comments: 284 | Text size: A | A
'The ECB has to be more accountable'

It is no coincidence that Kevin Pietersen's international career has run concurrent with England's greatest period of success for at least 50 years.

When England won their first Ashes series in almost two decades, Pietersen's century sealed the triumph. When England won their first global limited-overs trophy, Pietersen was Man of the Tournament. When England went to No. 1 in the Test rankings with a 4-0 defeat over India, Pietersen led the way with a batting average of 106.60. And when England came from behind to win in India, Pietersen played the series-turning innings in Mumbai. He has been at the forefront of almost every success England have enjoyed in the last decade.

Even amid the rubble of the recent thrashing in Australia, Pietersen led the way. On the pitch, he was England's leading run-scorer; off it, he could be seen helping other players in the nets.

James Anderson and Stuart Broad both adopted Pietersen's batting stance having worked with him, while Pietersen was also conspicuous in his encouragement of young players such as Gary Ballance and Ben Stokes. There is no suggestion that he stinted in his fitness or technical preparation. He looked, most of the time, like the model senior professional.

Kevin Pietersen and James Anderson chat during practice, Perth, October 28, 2013
Kevin Pietersen offered advice to James Anderson, among others, on England's tour of Australia © Getty Images

So what has changed? What has changed since Ashley Giles, one of those who supposedly gave his support to the decision to cut Pietersen adrift, rated him a "million-dollar asset" on January 15; since Andy Flower praised his "determination" and labelled him a "great player" on December 10; or since Graeme Swann rated his attitude as "great" on January 27. Indeed, as recently as Christmas Day, Alastair Cook said Pietersen "has a huge part to play in the future" and praised the "excellent" way his squad had "stuck together in the dressing room".

Whispers suggest there were a couple of incidents, including a heated row with Cook in Sydney, in the last days of the tour. But, if Pietersen was so disruptive, why was he not disciplined at the time? If Cook and Pietersen had such a fierce row are they not both responsible and is Cook really the man to make a dispassionate decision? If, in a team meeting, Pietersen was asked for his views at the end of a chastening series, can he be penalised for stating them? And why is the ECB unable to tell us the reason for this drastic course of action?

The manner of the announcement - with Pietersen appearing to go quietly - suggests a deal has been done. But it is not just Pietersen who must be placated here.

England supporters deserve answers. It is unacceptably arrogant to dismiss their legitimate interest with an evasive media statement. It is unacceptable to discard England's highest international run-scorer without explaining exactly why the management believe the team will be stronger without him. It is absurd to claim that, with two global events in the next 12 months and one within weeks, that this is the time to start a long-term rebuilding operation. And it is disingenuous to claim, via off-the-record briefings, that all the senior players were canvassed and gave negative views on Pietersen. Several, at least, claim to be as confused by this episode as Pietersen seems to be. The ECB has to be more transparent and accountable.

The finality of this announcement will also hinder the next team director. Any credible applicant for that job will want to assemble their own team, appoint their own captain and make their own judgements on players. Yet the ECB has decided, without justifying its decision, to commit to a captain who, despite his many positive qualities, has only once averaged even 28 in five series against Australia, and a team without the man who might well be rated, upon reflection, as England's best batsman in half a century.

England's new management team may feel that this is a strong decision. But truly strong leaders accept alternatives, diversity and imperfection. Strong leaders are flexible and embrace difference. Strong leaders understand that genius very often comes at a cost, but a cost that is worth paying.

By allowing the situation to reach this conclusion and in taking such a drastic decision, this is a catastrophic failure of management. England are not embracing change, they are embracing mediocrity

If you can't manage, you shouldn't be in management. By allowing the situation to reach this conclusion and in taking such a drastic decision, this is a catastrophic failure of management. England are not embracing change, they are embracing mediocrity.

It is also a mistake to think this matter is closed. Until the ECB explains exactly how this happened, the questions will remain. Furthermore, England now face the potential prospect of finding new players to bat at No. 2 No. 3 and No. 4 in their Test team and will know that, every time they fail or Pietersen flourishes in whichever domestic league he finds himself at that time, the same questions will be asked: why not pick him? Cook has taken on a burden that will become wearisome very soon.

Pietersen is not perfect. He can seem brash, he can seem arrogant, he can seem self-interested and the manner of his dismissals can be infuriating. But if you accept a player who can hit good bowlers out of the attack - it was his assault against a ferociously quick Shaun Tait that won England the final of the World Twenty20 in 2010, to name one of dozens of examples - then you accept that he will, at times, fall to catches at long-on or long leg. If you ask your players to play fearless cricket but then hammer them for failing, you will create the culture of fear and inhibition that choked England throughout their tour of Australia.

There are parallels here with the end of David Gower's international career. Just as England's last genius batsman was pushed into early retirement by the Gradgrinds of the world, so Pietersen is being pushed away by those who should feel gratitude for his contribution. Had county cricket not lured Pietersen to the UK, the careers of Giles Clarke, Andrew Strauss, Andy Flower and Cook would all be much altered.

England cricket is the poorer for the absence of players such as Gower and Pietersen. It will be less colourful, less entertaining and less competitive. But in England the greater sin is to be seen to give your wicket away with a loose stroke rather than leaving a straight delivery and allowing it to hit your stumps. Failure is accepted so long as it is not accompanied by flair. Genius is doubted and distrusted and, in England, you are forgiven for turning your back and going on a rebel tour - Gooch, Gatting, Graveney et al - but not for rocking the boat. In England, success has been a brief interlude in a general drama of failure.

This England environment, in recent times, has a record of ruining players. A confused Steven Finn has regressed, an over-used Swann has retired, an exhausted Jonathan Trott has taken time out and the loss of form of the likes of Cook and Joe Root suggests that the schedule is part of an unsustainable business plan that risks ruining the greatest assets of all: the players.

It is increasingly hard to avoid the conclusion that it is the institution at fault, not the individuals. Change may well be required, but it is right at the top that it should start.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by VillageBlacksmith on (February 8, 2014, 3:37 GMT)

@mahjut… cdnt agree more… no case to answer, kp is a declining player in a team, if that player cannot assume a team mentality then he should go, for the benefit of the team… he has had a cpl of extra yrs and shd be grateful, kp should never have been welcomed back after 'textgate'… something eng cricket fans will remember and most are glad that kp has finally gone, other cricket fans who whinge about missing him can tune in to the IPL …

Posted by   on (February 7, 2014, 12:42 GMT)

Brilliant article, nothing to add. Spot on.

Posted by Mutukisna on (February 7, 2014, 11:53 GMT)

Sorry, I meant domestic T20s with International cricketers i.e. IPL. BBL, CPL etc. not International T20s.

Posted by Mutukisna on (February 7, 2014, 11:08 GMT)

@Lawson Dauer - Sorry, this is not a case of dropping, resting or ignoring a player. This is not even a voluntary redundancy in employment terms. In employment terms, it is a compulsory redundancy. Actually, it is a forced retirement of the best English cricketer in modern times,(Unprecedented, Unheard of, and so on!) who has a cricketing life of at least another couple of years, which will manifest itself if his services are discontinued and he plays in the International T20s. The English Cricketing public are entitled to an explanation by the ECB. Even Prime Minister Cameron has commented on this. We should all call for his reinstatement if at all possible. Would a prospective candidate like Tom Moody or Gary Kirsten be happy to take on the job of England Manager of a team without KP? If Ashley Giles is appointed he should take it only on condition that KP is reinstated.

Posted by T20Fun on (February 7, 2014, 7:07 GMT)

Cricket fans are starting to feel like Formula 1 fans. In the sense that while the spectacle is(hopefully) played out for them the sport feels no need to address their questions. Finally the economics talk and while having a full stadium is a great thing for TV we the fans/spectators are not as important from a financial viewpoint so the administrators feel no need to answer our questions or even given an explanation for their actions.

Posted by heathrf1974 on (February 7, 2014, 5:28 GMT)

I like the comparison with Gower. He was made the scapegoat for 1989 and it seems KP is the one for 2014. Some things never change.

Posted by 45runs on (February 6, 2014, 23:32 GMT)

I wonder: how would Ian Botham have fared in Team England 2014?

Well written as always, George. I'm a diehard Australian fan and I can tell you that, without doubt, the wicket we wanted the most whenever playing England was KP. He wasn't a bulkhead like Cook and Trott but he was the only England batsman that gave the opposition Brian Lara-esque shivers of "Oh no. Not today." There is a very, very real chance that without his century at the Oval in 2005 the Ashes would not have been regained by England, and his centuries at the Adelaide Oval in 06/07 and 10/11 were both attacking and composed. Players like KP can be frustrating but they can also give you the greatest pleasure watching a game of cricket (David Warner is our joyously annoying equivalent). And they are needed by their teams and the game in general.

Posted by   on (February 6, 2014, 20:58 GMT)

Yes Lawson I do need an explanation. I don't have any problem with players / managers / coaches getting sacked if they don't perform.That's sport, as you rightly say.

Pleas read Dobell's article again. There are so many inconsistencies in the ECB statement it's comical. Giles said he was a 'million dollar asset', Cook sang his praises, so did Swann, and probably through gritted teeth, did Flower.

Why after all that was there an apparently 'unanimous' decision to get rid of him? Something smells very bad. Truth will out in time, I'm sure.

Can't wait for KP's autobiography!

Posted by mahjut on (February 6, 2014, 20:29 GMT)

KP is a McGrath in a bowling line up of Lee, Gillespie and Warne. He is no doubt very good but A Flower had as good an average and more valuable contributions to his team but never got the kind of demi-deification KP enjoys.

KP hardly single-handedly rocketed Eng to #1 (there is an argument to say he was a large reason why they didn't stay there). His ashes winning innings of 2005 was littered with dropped catches. Basically, there is a tendancy (particulalry for him) to over value his efforts. ECB should be answerable!!?? to who - half english fans are happy to see him go...

Posted by   on (February 6, 2014, 20:16 GMT)

Sorry, Adrian, Syed &, no doubt, others, but do you expect an explanation every time that the selectors drop, rest, or ignore, one of your favourite players? Players of every nation get dropped regularly & coaches / managers get sacked on an equally regular basis - that's sport folks. If you are saying that Pietersen deserves to be treated in a different way to other players then maybe (& this is not a personal dig at any individual - just my personal opinion) you & sections of the media are part of the problem - not the solution.

Posted by   on (February 6, 2014, 19:52 GMT)

@Lawson it has everything to do with the cricket fans mate, we pay their wages with gate and TV money. The ECB owe us an explanation. And you - if you are a cricket fan- should want one too.

Posted by Joll on (February 6, 2014, 19:37 GMT)

The point which most people seemed to have missed about this issue is the ECB has retired Pietersen from representing England, permanently. It matters not to the ECB how many runs Pietersen may score from now on, he will never be selected for England again. Isn't this unprecedented? On what lawful or ethical basis is the ECB able to make such a decision? What if Pietersen makes a century in every innings from this point on? The ECB would say it matters not. This decision by the ECB speaks for itself.

Posted by   on (February 6, 2014, 19:26 GMT)

@Lawson your analogy has some merit but as a job is more of a private matter, KP is an INTERNATIONAL SUPERSTAR that is known by everyone around the world and the sport industry is different to work!

Posted by Tednambury on (February 6, 2014, 19:07 GMT)

Thank you for succinctly stating with great factual clarity what the England Management and the ECB have failed to see. Its staggering to see the judgement of both parties so severely impaired and lacking in impartiality due to a "full and frank exchange" of views between player and coach, in private, being so publicly aired through the media. They have acted in haste and I suspect will repent at leisure. I have a niggling feeling like the Terminator he'll be back.

Posted by   on (February 6, 2014, 18:55 GMT)

Why are we, the public, owed anything in this situation - other than in the eyes of KPs sycophants among the media? The England management have decided to dispense with Pietersen's services &, no doubt, they have told him why (although I accept that he might not like the 'why'). This has nothing to do with us as cricket fans - any more than if my employer sacks me the reasons for that sacking should be made public.

Posted by   on (February 6, 2014, 18:36 GMT)

KP is great not just for England but for World cricket. He wouldn't be half good a player that he is but for his attitude. That's where the mental strength comes from. Guess this is enough motivation for him to perform wherever he plays and embarrass the ECB.

Posted by stormy16 on (February 6, 2014, 16:11 GMT)

Here's something from left field - the BCCI asked the ECB to end KP's career so India get a chance to beat Eng at home next time! Yep sounds outrageous but for ECB to back the BCCI and to form the greedy 3 is equally outrageous and money can do strange things to people and this could be simple as that. The ECB can of course explain all this including why they abandoned fair competition and the basic principle of sport for money.

Posted by StaalBurgher on (February 6, 2014, 15:11 GMT)

I'll just say; lucky for Cook that Graeme Smith isn't touring England anytime soon.

Posted by Mutukisna on (February 6, 2014, 15:02 GMT)

I am unable to sit back and accept this unjust treatment of KP not just for himself but also for the sake of English Cricket. I support both England (my home) and Sri Lanka (the country of my birth) Cricket, ignoring the in/famous (depending on one's perspective) Cricket Test of Lord (Norman) Tebbit. I find it possible to support two cricketing countries and it does not worry me that many may not agree with me. Mr. Downton, please can you and the others get together, bring common sense into this equation, and reinstate our best cricketer in England in the team. England need him at least for another couple of years until the likes of Root, Stokes, Buttler etc. are ready to become the nucleus of the team. Obviously, I am pleading for his reinstatement. I cannot recall any Test Cricketer in the past whose career has been terminated in this manner.There is no precedent! Mr. Downton I think it is within your powers or the purview of your position to start a process to review this decision.

Posted by   on (February 6, 2014, 14:53 GMT)

Another outstanding and incisive article on this site. And this is probably the best I have read over the years. £100 a ticket we are paying to watch the Lords Test against India this year. If England continues to be dreadful to watch this summer, I can guarantee to the ECB, that this will be the very last time we ever pay such a ridiculous price.

Posted by VIJAYACC on (February 6, 2014, 14:48 GMT)

Angry and disappointed. I have followed England cricket for 30 years, not anymore as this decision shows how petty and fractious the characters that brought about this situation are. Anyone who understands cricket would know what Pietersen brings to the game. As George says unlike many others I do not consider this a done deal. ECB try and salavage the situation, you're paid mega bucks for precisely occasions such as this!!!

Posted by mautan on (February 6, 2014, 14:36 GMT)

Ray Jennings on KP "An icon player is leading from the front. KP is a definite game-breaker. He is a very methodical player. He has different ideas. He is a different type of cricketer. When people want to win badly and set high standards, sometimes they are quite difficult to work with. I never had problems with KP. It is a pleasure to work with a guy like that who wants to win all the time," So what is so wrong with KP and England management? Can't be KP's mistake alone? I have a feeling that Peiterson was as tired of England as England management was with him! He must have thought, let me get away now and enjoy my last few years making millions rather than play with mediocre set of players and plus take all the criticism.

Posted by   on (February 6, 2014, 12:42 GMT)

Are england back to old traditional cricket without talented KP?

Posted by Test_Cricket_Fanatic on (February 6, 2014, 11:50 GMT)

Sad day for world cricket!! Can't recall anybody after Viv Richards and Brian Lara that enchanted Cricket lovers across the world the way KP did. World cricket has become poorer and English cricket unwatchable..

Posted by cricmatters on (February 6, 2014, 11:31 GMT)

England has no hope of winning the world cup without KP. How about making KP the Captain for one day side alongside Shane Warne as the new coach for the 2015 world cup? Doubt it will ever happen though. Most likely England will slide back to their old mediocrity as usual. Feel sorry for English fans.

Posted by Clavers on (February 6, 2014, 11:30 GMT)

Superb article. I agree with every word.

Something must be seriously wrong with the way the England cricket team is now being run to lose so many champion players in short order: Trott, Swann, Prior and now Pietersen. Trott and Swann in their different ways obviously unhappy. Prior dropped admittedly in bad form but his replacement far from an obvious improvement. And Pietersen, possibly the best England batsman of the past fifty years and statistically the best in the recent Test series. He is also unhappy and not in his best form but what are coaches and captains for? To support players in such positions and help them regain their best form.

Panesar could arguably be added to the list. As Swann understudy, he performed well whenever he was called upon. Now that Swann has retired he should have been given an opportunity to take over his mantle. But instead he was overlooked for a part-time leggie and no 3 batsman.

Morale in the England team right now must be as low as whale poo.

Posted by kajori on (February 6, 2014, 11:27 GMT)

Really brilliant artcle....just couldn't resist reading the full text!! Bang to the point.....made a great reading! Thanks

Posted by wonky on (February 6, 2014, 11:18 GMT)

Huge pressure on South Africa to replace him now

Posted by Dazako on (February 6, 2014, 11:14 GMT)

To all the Saffers wanting to bring KP in for the retired Kallis, go ahead Im sure Siddle would love to have his favourite bunny facing up in the next series.

Posted by   on (February 6, 2014, 11:13 GMT)

Brilliant article George.

Posted by   on (February 6, 2014, 11:06 GMT)

The point George makes about the ECB's responsibility is correct.

They do not OWN cricket in the UK, they run it with the fans and sponsors money with an EXPLICIT obligation to be ultimately answerable to them. So we need to know. Many at Sydney know more or less EXACTLY what happened - but it seems Cricnfo refuse to print what the fans who heard the arguments know and will only print it if it officially comes from either KP or the ECB - well fair enough.

I can tell you this - it was VERY loud - witnessed by LOTS of people (hundreds). Some recorded parts of it. I t won't stay quiet forever. Cricinfo's decision to censor what fans who witnessed the argument are showing them is sad but a reflection of the fear of litigation the press has these days and the end of free speech.

The upshot?

Who would want to coach England with Giles Clarke as puppet-master? Telling you who your captain must be and who you can and can't pick?

A nonsense situation - yes - a real omnishambles.

Posted by ozwriter on (February 6, 2014, 10:54 GMT)

great great article. well written, to the point and insightful analysis. brilliant.

Posted by regofpicton on (February 6, 2014, 10:48 GMT)

"George Dobell - "the man who REALLY does the words for Cricinfo". Another brilliant article George. But why is anyone surprised by this turn of events? English cricketers of gigantic talent, such as Trueman, Snow, Gower, even Barrington, have been treated shabbily over the years by the mediocre men who run cricket in your sad, cold and mediocre little country. And the results are there for all to see - historically, England has seldom been better than a mediocre team. The issue, to my mind, is how a talent like KP was allowed to flourish for so long.

And as for the idea of getting straight answers from the chaps in charge, well, good luck with that George. The problem there is the power & persistence of a shadowy institution, well labelled by Churchill as "The committee for No".

Come to think of it, there's another prodigious English talent that languished for years while another bunch of grey mediocrities was selling Europe down the drain. History eh?

Posted by Redmakka on (February 6, 2014, 10:36 GMT)

ECB are a cowboy run organisation. It is a example of how society is at the moment. No organisation whether it is the ECB or Government is held acountable. KP is not a sheep a follower. He is a born leader. The best player in the England cricket team. In the great australian team, not everyone agreed but they got on and played. I suspect that KP questioned things that were going on and just like in school when the one who asks questions get labelled a trouble maker, that is what happens with KP. The fact Ashley Giles is being considered as England Coach should tell us all how much of a amateurish set up the England team is. KP is not the problem, but others who cannot handle him asking questions and wanting the rest of the team to reach his level.

Posted by   on (February 6, 2014, 10:35 GMT)

Gee that's a good article.

Posted by crisguest on (February 6, 2014, 10:32 GMT)

There's no doubt that the mood and the ethos of the England team has been badly let down by everyone from the ECB down, but I get annoyed by the slack that is given to the players who are perceived as being more talented than the others. Pietersen has finally run out of the good will his prodigious ability afforded him. If you burn all your bridges and fail to nurture the relationships within the team during the good times, then there will be no-one to stand by you when the times get harder. He was at times a titan and some of his feats were world-class, but he was not successful enough to be undroppable. If he had the stats of Sanga or Kallis - everyone would support him and he could not be dropped for any reason. It is the ones who squander their talents that annoy me and KP is definitely up there with Flintoff on that score. He should have scored 12000 test runs and averaged 60 - but he didn't. He may have been our best batsman, but he was not as good as he should have been.

Posted by chapathishot on (February 6, 2014, 10:29 GMT)

This is a lesson for all Saffers or Irish to play for Poms when a problem comes they hang the foreigner(or so called).The fact is he has done more than any home based cricketer has done for in england in some decades.

Posted by rumcork69 on (February 6, 2014, 10:20 GMT)

This reminds me very much of the WICB/Gayle Saga after the World Cup in India/Bangladesh. The ECB has adopted the same approach giving a generic answer to serious concern of fan around the world. Thankfully Gayle was reinstated however the WICB management still is unaccountable. I expect more from the ECB especially as they are one of the big three going to rule over world cricket in the coming days. Very disappointed as cricket fans always come out on the wrong end of poor Administration.

Posted by xaheer.abbas89 on (February 6, 2014, 9:54 GMT)

that was really shocking to all of us ... every one is wandering what is actually happen we can see the aggression of supporter own social media. if there was a problem between cook and Pieterson it should me put before the management ..if cook is involved in this matter then it is totally wrong.. how much cook have done for England than Pieterson .. i can remember the performance of cook against Pakistan when he was totally fail against Amir and Asif . after 2 or three series he was made captain and in ashes we can see as well.. I think it is biggest lost to England cricket now it is difficult time for Engalnd to go through lets see how it will go for them..

Posted by satzzz on (February 6, 2014, 9:52 GMT)

I just like each and every line of this article George. Though i am not a big fan of English cricket, I was always a fan of KP. He along with Sehwag for me are the modern day Viv Richards. Any days, any time I will wake from my sleep to watch these two playing. Now i have no reason to stop me hating English brand of cricket. One good news though, we will happily enjoy watchn KP in our stadiums for a full season of IPL. Thanks ECB for this service to IPL fans.

Posted by   on (February 6, 2014, 9:51 GMT)

Its absolutely ridiculous to axe the best batsmen. What has ECB got their in minds ??? I would rather say a player of Pieteren's class does not deserves a country like England.

Posted by PutMarshyOn on (February 6, 2014, 9:41 GMT)

Management are a natural target but it would seem KP is not a man who fits naturally into a group environment. Look at the trail of clubs (and country) he has left behind.

That said if it was 4 years ago and he was still the scariest batter on the planet they would have found a way to keep him.

Best of luck to him, I hope he finds some of the inner peace he so obviously lacks.

Posted by   on (February 6, 2014, 9:40 GMT)

Brilliant article. On a more positive note it provides the opportunity for the tram management to try out joe root at 4...see if he can score runs there.

Posted by Dutch_Bowler on (February 6, 2014, 9:33 GMT)

Typical. Lose two players and a series and then make a bold and strong decision. "DON'T PANIC... DON'T PANIC... ". Lets get rid of our best batsman to "rebuild". KP is only 34. Ponting, Jayawardene, Tendulkar, Sangakkara... if they were left out to "rebuild" then "managers" would be learning how to manage without a job.

Posted by   on (February 6, 2014, 9:32 GMT)

kp is the best no one else performed n still he was accused n axed .look at cook n u cant compare any batsma n wid kp ..... he s a legend whose wicket s very special for any bowler n every team knows how dangerous he is.....if he s on the crease england has 99 percent chances to win the game. england is wrong .....Kp u r the best

Posted by   on (February 6, 2014, 9:20 GMT)

SAf welcomes you, KP, Kallis has just retired.

Posted by BrotherFlower on (February 6, 2014, 9:17 GMT)

While Alistair Cook has much to commend him ,you have to wonder whether this would have happened under the leadership of Mike Brearley,Graeme Smith or indeed Darren Lehmann,the question is how was it allowed to continue for so long and to the detriment of all involved including Pietersen himself ,a sad day for English cricket ,he had a few more years of highly entertaining cricket in him if both he and England had been motivated to work more skillfully together over the last few years.I cannot think how he can be replaced.

Posted by OnePleaseUmpire on (February 6, 2014, 9:05 GMT)

If this morning's twitter revelations by current and ex England players, and their spokespersons official or otherwise, are accurate as reported, then there's more to this than meets the eye and more to be revealed; but then it was always going to be so. As I said in an earlier posting, in cricket, with the exception of "HOWZAT?" there are always more questions than answers. Time to move on.

Posted by CricSriLanka on (February 6, 2014, 8:59 GMT)

One of my favourite cricketer. Very enjoyable to watch him bat (obviously not against SL though). So shocked to see this. It is like sacking Sanga from SL team! One of the big 3 has done this stupid thing. And BCCI is not concentrating on performance of their team; they are looking for money and power. It will be interesting to see the other big 3 actions.

But on the brighter side, we can see KP in a full IPL series, hopefully!

Posted by liz1558 on (February 6, 2014, 8:47 GMT)

This is very poor management. No coach, yet the decision has been made to axe the best batsman. As if Cook is going to have much of a future as captain that he should be permitted to make such an influential decision. Why isn't Cook's job on the line? It was his leadership and over reliance on Flower that lead to the defeat. And it's his passive aggressive manner with the media that leads to the blandest most insipid interviews since the darkest days of Atherton's captaincy. This is excruciating to watch because the wrong bloke is getting all the flak. Cook is clearly a decent chap, but he's not a good captain. He's currently captaining with all the wit of the honey monster.

Posted by DaisonGarvasis on (February 6, 2014, 8:42 GMT)

The simple fact is KP is the best player England has. In other words that means he is better than Strauss, Cook and Andy Flower (on his best day). Now, when you are as good as KP, he can either choose not to show it off or he can keep a low profile. Either way, its up to him. Its his personal choice. If he doesnt socialize with the lesser beings so be it. You dont go and drop your best player because he is not "friends" with your ashes losing captain and an overrated coach. You make space for him and let him play. The others can socialize between them. Dont bring up the "team spirit" BS. If you were a wee bit concerned about England as a team, the best player would be picked. But here they are concerned about Politics.

Posted by CamS71 on (February 6, 2014, 8:38 GMT)

Absolutely Nailed Mr Dobell. What a tragic farce.

Posted by CodandChips on (February 6, 2014, 8:29 GMT)

@Raja Suram- "no naturally agressive batsmen?" you sure. Alex Hales- numbr 1 in T20Is. Jos Buttler? Ben Stokes and Matt Prior? (yes both were born aborad but grew up here). Jonny Bairstow?

Posted by chirag23 on (February 6, 2014, 8:24 GMT)

Ridiculous to call they are looking at the future....if they actually are....what is Ian Bell doing there? why not him being dropped? he doesnt even have a quality to play shorter versoins at all still he plays in one dayers as well but not KP....what is wrong with England??? I think they are looking from the spects of Andy Flower only as if he is an Angel who is going to take the england cricket on the top of the world and not the guys like KP....

Posted by   on (February 6, 2014, 8:19 GMT)

It's really very sad that we miss the services of KP. Currently if you see all around in cricket world, then you find KP is one of the most talented and aggrieved

Posted by JUCCric on (February 6, 2014, 8:16 GMT)

KP is really great player in any formate, and this treatment by ECB is not acceptable to KP Non-Uk fans. He is great fighter and brilliant player, ECB should find out the real reasons behind Ashes shameful white wash...

Posted by pom_don on (February 6, 2014, 8:15 GMT)

A very well written article George.....but what of course will happen is Giles will get the 'coaching' role.....wrongly, Cook will remain as captain......wrongly, Flower will get some silly role grooming robo captains.....wrongly & any hint of deviation (i.e. flair & individuality) from the straight & narrow among the new recruits will be frowned upon & possibly result in their exclusion too......the way forward I think not, but the establishment will have their way no doubt all of course at the expense of cricket which will be well down on their list of priorities, as long as they & their wallets don't suffer.............

Posted by   on (February 6, 2014, 7:55 GMT)

i thought England don't produce any natural aggressive batsman..because of the the weather there as you have to be more cautious to the swinging ball...but to day i have to change my opinion.. it s not only the weather .. but its also because England cannot manage a Aggressive player & personnel like KP...i see its a pure failure of management from ECB...

Posted by   on (February 6, 2014, 7:52 GMT)

this is absolute insanity by england. if anyone needs to be dropped, its cook. anyway as an indian its good to know he will not be there when india tours england. bcci and ecb, can we adopt kp? we neef him new zealand right now!

Posted by   on (February 6, 2014, 7:32 GMT)

Big thumbs up for Mr. George Dobell. I agree with u every single word u have written in this article. It's a shame that ECB the way they treat KP. At same time they wanna govern world cricket and "ExCo"? No thank u...

Posted by BHAGWAN-XI on (February 6, 2014, 7:21 GMT)

Its all happen in english cricket for a tour where they had lost swann trott and now kp ? What going wrong with ECB ? Australia lost in india 4-0 and then in england 3-0, So what, There is not a particular batsman or player responsible for any series lost or win. When team played very well they won and when team not played well they lost. And current example of indian team who won last 5-6 series and then lost in SA and NZ. But no change in indian team Or when Australia lost series in england last summer so they also no big change. Its happen when you played out. So Now ECB should give the support to player and also change policy too. Why they not selected the KP in ODI series. When they lost all matches. KP is the key player for WC 2015 and and When no one played well in all Series so how can you close the door for a match winning player. And this time cook should support the kp and other team players.

Posted by johnthepom on (February 6, 2014, 7:10 GMT)

Shame, shame, shame on England management! The only player on tour who adopted an aggressive posture to theAustralians. A wonderful player to watch at any time and, if he infuriates at times, please remember ATTACK is the way to win cricket matches. Seems a hopeless wish but is it possible for England's stodgy management to back down gracefully and give another chance to the most fearless player I have had the privilege to watch over the past few years? If not, thanks so much KP. Lovedya!

Oh by the way is it beyond the realm of possibility that Giles can be replaced. Possibly the most lacklustre player to don the England colours!!!

Posted by   on (February 6, 2014, 7:10 GMT)

England has been a team where traditions, though laced with Mediocrity, preferred thousand times than talent. Gooch destroyed Gower's career, though I havent met any one who would like to see Gooch scoring the so called daddy hundreds more than a polished 40 from Gower. As has been said by other contributors also, England never deserved KP-they were in awe of him, scared of him, and wanted to get rid of him, so that mediocre home bred batsmen can flourish. Does any one seriously believe that players like James Taylor, Bairstow, Ballance et al are any where close to KP? With KP and Swann both gone, England is doomed to 1990s days, where it belongs given the archaic ECB setup and unwillingness to handle an extraordinary talent.

Posted by Rajendraa on (February 6, 2014, 7:07 GMT)

Yes, every fan of cricket deserves the answer from ECB. We are following the cricket for the better and fair competition. it may be the worse example for any good player's exit.

Posted by ara123 on (February 6, 2014, 7:01 GMT)

I may be wrong, i think also it has something to do with Pietersen wanting to play the full IPL. He has the opportunity to make close to USD 6-8 mn over the next three seasons.

Posted by   on (February 6, 2014, 6:50 GMT)

excellent piece. total disgrace. ecb are all about shadey back room deals these days. How about some transparency for the people paying your wages ecb?

Posted by paulbarron on (February 6, 2014, 6:50 GMT)

And yet the ECB (and friends) want to take over world cricket? They can't even look after themselves!

Posted by DaisonGarvasis on (February 6, 2014, 6:34 GMT)

Where they should have removed Cook from Captaincy and put KP in the position, their team's internal politics made sure KP is outsted. You just cant drop KP because of internal politics. If you use the same yardstick of measuring Flower a "great coach", you should call KP "England's greatest batsman". KP fits that title even without the extraordinary yardstick used for Flower. Cook just lost the Ashes and instead of explaining himself he is given the authority to sit a meeting to decide to drop the best player (and top scorer of ashes) in the team. Ridiculous.

Posted by Yaswanth.Ram on (February 6, 2014, 6:21 GMT)

Swann and KP were the only aggressive cricketers in England dressing room and with Swann's retirement and KPs exclusion, England cricket is back into dark days of 90's!!! Awful management

Posted by   on (February 6, 2014, 6:20 GMT)

Great This is how this so called Guys who Invented the Game have been treating the best of English Cricketers who have brought Glory to the Country. This was on the Cards For this Great Cricketer KP who was One of the Best Ever Produced By England. This Is How These he has also Become A Scape Goat of this System. for which all cricket lovers around the Globe is paying for. this Good for nothing barbarism should stop, otherwise the Britt Team is long gone in The history of the Game, this is no surprise when you go back, you Great Players Like David Gower, Allen Lamb, Robin Smith, Greham Hick were treated by this so called Patriots of the Game, Go to Sleep England, Mr. KP Please show the world what you are made of and keep playing for at least the IPL for which most of the Sponsor's would want to have you in there team. KP Please keep the entertainment going, May GOD Bless you and Make All Your Dreams Come True and Help you to achieve all your Goals In Life. Thank GOD For KP

Posted by   on (February 6, 2014, 6:15 GMT)

what happens when KP destroys first class attacks on a consistent basis while at the same time inferior players are failing at international level and England are being beaten. This is almost certain to happen in the shirt term future. As an Australian I'm loving the turmoil England seem to be in at the moment and they only have themselves to blame in part by 'retiring' their best batsman.

Posted by funkyrith on (February 6, 2014, 5:37 GMT)

If this is termed as a rebuild for future, mark the day, for the dream of future will never be realized without KP. The whole team flopped, except may be Broad featuring in top 5 bowler of the tournament. Stokes,Root,Borthwick,Ballance and may be Taylor, Hales, Woakes are players for future and good to have them, but who will guide them? Cooks and Bells were good for Tests and they failed, Trott is gone missing, a team struck in classic era of batting was a treat to watch because KP was there. Sorry to say, the board is so busy in taking ICC control that they missed placing right man for the job in selection committee

Posted by heathrf1974 on (February 6, 2014, 5:29 GMT)

If England lose to India in England later this year (still a big if), then Cook will get the sack as captain and the English fans will be ropeable if no decent reason is given about KP.

Posted by Jagdish3k on (February 6, 2014, 5:21 GMT)

It is a huge loss for world of cricket, not only of England & KP. He has not only the karizma & flamboyance but also resilience & tenacity to handle tough situations.He had mental fortitude and was also very tactful to handle pertiular bowler or particular situation in his own way like taking a off sidish stance and standing ahead of crease to negotiate turn.I don't think England have won any significant series without his contribution be it his debut Ashes and other subsequent Ashes, India 4-0 whitewash , Drawing the series in Srilanka, His mercurial innings on turning Mumbai wicket was responsible for turnaround which lead them to historic series win in around 30 years. I am really saddened by this because in an era of mechanical & programmed batting he was a throwback yet very innovative. He reminded be of carefree batting ala Viv, Botham. His confidence used to scare oppositions. I remember how he used to toy with R Ashwin. It's England Management failure but world's loss.

Posted by bumpu on (February 6, 2014, 5:15 GMT)

"If you ask your players to play fearless cricket".......Do the English really demand this of their players.. India has been seen to do so right from the Pataudi or Sandeep Patil or Srikkanth days to the present ...but England?? A non-conformist in the English setup will always face the same fate as KP. I am surprised he lasted this long!

Posted by   on (February 6, 2014, 5:15 GMT)

Can't wait to see him in the BBL!... would fit right in @ the Heat. ENG loss (And a big one it is) Is the rest of the worlds gain

Posted by   on (February 6, 2014, 4:56 GMT)

England doesn't deserve player like KP class ,i think at the moment no one can replace him it was bog opportunity for England to win 2015 world cup but they need MATCH WINNING player like KP which they lost and i think England has lost 2015 world cup . RIP England middle order batting ...

Posted by   on (February 6, 2014, 4:37 GMT)

The better thing would be to sack the ECB management and the coach. As they say when in failure, the coaches and management look for a scapegoat, and unfortunately it was Peterson. The problem right through has been with the way ECB and coach and how they handled this situation. They have shown that they deserve to get back to kindergarten and restart their education process. England will now sink to the bottom of the pit.

Posted by Rajsrimaan on (February 6, 2014, 4:16 GMT)

Excellent summary of this terrible development. After Gower's exit, KP is the first batsman playing for England to fire up cricket lovers. He almost brings Viv's swagger and confidence to the crease again. As the highest run scorer in the recent disastrous Ashes tour, he surely deserved better. The ECB owes English cricket fans a clearer, more convincing and less sanitized explanation. We shall miss his destructive batting at his best, which I believe was shackled by the team management's safety focused policy in Australia.

Posted by crktttt on (February 6, 2014, 4:14 GMT)

Very well said George Dobell.

"England supporters deserve answers." - In fact, cricket fans from all over the world deserve answers.

Posted by Meety on (February 6, 2014, 4:08 GMT)

I agreed with the article until - "... the schedule is part of an unsustainable business plan that risks running the greatest assets of all: the players." IMO - there is a difference between the schedule & matches played by the players. IF you take the view that the BEST players must be available across all 3 formats (+ domestic FC) - then there is a problem with the schedule. IF however, you choose to use an approach whereby players are strategically rested from fixtures - the schedule is not to blame. Look at what the Saffas do with Steyn. They know he is their crown jewel (with Kallis a close 2nd) - those players were rested from ODIs & T20s that didn't matter. England went the other way - I distinctly remember that Swann & Anderson were made to play a useless bilateral ODI series with the WIndies (but there was talk of having them skip the dead rubber test. IF they needed a rest, rest them in Short Formats. Other codes rest players strategically from time to time.

Posted by Nimme_1980 on (February 6, 2014, 4:04 GMT)

ECB has to give the explanation

Posted by shijin1429 on (February 6, 2014, 4:00 GMT)

iam supporting england cricket team still 1998 but this is the end,without kp and trott england will be next zimbabwe,before kp comes england were zim,england didn hav aplayer to replace this guy,why kp,cook and root fuul flop why they r in the team,cook is good batsman bt not a captain,wnt to study frm clarke,so bye bye england this is ur journey to ur destroy,cook need a tendulkar or kohli to make team good without kp ,i miss u kp.ipl and bigbash is waiting 4 u and eng must know the next days who u r?

Posted by TEROSHAN on (February 6, 2014, 3:48 GMT)

From SL Fan.. We cant Understand what is going on with great cricket nation (ENG) Without KP Filntoff and Vougn (MV) Eng still beaten by BAN and SL ZIM at their own condition. Giving so much power to one man is going hurt ENG .. Last Five Years It is only Flower Flower .. Where u rated Harmison .. Filtof MV Struss Swan Trot Prior (ENG Got wrong this time and as they did with BIG PROPOSAL

Posted by Clyde on (February 6, 2014, 2:50 GMT)

This decision does not seem to be legally sustainable, if the ECB is truly in charge of English cricket. It would not be permitted to throw out the best batsman and probably the best captain, if it comes to that. The public will not stand for it and nor is the public legally entitled to. I believe what will happen is that the whole of the ECB will go and entirely be replaced at election. It is inconceivable that the English public will allow its ECB to present players other than the ones it, the public, wants to watch, that is, the best players.

Posted by   on (February 6, 2014, 2:38 GMT)

Excellent piece, Mr. Dobell, and excellent parallels with Gower.

Those who suggest that KP will be fine playing for the IPL and Big Bash don't realize that the sport will be poorer. We spectators are losing KP from one-day and test-match cricket. THAT is our loss. Fans 0. ECB 1. Great job, ECB.

Posted by DarrylRod on (February 6, 2014, 2:33 GMT)

Good Piece! However, what really boggles me are the failures of the other players and the team management. Werent they part of the team setup that also contributed to the poor showing in the Ashes/ODIs/T20? How come none of them are brought to task? Were they absolved from all their sins? KP is great and he will be really miss!

Posted by   on (February 6, 2014, 2:32 GMT)

I'm honestly dumbfounded at this decision! After all the media speculation regarding the new team director being Ashley Giles and how KP was a 'million pound asset' his sacking seems even more ridiculous! This really is a case of cutting off your nose to spite your face. Are we going back to the dark days of the 90's? In fairness, I can't see Captain Cook leading this England team minus recent retirements et al (Swann, KP) and bowlers minus a yard of pace (Bresnan, Tremlett and even an overworked Anderson) into any era of prolonged success, except the odd win at home against teams unfamiliar with English conditions. The 2013 Ashes win was a travesty, did us more harm than good... The 5-0 result in Australia was a more realistic appraisal of where the team was at. Without a personality and talent like KP, the team is going to descend into a group of 'yes men' automatons, I just hope some of the youngsters that NEED to be selected have some spark and ambition...

Posted by No_1_again on (February 6, 2014, 2:20 GMT)

Hope to KP in the next BBL (not Bupara type of players).

Posted by   on (February 6, 2014, 2:05 GMT)

Cook and Flower:- "Sun Rises in the North."

Player A:- "And it sets in the South."

Cook and Flower:- "A is a team player. Let us have him, good for the team culture, fits well into the common ideas and goals".

Player B :- That is Non-Sense. Do you even know what Sun is or where North, South, East and West are?

Cook and Flower:- "This B is argumentative. Does not fit well into the team culture. He puts his ideas and priorities over that of teams. Let us sack him for the team to move forward smoothly and with ease."

Posted by Coolbanker1234 on (February 6, 2014, 1:59 GMT)

Well said Bimal. I am just about to sned a thank you card and a bunch of flowers to ECB. I dont care what people think about KP, but he has the magic touch, that keeos people buying tickets. As a Sri lankan g]fan I am happy that we wont see him at number 4 in the batting order against us. As a Cricket fan, I am sad that we will be deprived of seeing the special talents of this man in world cricket. KP, we can always arrange dual citizenship for you in Sri Lanka. Even if you have to be wheled out in walking chair to bat, just your presence n the batting order will put shivers down the spine of the opposition. Good luck mate

Posted by Vimalesh on (February 6, 2014, 1:50 GMT)

I'm struggling to figure this out: Perhaps, in the terms of the vast England setup this may seem a very democratic decision-most want to be left alone, out of the glare that follows and is KP. Perhaps they have forgotten that there is more to English cricket than the apparatus...

Posted by   on (February 6, 2014, 1:26 GMT)

warny, Akthar, Murali, Malinga, Gilchrist, Afridi, Dhoni, Narine would never have made it to the team if they were playing in England. KP was the ONLY entertainer englad had. Hope Ben S will prove me wrong. Barmy Army will find it boring to support england because from now on, they will play for a draw in every game! RIP england cricket.

Posted by that_guy on (February 6, 2014, 1:06 GMT)

If anyone should face the chop it's the management! England is the worse side to watch in cricket and Pietersen was one of the few shining lights to make it bearable. Next they'll go after broad... far to talented for the English side that one. I'd get more entertainment watching NZ loose the England win BOOOO!

Posted by AidanFX on (February 6, 2014, 0:57 GMT)

"But in England the greater sin is to be seen to give you wicket away with a loose stroke rather than leaving a straight delivery and allowing it to hit your stumps [add also allow LBW]. Failure is accepted so long as it is not accompanied by flair"

What a witty comment this happened a few times too many to players on this recent tour.

Posted by Johnny_129 on (February 6, 2014, 0:43 GMT)

I think KP is in a happy space right now! He may have got what he wanted. He has got dropped without a complete loss of form. This means he can still draw high value in the IPL as opposed to playing for a losing England team for another 2 years, possibly!

Posted by   on (February 6, 2014, 0:39 GMT)

What a beautiful article! A lovely read indeed. Thoughts nicely expressed.

Posted by   on (February 6, 2014, 0:39 GMT)

It can't get any worse. . . . . I said after the Tests. And the One-Day's. and the Twenty20. The Ashes tour is over, the players back home and yet the ECB still manages to make it worse. I pity world cricket if this is one of your 3 leaders.

Posted by 3winsfromlast4 on (February 6, 2014, 0:26 GMT)

This an excellent article, just like a losing captains post match interview, - "positives" blah blah No doubt Pietersen has been and will remain a great cricketer. Cricketing contributions cannot be viewed in isolation from the rest of the cricketing business. That is real life Commercial organisation like the ECB do not provide reasons for decisions. Gagging clauses are daily occurrences in the real world and not the fantasy land that some commentators, Vaughan included, appear to live. Pietersen has gone willingly and like a lamb so the price must have been right. Real world demands a quiet exit for future employment. Disaffected employees, seek to cover up their deficiencies, with lines such as, I play the way I do, thats me; I say what I think up front etc. Sadly, they appear not to possess a modicum of appreciation that the real world is the one where cricket is played. Ask Pietersens's numerous and previous employers, coaches and captains. Sad day, sad loss, but real life.

Posted by OnePleaseUmpire on (February 6, 2014, 0:25 GMT)

With respect to "KP questions deserve answers":

Alec Stewart: second highest test match scoring batsman for England with 8463 runs and closing in on the #1 slot; retired in 2003 as most likely one of the fittest cricketers at the time.

David Gower: third highest test match run scorer for England with 8231 runs and closing in on the #1 slot; dropped when Graham Gooch was England captain in 1992.

Kevin Pietersen: fourth highest test match run scorer for England with 8181 runs and closing in on the #1 slot; dropped when Graham Gooch was the batting coach in 2013.

Graham Gooch: to date the top scoring test match run scorer for England with 8900 runs.

In cricket, with the exception of "HOWZAT?" there are always more questions than answers. Time to move on.

Posted by   on (February 5, 2014, 23:58 GMT)

Surely this is end of the story, at least in the Test side. Can't see a way back for him - he's hardly going to knuckle down for Surrey and make runs in the Championship is he? And as for the ODI/T20 side, he's not really a part of the side anyway.

Posted by   on (February 5, 2014, 23:56 GMT)

Excellently written Mr Dobell Every single word of this article is very much true and touching

Posted by phermon on (February 5, 2014, 23:54 GMT)

I have always liked Cook but his unimaginative captaincy in Australia and his look of bewildered apathy suggested to me that he is no longer able to lead the side. IF he was a party to thi sKP travesty - then he should certainly go too. If he wasn't involved, keep him as opener but replace him as captain.

Posted by stumpedlloyd on (February 5, 2014, 23:47 GMT)

So the ECB insists that changes need to be made after The Ashes debacle, but KP's the only guy absolutely crucified by selectors for what happened in the series? Cook looked like a deer in the headlights; my living room chair has better footwork. This decision is shameful, downright pathetic. Can you imagine an English test batting lineup of Cook, Compton, Trott, Root, Bell? That should put everyone to sleep. This is, once again, an England skipper being far too childish and unable to deal with issues like an adult. I am an England fan, have been since the early 1970s. Come summer, I hope India absolutely thrash England and that KP sets the IPL and county cricket alight. I hope England are humiliated. Sack Cook!

Posted by   on (February 5, 2014, 23:44 GMT)

Well, I'll go against the grain here. For all their faults the ECB aren't so stupid as to dump their best player over a clash of egos. Given KP's low-key public stance on the issue - he's not normally one to eschew media manipulation - I suspect he tried to make some contractual demands vis a vis IPL and his playing commitments, and the ECB weren't prepared to meet them.

Posted by dunger.bob on (February 5, 2014, 23:43 GMT)

If George is correct and part of the reason for scuppering KP's career was his modes of dismissal on the tour, then England really do have an attitude problem. A batsmans job is to score runs and against Test class bowling that involves taking a lot of calculated risks. .. I don't think it's possible to be a 'great' side by playing the safety first approach. Conservative tactics normally lead to conservative results but great sides force wins from impossible situations by taking huge risks and executing them to a nicety. .. To be honest I don't really think it's going to make much difference because his eye's just about gone anyway - but if he was sacked because of one too many risks then God help England. Someone has to attack the bowling if the bad balls just aren't coming. You have to adapt, take a few chances and get something going. You can't just sit back for 5 Tests in a row and simply let the bowling dominate. That's what happened this time and it's a crazy policy.

Posted by trigga315 on (February 5, 2014, 23:40 GMT)

@ nakihunter Swann might be the leading wicket taker but that means jack when they come at 30 and your comparing him to Steyn who takes them at 22.9. All it means is that he played more test's. Without a doubt Steyn is the best bowler since the greats of Murali, Warne, Mcgrath and Pollock retired in 2007/2008. Next you will be saying Strauss was better than Bradman because he scored more runs, your argument is totally flawed.

Posted by ToneMalone on (February 5, 2014, 23:40 GMT)

I think you make some very strong points George, yet I still think there's a case to leave it be and accept what's happened. Let's face it: had Pietersen been truly supportive during the Ashes, it wouldn't have come to this. He'll be missed - but maybe this is a more dignified and credible approach than airing all the grievances and creating more headlines for the sake of "transparency".

Posted by Cubey on (February 5, 2014, 23:37 GMT)

Great article. You've hit the nail bang on the head about how we all see this.

As a pom living in Australia, for the first time ever, and I can't believe I'm admitting this, but I feel so sick with England management over this that I'm seriously considering switching allegiance to Australia, the arch enemy--there's currently no bigger enemy in cricket than England management. Shame on them and their silly political posturing. Cannot explain how disappointed I am and how much faith I have lost in England. However did we ever win the War without killing ourselves first.

Posted by disco_bob on (February 5, 2014, 23:31 GMT)

Absolutely accurate article. There is a delicious irony in this situation that is parallel to the textgate scandal that required Pietersen to issue an unctuous apology and pledge his allegiance and his first born child to the greater good of England, and that is that the ECB is going to have to somehow come up with their own grovelling retraction if they wish to be reintegrated into the hearts and minds of the cricket loving public.

Posted by left_arm_unorthodox on (February 5, 2014, 23:31 GMT)

England are too small-minded to contain him. Simple. Though how quiet he's been... maybe the man himself doesn't feel as strongly as he used to...

Posted by   on (February 5, 2014, 23:28 GMT)

Excellent article Mr Dobell... Exceptional talent need to be handled in a special way. Just cant believe one can be pushing its best player side ways just to hide the failure of an overrated coach like Andy Flower and a over rated batsman like Cook. If you want to be at the top you need to be able to handle both wins and losses graciously just cant blame one person and get rid o fhim...

For KP nothing to worry there a lot of people in the world who would like to see him playing rather than watching the boring Cook & co play the game.

Posted by whocareswhowins on (February 5, 2014, 23:19 GMT)

Very good article. England have had a fantastic few years. However, time for England to move on from Flower and KP, and build a new team. But, IMO, Ashley Giles as Team Director would not be a good move. He's a nice guy, but I do not feel he has it in him to cope with the stresses that would go with the job. Neither would it be a good idea to retain Cook as captain. AC appears to be a very nice guy, but he is not a good captain. He should be freed of that burden and allowed to focus on his batting, and we all know what he is capable of. England should aim to rebuild with a new captain and coach / team director. All good teams pass through tough times, but they rebuild and come back fighting England,I feel, will do the same. Especially now that they have an upcoming home series against a perennially weak India, who have successfully managed to go back to the dark old days of being pathetic overseas, and this is from an Indian fan who has been watching the SA and NZ series with dismay

Posted by dorothydix on (February 5, 2014, 23:06 GMT)

Basically KP has always been too flamboyant, cocky , enthusiastic and `out there` for most in the English cricket set up both at county and international. He may have an English parent but he is not at all English in his way of thinking or approach which was always going to make it hard for him to be accepted in the English establishment or dressing room at county or international level. He would have been targeted and threatened and envious team mates would have tried to bring him down throughout. That is the English way within professional cricket. This all would have got to KP and aggravated things. That combined with poor management, they are not used to handling the likes of KP, and Kp`s character flaws have led to this. Basically English establishments cannot handle people like him and consequently thats why on the whole their sporting teams lack entertainment value and real winning ability. Now it will back to mediocre normal!

Posted by   on (February 5, 2014, 23:02 GMT)

Not just English supporters deserve and explanation. This guy entertained every cricket lover in the world. Regardless of personality, his rare talent has been lost by all who treasure such magic.

Posted by Robster1 on (February 5, 2014, 22:58 GMT)

An outstanding article indeed. Makes many salient points. Looking at football, compare how Alex Ferguson's excellent management got the best out of such difficult characters as Roy Keane and Eric Cantona. England's management is so very inept and yes, they play far too much.

Posted by AnthonyNo1 on (February 5, 2014, 22:48 GMT)

This is just plain wrong no matter which way you look at it - the ECB have lost the respect and support 95% of the cricket supporters in the UK and abroad. Its them that should be fired for their management failures - not one person who has brought them success on the field.

Posted by   on (February 5, 2014, 22:38 GMT)

The complete failure of England in Australia and the disintegration of them as a team had to be followed by some major changes. When this type of thing happens then the coach and captain have to fall on their sword. So what does England do? They get rid of the their best batsman of the series! Because the coach and captain could not get on with him? I hope England are prepared for a long time in the wilderness. They just lost most of their senior players and still kicked out the best english batsman ever. There are obviously a few crazies in the ECB and not just megalomaniacs who want to take over world cricket with the ACB and BCCI. I predict that KP will be back in the team before the end of the year and possibly as captain.

Posted by Sir_Francis on (February 5, 2014, 22:38 GMT)

Well said.

although when you wrote Gradgrind surely you meant Gooch

Posted by KingOwl on (February 5, 2014, 22:37 GMT)

Now Piers Morgan who is friends with KP says Matt Prior (who is presumably and enemy of KP) said that Andy Flower was some sort of a dictator. Matt Prior says he didn't say it. But Morgan says to sue him if he is in the clear. This is so much fun. More fun than the Ashes, no doubt.

Posted by real_gone_gadd on (February 5, 2014, 22:18 GMT)

Time for change at the tops says Dobbell ... but haven't England just removed Flower, Miller and Morris?

Posted by KarthikKrishnan on (February 5, 2014, 22:18 GMT)

There are very few batsmen in the world cricket these days who can pull the game from opponents. KP fits into top 10 list without a doubt. He made fans to follow England matches. It is utter madness to rest a player like him without a proper reason. Fans of world cricket will definitely need a answer from ECB. I am wondering how KP will not have a place in the team when Players like Broad could fit in. England is going back to 90's with a decision like this. Looking forward for a downfall of a good team. ECB is not the only cricket arena in the world. There is no doubt that he will be treated with honor while playing for IPL/Big Bash.

Posted by aztecs on (February 5, 2014, 22:04 GMT)

KP is the kind of guy that speaks his mind...He was probably axed to muffle him on his opinion about the big 3. Its so obvious that he probably got into an argument with Giles Clarke telling him what to do with his stamford ideas lol.

Posted by   on (February 5, 2014, 21:58 GMT)

Its sad that a cricketer is being sacked for caring only about cricket. Forget all the training programs, if its not helping a cricketer contribute to the positive result of a match, then all the 'professional ethos' doesnt makes sense. What England is gonna get by sacking KP is a bunch of slaves who lick their captions heels. KP is someone who would stand up and tell a captain if the captain is doing a mistake. Cheers to KP.

Posted by cricketvj on (February 5, 2014, 21:57 GMT)

To be honest this is pure mis management from ECB and poor leadership from cook. Look at India; Dhoni had to deal with Sewag, Gambir, Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman, Harbajan, Kholi all characters in their own respect. However he has been able to manage and lead them. This is utter shambles as the coach, captain and management do not know how to deal with unique talent as KP. As they say Englands loss is Delhi's gain :)

Posted by The_Rohit on (February 5, 2014, 21:47 GMT)

Everything you describe about Peitersen here applies to Virender Sehwag. Each player has had amazingly memorable innings - making great bowlers look ordinary, taking victories from jaws of defeat. ECB needs to learn something from BCCI here. Sehwag was less dedicated than Peitersen when it came to fitness and fielding. He was also less brash and arrogant. But the main point is, he was a man of immense talent, with less than ideal work ethic. He was judged purely on the basis of the runs he made. As long as he was scoring, he was in the team. When he stopped scoring, he was dropped. That is how it should be.

Posted by markatnotts on (February 5, 2014, 21:45 GMT)

Lots of emotional rubbish here, the statement that we were at the level if Zimbabwe before KP arrived is just wrong. We were at number 2 in the world leading up to his debut and from late 2000 we were mostly in the top three!

Posted by subbass on (February 5, 2014, 21:43 GMT)

It is crickets loss, and a painful one, that all KP will do now is play baseball.

Still best wishes to him, he was spellbinding to watch at times.

England will lose heavily this year, very heavily. As the pressure on the likes of Cook, Bell, Anderson and so forth will now be even greater. Every loss will be met with anger at KP's sacking. We will probably even lose to India 5-0 in the Test series at this rate !

And they expect us to fork out 80-150 pounds to go and watch ?

No chance.

Posted by cloudmess on (February 5, 2014, 21:42 GMT)

Well said, George Dobell - an excellent summation of the absurdities of the decision and of the arrogance of the English management. I'm most amazed by their presumptuous way of effectively dictating terms about who captains and who's allowed in the team, even before appointing a new coach (although it makes it horribly likely that they're set on Ashley Giles for such a role). The biggest problem with English cricket is that no matter how much the game changes, it will always be run like an old boys' club - where being a good chap is much more important than being any good. The improvements in English cricket in the last 15 years have owed a lot to 3 outsiders - Fletcher, Pietersen and Flower - but the tendency to revert back to the old safe ways of mediocrity will always hold sway.

Posted by   on (February 5, 2014, 21:41 GMT)

"Thrown out of cricket" well what can i say, the english have destroyed the history books of their own supporting legends before, DAVID GOWER, KEVIN KEEGAN, BRIAN CLOUGH HARRY REDKNAPP, all are examples, and they continue to do so, I feel, kevin should have been told in private and given the chance to retire, i'm sure knowing he was going to be thrown out, he would have retired,IT takes two to tangle in dressing rooms, I ask ECB, DHONI just got hammered 4-0 by new zealand, DO YOU SEE INDIA DOING THAT TO DHONI ? no-never, australia got thumped in india, was M.Clarke shown the door, no, was R.Ponting , no, he was given a chance to retire, ECB, FA, i would like to call you names, but i will not, people know already , and mr PAUL DOWNTON, that was very impressive little statement you read out, i remember you were a KEEPER late 70's to late 80's, and a good one too, but how many promisses have you KEPT that ECB made to living legends like KP

Posted by Dunross on (February 5, 2014, 21:40 GMT)

Why would I spent GBP 120,- for a day of test cricket to watch spirit crushing boring blocking by Cook or beautiful strokeplay by Bell when it never really matters...match gone or 300 v 4 ( pietersen out for 150..platform layed)??????? well done ECB for thinking about the fans?!

Posted by   on (February 5, 2014, 21:39 GMT)

KP is the only player which i like in English team nd i m big fan of his batting nd the way he hitfast bowlers. i think after KP no one is like him who attack on fast bowlers nd yes Mr dobell his questions deserve answers

Posted by Sameer-hbk on (February 5, 2014, 21:36 GMT)

We are not sure what English fans feel and which style of cricket they prefer. But the general consensus among most neutral fans is that KP is the ONLY guy from that English batting lineup who is remotely entertaining. Add to it that he is the highest run-maker in that team and it makes NO SENSE to throw him out after the 5-0 trashing. If anything, the other 10 need to be shown the door before KP. This game (which so many fans here say they cherish and respect while talking about the BIG 3 vs Rest issue) is about players and spectators. We don't pay to watch backroom staff and boardroom meetings. If 20 men strong "management staff" couldn't manage a guy, what does it say of their skill in that particular field. This so called support staff and captain earn their money when they manage players like Warne, Sehwag, KP or Warner. If all 11 were Dravids and Sachins, even I can manage the team!

Posted by VickGower on (February 5, 2014, 21:36 GMT)

" But in England the greater sin is to be seen to give you wicket away with a loose stroke rather than leaving a straight delivery and allowing it to hit your stumps. Failure is accepted so long as it is not accompanied by flair."

Phenomenal lines. Indian think tank would do well to pay heed to above and not choke Rohit & Shikhar. Those two must be given space to pass or fail by themselves. No player is suicidal. They are not meaning to fail. They are adults and they are better off making adjustments on their own rather than have those things forced upon them.

Posted by   on (February 5, 2014, 21:31 GMT)

Maybe the BCCI told England to make KP available for the IPL or else it would be a big two:)

Posted by Basingpiechucker on (February 5, 2014, 21:29 GMT)

These are good points but they overlook one factor - that England were not playing well as a team in Oz - very few of them played to previous form. So I presume that was one of the factors involved. KP is one of those players who can delight and frustrate in equal measure. A certain G Boycott was another.

Posted by iikhan on (February 5, 2014, 21:22 GMT)

Well Done Mr Dobell. ECB is the one who lost one like KP. He will still play and will continue to show his class in IPL, BPL etc. We will still watch him as we used to love watching him playing for England. I am really feeling Sorry for ECB. Well Done ECB For letting KP Go .. He is superlative then You!!

Posted by anuradea on (February 5, 2014, 20:59 GMT)

Absolutely, the paying public has a right to know what exactly transpired. I say it again, there are no bad players, only bad managers!! Look how Botham went from dead silence walking back in his last game as captain to deafening cheers the very next game under Mike Brealey and how he was managed by Mike from then on. I think KP is way less brash or arrogant than Botham and neither cook nor flower can manage him and what does that say about them. They have gone crying to ECB making KP the scapegoat to save their own backs. How come Cook is not replaced after averaging 28 in 5 tests and didn't we see how weak his captaincy was on the field when most of the time 5 people were setting the fields while he was looking on meekly.Most of the time he had to have senior players conferences even to set simple fields or bowling changes and there were comments made by the commentators to that effect.Get strong leader and a strong coach (Who KP will respect)and you can extract another 3000 from him

Posted by the_blue_android on (February 5, 2014, 20:57 GMT)

And here I was for a year or two, thinking that BCCI lacked management skills!

Posted by Rooboy on (February 5, 2014, 20:53 GMT)

The consensus seems to be that this is just a bizarre decision, and I totally agree. English cricket is in tatters. Sad times. And yet, I can't stop laughing ...

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (February 5, 2014, 20:41 GMT)

The ECB has an awful lot to answer for; this KP saga is simply just the tip of the iceberg. We are still to see any rational explanations for the treatment of the likes of Nick Compton: one of the best and most consistent batsmen in County Cricket, yet discarded and not even considered for the Ashes. Onions omitted for some unknown reason too. Trott, Swann and Prior (to name just a few) aren't exactly in a happy place either...

Posted by DarthKetan on (February 5, 2014, 20:40 GMT)

The summary of English mentality and attitudes seems very apt, including the parallel with Gower episode. The note on management and leadership is also spot on - very well written article!

Posted by Rabies on (February 5, 2014, 20:40 GMT)

I would have had no quibble if KP had gone after the SA texting saga- the ECB would have been quite within their rights to cast him out then- but now? There is NO cricketing reason that I can see for KP's ouster. What I do see is muddled thinking and WHOOSH- there goes the baby -out with the bath water

Posted by   on (February 5, 2014, 20:36 GMT)

He has disrupted every team he has played for. He was a great batsmen but now on his way down. Au reovirus Kevin, let's move on.

Posted by SeanoN on (February 5, 2014, 20:34 GMT)

Sorry state of affairs. If it were a soccer team the coach and manager would have got the sack... English cricket just found a way to defeat itself. KP was a prima donna but the managers should have done their job and managed him...

Posted by nakihunter on (February 5, 2014, 20:30 GMT)

Plain jealousy!

Graeme Swann has been the world's top wicket taker in the last 10 years! Even better than Dale Steyn. Jimmy Anderson has also been a top wicket taker. However neither of them got the praise, following or financial endorsement deals that KP got. Stewart Broad is another member of that clique which wanted KP out.

Posted by SurlyCynic on (February 5, 2014, 20:30 GMT)

Superb article Mr Dobell. Well done.

Posted by Amit_13 on (February 5, 2014, 20:30 GMT)

Valid points! Shane Warne and sehwag would not cut it in England! Unfortunate but he was perhaps the only"freak genius" left on show after the recent retirements in world cricket. No one left to watch... Easily the only English player I'd pay to watch. They should have simply raised the bar higher for him. His drive is purely internal. They could have set an impossible goal for him and left him to it.

Posted by willsrustynuts on (February 5, 2014, 20:29 GMT)

Clarke out.

Reform the board.

Sack the management.

Give the game back to the fans.

ECB + ACB + BCCI = BIG BIG SALARIES that you and I are paying for.

Posted by kingofwessex on (February 5, 2014, 20:28 GMT)

It's not often that I write comments, that I participate, that I bother to make my views known. I've been following English cricket avidly for 20 years and in that time I've never been angry at the England set-up. Disappointed, ashamed, frustrated, yes, but never furiously full of rage. Until now.

I'm angry because they've taken away, for no clear and valid reason, a player I love to watch. He entertains me in a way that no other English batsman (even Morgan and Buttler) can because he is a mix of audacity, talent, courage, skill and innovation that I don't think we'll see again in a long time.

So I want him back. I don't want the poor managers in the ECB set-up to deprive us, the paying public of such a player.

Posted by   on (February 5, 2014, 20:18 GMT)

KP is the only player in the world who had so much of his own performance that solely decided the rise if cricket in the country and also ECB. Untill KP arrived ENG was the Zimbabwe of big teams! Accept it! This article cannot be told any better! It's Andy flowers failure to accept failure and he ran a purple patch as long as KP had all his record match winning stuff for ENG!

Posted by Naren on (February 5, 2014, 20:17 GMT)

They just dropped him before the ODI World Cup and now doing it before T20 World Cup.They are just shooting in the foot. Don't see a great England future with people like Cook. Hope there is a solid reason for dropping Pietersen.

Posted by JoshFromJamRock on (February 5, 2014, 20:15 GMT)

Don't worry KP. The IPL, BBL and CPL will be excited to have you in one of their franchises. You were like a Sir Viv Richards in the England team: full of swagger and just your presence caused intimidation and when on song you scored big and entertaining innings.

Like Sobers, Sir Viv, Gavaskar, Lara, Sachin, Ponting, Jayasuriya, Gayle, Sehwag, Afridi and other popular batsmen of the past and present, Pietersen didn't just play to win - He played to entertain also.

Sports are suppose to be entertaining or else (you guessed it) they won't get a following or make money.

Posted by Martensad on (February 5, 2014, 20:05 GMT)

Excellent piece, Mr Dobell. Clinically and methodically pointing out all the absurdities of this sorry business. My guess is that after Flower's resignation, Cook felt his position under threat (and quite rightly so!), so he offered up KP as a scapegoat.

Posted by   on (February 5, 2014, 20:01 GMT)

This article is too good!!! its a perfect article about englands best batsmen for close to ten years. KP is simply world class and has been at the forefront of famous English victories!! ECB WHAT ARE YOU DOING???? and you drop one world crickets top entertainers/masterblaster/ innovator take your pick!

Who can forget his switch hit for 6 off a fast bowler!!! and his unbelievable batting in the famous ashes series! i dont care weather its alex hales, micheal lumb or eoin morgan, no one can replace KP. Any opposition will look at the english line up and laugh at the fact they dont have to bowl to KP. Glad Sri Lanka will no be bowling to him in May later this year when we tour there!!1its a sad day for world cricket and and even sader day for English cricket!! WELL played ECB!!!

Posted by attilathecricketer on (February 5, 2014, 20:00 GMT)

It would be nice to hear an explanation. It seems bizarre to rule him out of one day and especially T20 where he was vital. Egos do need to be tackled (I can imagine KP disrupts more than Gower did) but surely it would have been better to simply say that he is dropped pending an improvement in attitude and then KP could have made a decision. Whilst he definitely improved the team do remember England were doing well before he came into the team (barring the Ashes).

Posted by jb633 on (February 5, 2014, 19:59 GMT)

@cpt.meanster, it's funny how you bring Aus into the debate as an Indian fan. Personally I took much more delight in handing out thrashings to India than I ever got from an Ashes win. The feeling is mutual at least.

Posted by jb633 on (February 5, 2014, 19:57 GMT)

@cpt.meanster, it's funny how whenever i post a question to you i never see a response. Instead it's the same old monotonous trolling about the big bad bully that is England and the same regurgitated lines we have been hearing for 5 years. It's funny reading your incensed comments when India lose (those are generally the only well informed ones we ever read).

Posted by jb633 on (February 5, 2014, 19:54 GMT)

@cpt.meanster, why would anybody listen to your opinions about English cricket? They are right but as you have been saying the same things for 5 years it was bound to be true eventually. It would be hilarious if we beat you when you next tour. Surely you should be banking on a 5-0 and nothing less. If you lose to us yet again now that will be embarrassing. All the pressure on you guys. It will be fun to watch NZ trounce you first though.

Posted by   on (February 5, 2014, 19:51 GMT)

My father was an engineer with an English firm - when times got tough, the management solution was to sack all their engineers. Needless to say they went broke. Similar style here, team has problems with batting, so they sack their best batsman on the tour. By this logic, they should sack Broad too, as bowlers couldn't finish the Aussies off and he was clearly their best.

Posted by   on (February 5, 2014, 19:46 GMT)

Let ECB count their money with BCCI and CA. Who cares what is KP's contribution to England and World Cricket!!!!

Posted by   on (February 5, 2014, 19:43 GMT)

The end of an era... looks like its back to the dark ages - the eighties and nineties..not so long ago. You had to be Barmy to support England then....remember?

Posted by rizwan1981 on (February 5, 2014, 19:43 GMT)

''in England, you are forgiven for turning you back and going on a rebel tour - Gooch, Gatting, Graveney et al - but not for rocking the boat''

Agree with the writer - Gooch ( the current batting coach ) and Gatting are welcomed back to the fold AFTER touring APARTHEID South Africa but not KP for voicing his dissent.

The punishment is excessive relative to the crime - A slap in the wrist was called for - Instead the big wigs of English cricket chose to pull the plug on the only box office cricketer today

Sad day for cricket ( I am a Sri Lankan)

Posted by Extra...Cover on (February 5, 2014, 19:41 GMT)

Thanks for the memories KP. You enriched the game of cricket. I don't even support England yet I'm forced to admit to myself that you'd bat at 5 in any World XI that I could imagine. Good luck - the establishment that has turned on you didn't deserve you (and these are the guys who want to run world cricket !!!)

Posted by CurrentPresident on (February 5, 2014, 19:40 GMT)

To those who say "game is bigger than one man" - I say EXACTLY. What should determine if a person is playing should be his game and not how he cozies up to certain insecure personalities.

KP was still the highest scoring English batsman in the series. Others who did worse should have been fired first.

KP brings excitement to the game and the fans like to watch him play. He makes the game richer.

So, yes, don't rob the game because of some people's insecurities.

Posted by   on (February 5, 2014, 19:38 GMT)

All I can say is England's loss is BCCI /IPL's gain

Posted by m0se on (February 5, 2014, 19:35 GMT)

This authority based cricket system is broken. Time to let free market and franchise based cricket take over. The country based cricket should now be a minor fraction of cricket. Poor KP. I'm sure he's just glad all this is over. They weren't letting him play ODI or T20 cricket.

Posted by CricLook on (February 5, 2014, 19:34 GMT)

While I was a boy and just started to learn the game, I found English team always fail to win and used to loss heavily. It become the trade mark and brand of their game and identity of being an English cricketer. Other teams have players for whom people come to stadium like Lara,Tendulkar, Ponting, Steve Waugh, Donald, Mark Waugh, Walsh, Ambrose and so on. England had no star, no brand and no identity. England means inventor of the game but dont know how to win. Then comes Pietersen and the generation of cricket like Vaughn, Flintoff, Jones, Harmisson etc. People certainly felt english cricket has significantly changed. They not only play the game but also re brand their approach and mentality that pleased the fans and won matches. With the departure of Pietersen Egnlish cricket thrown back to the old coffin. A senseless captain, A robotic coach and A new administrator who try to introduce him in the cricket world by axing teams greatest batsman. Its a cry for the fans !

Posted by Tomcat3 on (February 5, 2014, 19:28 GMT)

The ECB make me sick , I say this as an England Fan an avid one , I really thought we had got past all this cowardly backstabbing management speak decisions . but no we just cannot trust talent , Dobell is right without Pietersen a lot of these England Players would be having even more average careers , how can anybody justify sacking KP and Keeping Cook as Captain , and come July when KP is averaging 65 in County Cricket and were struggling against India , what are they going to do then ? not pick him . utterly ridiculous , go back on your decision and play the best Batsman we are ever likely to have .

Posted by Diaz54 on (February 5, 2014, 19:26 GMT)

Basically KP never fitted with England team culture which is low key, methodical, mechanical,lacking flare and self belief . Got the impression KP got on well,with opposition cause he had the confidence to do so,,which alienated team management. Ultimately KP was a foreigner,,totally expendable.

Posted by   on (February 5, 2014, 19:22 GMT)

Whilst ESPNCricinfo should be covering the KP story, and Mr Dobell is entirely entitled to interesting opinion pieces, I wish the leading headline on the website wasn't something like "KP questions deserve answers" - I happen to agree, but that is an opinion. Please steer away from tabloid-style headlines, and keep the frontpage neutral. The links to George's piece below a neutral headline should be enough, as it should be with ANY opinion piece. When it's a headline, it sounds like it is ESPN's own views. It's lousy to see.

Posted by Insightful2013 on (February 5, 2014, 19:21 GMT)

What a brilliant article, George. I think it's actually better for KP to leave. He'll make more money and go where he is appreciated. Only the ECB will suffer, when the gates are diminished and the results poor. Most people want to see KP. No sense going into how amazing he is. It's important to realize that his abilities are a direct result of his psyche. A stick in the mud like Boycott could never ever produce the displays of a KP because he's incapable psychologically. Very few people can. His laissez faire exhibitions exist because he's able to separate the bog down of failure. An ability we can only dream of. He's a unique, special man and only British pathology can rationalize his exclusion. It's that small minded attitude that has doomed all of our sportsmen. Aside from his stats, his flair is what we all want to see and when ECB dictate to the paying public, that's when you stop paying and turn off the telly!

Posted by noboundaries on (February 5, 2014, 19:18 GMT)

I wonder whether KP can do a Keppler Wessels & play for SA??

Posted by rebewts on (February 5, 2014, 19:17 GMT)

8000 runs at an average of 47.something... And his Test stats are easily his best in terms of the different forms of the game.

He was a good player with some good knocks and some bad hair. I seriously don't get why there is all the fuss. In an age which has seen the retirement of Tendulkar, Ponting and Kallis this is a massive non-event.

A good player who was a horrible person got dropped. No big deal.

Posted by   on (February 5, 2014, 19:14 GMT)

He has been a bad apple for a long time. I don't know why he was allowed to continue to rot rest of the team for this long. Good job ECB

Posted by   on (February 5, 2014, 19:13 GMT)

It is one of the most ridiculous decisions ever made in history of cricket. KP has nothing to lose here. He has already played more than 100 tests and has made more than 8000 test runs. He will always be regarded as one of the greatest player ever to play for England.He will now play in different T20 leagues around the world and will make tons of money without any interruption from ECB. So by the time he will finally stop playing cricket he will have earned everything - Prestige(being a great test player),Money(playing in different T20 leagues) and Reputation(as one of the most aggressive and talented player ever) in his cricketing career.On the other hand England has lost a player who could have finally won a World cup for them next year and also probably the next Ashes. The writer is absolutely correct that If you can't manage then you shouldn't be in management. England's future is not at all safe in hands of Alistair Cook who couldn't handle even a single superstar in his team.

Posted by noboundaries on (February 5, 2014, 19:10 GMT)

Spot on assessment Mr.Dobell, one thing you did not mention Eng is going to be coached by an average & negative spin bowler. Imagine how dour and dull England are going to be? These decision makers do not give an iota of thought towards fans who pay hard earned money to watch the likes of Gower, Botham & KP. Now they got Cook & co to win two world cups! I wonder how barmy army going to react on match days.

Posted by   on (February 5, 2014, 19:06 GMT)

Pietersen is the only English batsman of recent times who could truly turn the a game in England's favor. Obviously he could not do it all the time but he has done it enough to be seen as a unique weapon in England's batting arsenal. If he was dropped for extended lack of form, I can understand. What is going here is clearly a major step back for English cricket and world cricket is lesser if KP decides to retire from all forms of cricket.

Posted by   on (February 5, 2014, 19:03 GMT)

How can the highest performer be thrown out ? What is the message being sent ? Dont perform, be nice and ride the gravy train..What a joke English cricket is turning out to be. They had only one choice...to hand him the captaincy and take the situation by the scruff of its neck...See what Clarke achieved...same situation, maybe worse...but he turned it around. What team will Cook lead...there is no team left...Broad , Bell and Prior remain the only performers the rest are so so...England after going forward so well are now going backwards so fast its unbelievable...No point in keeping England part of the "big - three" Cricket will go down in England....This is what administrators shouldnt be allowed to do, the cricket of cricket and business of cricket are two separate things...Please justify to the public why it has been robbed of seeing a great player in his prime...do they have a replacement ? The ECB should resign, this is their failure not his...

Posted by   on (February 5, 2014, 18:56 GMT)

It will take 5 more years to rebuild England team. Swann trott kp Andrew - man Australia has destroyed a team. A moustache can make such a big difference. England had no option other than to keep KP, but its the other way round. All the best ecb- England prepare for FIFA now

Posted by brusselslion on (February 5, 2014, 18:54 GMT)

@Cpt.Meanster on (February 5, 2014, 18:27 GMT): I stand in awe of you. Your ability to have a dig at England no matter what, is truly amazing.

Posted by CurrentPresident on (February 5, 2014, 18:52 GMT)

Well spoken from the heart - George. All the people who enjoy exciting cricket will be saddened at this.

If KP is removed for the manner in which he played, Cook was even worse. Almost everyone except Broad was guilty of that. Hopefully, we will get to enjoy KP's exploits in the IPL. He will end up getting more acceptance and making more money as well. It's a true shame how England administration, some of his fellow players and even a lot of English fans have treated him over the years. They all took joy in the victories he generated and he was the only player to be penalized for the collective failure of the English team. On hindsight, Trott was smart to leave the tour early.

Posted by southstoke49 on (February 5, 2014, 18:49 GMT)

Great Article. Totally agree with SamWinston92. I really hope England get stuffed until current management are shown the door. Good start from Paul Downton! With our current set up we will be lucky to get to double figures after 8 overs in the next World Cup. Also seems very strange that the new coach has already been handicapped by selectors as George noted, maybe they will get rid of Broad and Stokes as they did ok in the Ashes which obviously shows too much talent and playing for themselves.

Posted by   on (February 5, 2014, 18:45 GMT)

england management should take their decision because kp is one of the senior player and he knows how to strengthen a team.

Posted by vj3478 on (February 5, 2014, 18:39 GMT)

May be Cook was given an option to select captaincy vs KP in the team. Its a good rumor to spread as ECB has always done about KPs team spirit.

Posted by   on (February 5, 2014, 18:37 GMT)

Guys, is there any possibilities that KP can play for SA? I think this is the best thing seems most likely at this moment for such incredible cricketer. I love watching KP, ABD, Amla, Virat and still hopeful that KP will be in National side.

Posted by   on (February 5, 2014, 18:31 GMT)

this article sums up the story petty nicely... to me its been more of a failure of management who couldn't control that extravagant (genius) player than that of Pietersen itself.. the question is how would England be able to manage the world cricket if they cant manage a player?. and yes 'TALENT COMES AT A COST'' world cricket will be boring without KP and english cricket will not worth watching for a neutral like that of before KP era

Posted by Hira1 on (February 5, 2014, 18:30 GMT)

If media have supported KP earlier the way they are doing now it would be a different story.........any way best of luck to KP. Hopefully he will rock this IPL and let England rebuild the team with guys like Carberry, Bairstow, Bresnan, Rankin , Bopara.......we all know what future holds for England now.

Posted by Rahul_78 on (February 5, 2014, 18:27 GMT)

Thanks George, was waiting for this piece. The irony of the situation is the only lone crusader who resisted the much criticised and maligned over fed Robot regime of Flower has been sacked. If there were altercation between KP and Cook thenlet the reasons be known to the public, why hush it up? KP has a cheqered history and has disgraced himself by sending text messages. Strauss also said after retiring that he found it impossible to deal with KP and it paid part in his retirment. So if such a big decision had to be taken then it should have been done with absolute transperancy or else as George pointed out it will play heavily on each failure Cook and co will have. If KP had to go then he had to as no one is bigger then the game or the team but the reasons better be valid enough to do away with one of the best batsmen in workd cricket. This has been collateral damage of highest kind.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (February 5, 2014, 18:27 GMT)

I can't believe the guys at ECB want to run world cricket. They can't even manage a single man in their team. It's a brand new day and I still cannot digest KP's axing. RIP English cricket. Back to the 90s for you guys. I foresee England struggling and dropping way back to no.7 or 8 in the rankings. Apart from Ben Stokes and Ian Bell, no other player looks capable or international quality. Joe Root is nothing more than a county/home conditions bully. Cook bats like a snail in both tests and ODIs. Trott may never return. And then we have the bowlers. England team has gone to the dogs with KP's loss. It was KP who brought in fearless cricket to England. Now without him, they will be back to playing boring cricket in no time. I want Australia to smash them to bits every time they play each other. England will lose every game in the World T20 and in the World Cup. This is the reward for ignoring a great player. The Delhi Daredevils need to hand in a hefty contract to KP now !

Posted by danishsyed88 on (February 5, 2014, 18:27 GMT)

An amazing article this. This is definitely what every England supporter and the England management should read.

Posted by   on (February 5, 2014, 18:17 GMT)

I cant believe the treatment meted out to KP. I genuinely think the guy, with his experience, class and fitness can walk into any side in world cricket. England genuinely do not know how to treat a champion He is not even half as frustrating as Sehwag and he played longer. Alastair Cook is a pathetic captain and this has been by far his worst decision. Champions do not deserve this sigh!

Posted by roy-apps on (February 5, 2014, 18:14 GMT)

An excellent article, George. The ECB have managed this whole affair quite abysmally. It may well be true that KP is something of a maverick and possibly may not be the easiest player to manage, but the same is often said of many of his talented England predecessors - notably the great WG, whose name is proudly commemorated on the Lord's main gate. I somehow doubt that Lord's will ever boast a Downton Gate!

Posted by Nutcutlet on (February 5, 2014, 18:12 GMT)

A fine article here, George - and one that wrote itself. You are right in every detail, expressing what we'd all like to know and considering what we've been dragged through, have a right to know. The parallel of KP's departure with Gower's over twenty years ago, is apposite. (BTW, the stultifying conformist mentality also ruled then, with 'Gradgrind' Gooch captaining the team). Over recent years I've ascribed to the BCCI - as a by-word for their MO, 'Never Discuss. Never Explain.' It looks as if it's catching - but there again, perhaps that's not surprising. And finally, here's interesting, from Wisden 1991, reviewing the '90-'91 fracas: re: the infamous Tiger Moths' moment: [Gower & Morris were] fined £1,000... It was a harsh penalty for an essentially light-hearted prank, reflecting all too accurately the JOYLESS nature of the tour...When England doesn't enjoy a tour, it finds scape goats and the default postion is always to throw out those who are different. It's happened again.

Posted by bbpp on (February 5, 2014, 18:05 GMT)

True cricket fans rejoice when they can follow a game just because of that special breed of players. I am speaking of players like Lara, Pieterson, Ponting, Waqar, Marshall, Warne, Murli, Sehwag etc. who can electrify a game and turn it on its head in less than a session.

Losing Pieterson still in prime form is a loss to the game. All cricket lovers admire the runs that flows from Clarke, Amla, Sanga and Virat. We were glued when Johnson was wreaking havoc on England as when India were being hammered by England home and away or India with Pujara and Co. mauling the Aussies.

The players are the ones who make the game work watching, not the Administrators. Sachin, Kallis, Dravid, Steyn, Younis, Mahela, DeVilliers etc are why the game has fans.

Posted by TheChap on (February 5, 2014, 18:04 GMT)

Finally someone on here has nailed it - take a bow Lord_mac - perhaps we should make you a prince!

Absolutely spot on with your assessment...as I have posted elsewhere, people have been totally missing the point here..."KP the flawed genius, most prolific run scorer, misunderstood, temperamental, England should learn how to manage the mavericks better"...blah, blah, blah...rubbish!

England have ruthlessly cut him adrift, and you have to understand why that is. They have lost patience with his behaviour and attitude. His track record is appalling - the Moores affair, leaving under a cloud at Notts, Textgate (which was unforgivable), the `re-integration` into the dressing room, contributing seemingly very little from the boundary edge in all the tours when the going got tough - Oz 2006-07, UAE 2012, Oz 2013-14.

It was well known in English county circles since the SA tour of 2012 that KP was on his last chance...and he blew it on this Ashes tour.

Posted by   on (February 5, 2014, 18:04 GMT)

This is the day when all the rivals of English Cricket Team will be very happy forcing KP not to play means giving your opposition the best chance of winning that game and it will only hurt the English Team not anyone else KP can play in any Lucrative league and earn money but English Team will loose its most valuable asset of all time ....

Posted by   on (February 5, 2014, 17:59 GMT)

Don't be surprised! England always play the dirty politics. And this time in cricket. Check History!

Posted by willsrustynuts on (February 5, 2014, 17:55 GMT)

Excellent summary George.

The fans need a voice.

Kick out the jams.

Posted by simon_w on (February 5, 2014, 17:54 GMT)

I'm not really interested in the gory details, to be honest. the clamour from journalists (and self-publicists like Michael Vaughan) is predictable, of course -- its their job to make as big a fuss as possible over these things, but I'm more interested in cricket, personally. Ed Smith wrote a great article recently about how the sports-media used to server sport, and now sport serves the sports-media.n good example this, imo.

Posted by Rebel_Who_Follows_All_The_Rules on (February 5, 2014, 17:51 GMT)

Dammnnn...Dobell's absolutely smoked it!!! Brilliant read!!!

Posted by steve48 on (February 5, 2014, 17:51 GMT)

Not sure why my previous post was not published, perhaps a little too much deliberate conjecture and exaggeration, but my general point agreed with George wholeheartedly! KP is the one player we want to watch, and is as effective as he is entertaining, a rare combination. His dismissals in the recent series indicated something was wrong, as did his apparent exclusion from the on field decision making. The ECB decision to sack him must have some reasons behind it, especially when his talent and experience should have been so needed in the upcoming T/20 world cup. It certainly looked that way during the T/20s in Australia! This is why we as fans need to know why KP has now become so intolerable

Posted by hkiran1 on (February 5, 2014, 17:50 GMT)

Only player worth watching in the English line up is sacked!!!! Thought there was some limit for foolishness.

Irelend can be a destination as good as any right now for the berserker. Will improve the chances of both to play Test cricket.

Posted by sreni on (February 5, 2014, 17:47 GMT)

Good article - but i am not ok with last paras of this ..Cook, root, Finn are very ordinary players exposed by Aus not by schedule..

Posted by SamWintson92 on (February 5, 2014, 17:41 GMT)

England has dumped their best star batsman who can win games at his own and is always a threat to the opposition. KP is world's one of the best batsman. This is the worst decision I've ever seen. I agree to the each & every single word of Micheal Vaughan's reaction on KP's omission. KP has dropped owing to non cricketing reasons, not for cricketing reasons. Somewhat similar happened with Sourav Ganguly during the Greg Chappel era (2005-06) when Ganguly was consistently overlooked for non cricketing reasons. I'm not going to watch Eng cricket without KP. Eng won't win anything be it T2O WC 2014, WC 2015, Ashes 2015 without KP. Those who have discarded KP, should be fired. Cook should be sacked from capataincy if he's removed KP. I still hope to see KP playing for England. Can't understand about ''Ethics & team culture'' ! It's very ironic to see ECB talking about Pietersen's contribution for Eng & his ran tally. They don't need to show off. It's transparent that they are cursing KP.

Posted by   on (February 5, 2014, 17:39 GMT)

Here is the thing, a lot of what you write makes sense George but you make statements that are simply untrue. Your snide digs are Alastair Cook show that rather than approach this issue objectively, you appear to have taken sides. Either you know what is going on and therefore you should tell us, or you don't and perhaps consider reserving such judgements until the dust has settled a little. If you want examples of what I am talking about then consider quotes such as "..then you accept that he will, at times, fall to catches at long-on or long leg." At times? He got out in this manner an awful lot, in fact he got himself out this manner pretty much as often as it came off for him, I can barely recall a chanceless hundred. Oh and its quite clear what you mean by "But in England the greater sin is to be seen to give you wicket away with a loose stroke rather than leaving a straight delivery and allowing it to hit your stumps." You have all the answers? Then why the title of the article?

Posted by Vikramaditya100 on (February 5, 2014, 17:38 GMT)

Great Piece.... How Cook has survived this is shambolic.... and I thought the BCCI was bad....

Posted by pardo on (February 5, 2014, 17:36 GMT)

I have to agree with Michael Vaughan on this. If they were going to say "that's it KP" the time to do it was after textgate - that was utterly unforgivable behaviour on KP's part. However, having agreed to forgive and forget and move on, this makes no sense. Ideally you'd have 11 players with huge talent and low ego but if you haven't, and have to chose between those with low talent and low ego or those with huge talent and huge ego, surely it's an easy pick? The similarities with the Gooch/Gower situation are depressing - if only because does any cricket fan (apart from the occasional one-eyed Aussie - I speak as a kiwi) really want twenty years of England teams like the ones that followed the end of Gower? ECB - if you really want to force two division cricket on the rest of us, and guarantee yourself a top tier spot regardless of results, could you please at least make sure you pick your best team?

Posted by   on (February 5, 2014, 17:35 GMT)

Excellent journalism and writing.... irrefutable, heady stuff.

Posted by   on (February 5, 2014, 17:35 GMT)

As usual Geaorge, asbsolutely on the mark. Whether KP is good or bad for the team has now become almost a secondary issue. The concern now centres on the way in which the ECB continues to treat the public as if they don't exist and despite changes in personnel at the top, the philosophy remains "rock like" in the way the ECB operate. For the thousands of faithful followers who went to Australia and who desperately tried to find something positive from this disaster, they deserve more than these mixed or non-existent messages. When will we get people running this sport who can communicate and treat the public with respect?

Posted by   on (February 5, 2014, 17:33 GMT)

great article... ECB is accountable

Posted by simon_w on (February 5, 2014, 17:32 GMT)

i've always supported KP -- i felt that as long as the team were prepared to put up with the negativity he brings in return for his undoubted talent, that was good enough for me. they're no longer willing to do so. that's good enough for me too. i won't miss him all that much. and for all those talking about KP as an all-time great: have a look over in Chittagong to see how an all-time great handles himself. a better player than KP, by a short distance, and a better individual by a country mile.

Posted by   on (February 5, 2014, 17:30 GMT)

bunch of babies. dobell said it right "looking for the best coach in the world, but telling him who is team is gonna be" not on lads

Posted by   on (February 5, 2014, 17:29 GMT)

Thank you, for articulating so well what many like me have been feeling for awhile now! excellent artlcle. Cheers George!

Posted by   on (February 5, 2014, 17:27 GMT)

George - You know your monitor is on fire right?

Posted by Manxmuppet on (February 5, 2014, 17:27 GMT)

@Lord_mac I think that is the point of the article: not to bring back KP, but for the ECB and the people behind the decision to front up and tell the fans the truth.

Right now English cricket is about as low as I have ever known it (and I followed through the 90's). What makes it all the more painful is where we were 18 months ago. That can't all be the fault of one player. All we want to know is what has happened to cause this implosion.

Posted by   on (February 5, 2014, 17:25 GMT)

eng have the right to drop kp or even say we will not pick him, but why "make" him RETIRE???

Posted by Harlequin. on (February 5, 2014, 17:23 GMT)

Got to be honest Mr Dobell, when I first read your writings I wasn't that keen - it all seemed very predictable and obvious. The more I have read however, the more I have come to realise that it is only predictable because it makes a lot of sense and is stuff that I have already thought about but not been able to put into words.

This is probably the best article of yours I have read; it shows a great understanding of the inner workings of the England team, and some well informed and well articulated opinions.

Posted by Basingrad on (February 5, 2014, 17:20 GMT)

George: nail located, head identified, large hammer deployed effectively.

Posted by Lord_mac on (February 5, 2014, 17:16 GMT)

If only it were that simple. Do people really think that on the basis of a few little misdemeanours, the ECB is so stupid as to make this decision, and weaken its team?

Until you know the facts and the real reasons behind them - which they may well be unable to reveal, never mind unwilling - it's fatuous to pass a superficial judgement. And we may never know of course.

Do you really think that they don't understand the entertainment value of KP, or have forgotten the critical innings he has played, or don't need the weight of runs? And totally ignored them in arriving at this decision. After all, they bent over backwards to re-integrate him before, and not that long ago.

So everything points to there being something really, really serious at the back of this. Or you must believe that the ECB are really, really stupid. Not a rational conclusion, in my humble opinion.

Posted by i2mir2 on (February 5, 2014, 17:15 GMT)

Particularly appreciated the "Gradgrind" reference :-) Hard Times, indeed! Agree with Pietersen's invaluable contributions and class. Agree with the need for greater ECB accountability and transparency. And agree with driving change by starting at the very top. However, when an individual repeatedly finds himself in the midst of the fracas and continues to allegedly clash with teammates & management (some fairly reputable ones), you're eventually going to run out of advocates and sponsors. ECB and Cook shouldn't be the only ones held accountable here.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (February 5, 2014, 17:13 GMT)

It is truly depressing to see English cricket ripping itself apart like this. The Australians must be loving this.

Posted by Sandasiri_Asitha on (February 5, 2014, 17:11 GMT)

@KingOwl , exactly... well-said.

Posted by crying_game on (February 5, 2014, 17:08 GMT)

Brilliant article. Yes, Pietersen and his agents can be placated. But what about the fans? And with no answers/explanations, who is to say that this kind of thing will not happen again. The fear of such is going to keep inhibiting the next possible maverick. There is always a perceptible dullness about English cricket, now one realizes a lot of it is just intentional.

Posted by cndsilva on (February 5, 2014, 17:05 GMT)

Im from Sri Lanka and im a very big fan of KP. He is truly a entertainer. I was shocked to hear the news. Even i feel crying. What a waste by ECB. KP you are a legend these people dont understand your value

Posted by   on (February 5, 2014, 17:04 GMT)

what the hell is England doing ....... for god sake it`s not the end of the world ... it was just only 1 away series gone horribly wrong ... now they are nailing there own coffin by removing great players from the side ...... for sure English cricket going to be ded for a long time

Posted by tres244 on (February 5, 2014, 17:02 GMT)

where do you start ? 1 kp it seam strange to axe your best player when you struggling to replace strauss trot leaving just main batsmen so that leaves cook bell pressure on boys 2 cook as captain NO he is a clueless 3 giles on his one day performance NO useless coach 4 flower you are not coach so now leave completely no jobs for the boys 5 giles Clarke is money man all he want's is players playing 365 days a year must GO NOW we need cricket lovers not money men 6 new coach who wants the job looks like tom moody

Posted by Kentheavenonearth on (February 5, 2014, 17:02 GMT)

Any, repeat any captain that suffers an Ashes whitewash and more has to be asked to step down from the role, especially if they averaged so badly. Downton you so got it wrong, this isn't leadership, it's lunacy.

Posted by   on (February 5, 2014, 17:00 GMT)

When you win then there will be no problem but when you lose then all the problems prop up. England have this strange environment where they do not respect individuals, may be that is the reason everyone in England cricket team have such a short career. You liked his agression in 2005 ashes, in world T20 and series in India but now you don't like that swagger, his audacity. This is poor management by ECB. He deserves better treatment.

Posted by Guruprasad.S on (February 5, 2014, 16:58 GMT)

This is a critical analysis of this sorry situation by George Dobell. Is KP really disruptive influence in the England dressing room? Does KP promote a culture of selfishness in the dressing room? I find it hard to believe these things about KP. But two things are evident: 1. Andy Flower operated like a dictator, under whose watch, players had no joy of playing cricket. 2. Cook is a captain depended too much on Flower, rather than being independent. Either way, Truth will never be known.

Posted by CricFanKrish on (February 5, 2014, 16:57 GMT)

First of all, what a fanstastic article! Yes, I agree that the change has to start at the top. Yet, Pietersen needs somebody to guide and discipline him. He has no doubt played an important part in England's rise, but there have been others who have contributed immensely. James Anderson, Graeme Swann, of course Alastair Cook himself have made immense contributions. How can we forget the piles of runs he scored in the 2010/11 Ashes series?

If Pietersen is taking his role as a senior in the team seriously, that's very good for him. However, if he continues to show his dominance he may no longer be a good fit. Perhaps he can be given a few more chances because of his contribution to England cricket.

Posted by   on (February 5, 2014, 16:55 GMT)

The mind boggles. The same people (ECB) who want to run world cricket have now sidelined one of the greatest drawcards in world cricket.

Posted by PeterinChina on (February 5, 2014, 16:54 GMT)

Is the ECB taking CA's 'Simon Katich' approach?

Posted by sachinssnn on (February 5, 2014, 16:54 GMT)

please dont retire now KP...with love from SL

Posted by geoffboyc on (February 5, 2014, 16:47 GMT)

According to the BBC, some members of the England team "had no issues" with Pietersen but Alastair Cook felt it in "the best interests of the England team" that KP left. If true, this poses a potentially serious problem for team unity, especially if the player(s) replacing him fail and/or the man who wanted him out continues to struggle with the bat. Cook might have brought more pressure on himself and, if recent observations of how he copes with pressure are anything to go by, the future looks bleak.

Posted by eddsnake on (February 5, 2014, 16:46 GMT)

Excellent article, couldn't have put it any better. This unprecedented decision is unjust and ridiculous, and English cricket will be much poorer for it.

Posted by criccrazyamit on (February 5, 2014, 16:44 GMT)

Very well Said Dobell! For neutral fans of KP like us, its very frustrating to see he going out this way...I mean, that's the irony of life, isnt it? A player so brash, is going out so quietly...It looks so funny....As long as England were winning, they didnt have any problem with the entire set-up involving KP....They even "reintegrated" him(Of course after disastrous T20 w/o KP) ...But now that they are losing despite him, he is the first deliberate casualty (after the naturals of Swanny and Trotty) Looks like the Great English Tide has receded....Among the chatter of "New Generation"....I hope he comes back...Stronger..He certainly deserves a better farewell.....

Posted by Paulk on (February 5, 2014, 16:44 GMT)

How do you solve a problem like Kevin? I'd like to say a word in his behalf Kevin's batting makes me smile.

Read the lyrics to the song in 'Sound of Music' and make the appropriate name, gender and context substitutions.

Posted by asifksr on (February 5, 2014, 16:41 GMT)

As a Pakistani i believe that England golden era was led by KP. I will miss him and continue to search him playing anywhere in the world.

Posted by Yevghenny on (February 5, 2014, 16:36 GMT)

it surely cannot be that bad that Cook would want to weaken his own side this much? We are missing batsmen at numbers 2, 3 and now 4, with the wicket keeper laughably being filled by Bairstow and a spinner.

3 fast bowlers who were not fit for selection on a tour where bowlers were being dispatched to all corners, a youthful Joe Root being shuffled around as if he were an experienced campaigner with 50 tests under his belt rather than a rough round the edges rookie deemed a better bet than a guy that scored 2 hundreds but was dumped for a painfully slow innings vs New Zealand (which quite frankly was rapid in comparison to some of Root's efforts since). The selectors and the management are desperately trying to avert attention from themselves for a catalogue of errors, Pietersen is the perfect scape goat

Posted by bhushanB on (February 5, 2014, 16:36 GMT)

Cricket lovers and fans deserve a clarification. Bold article... good questions... It is the average cricket fan whose love and enthusiasm drives these rich boards.... and they do owe an explanation to the public.

Posted by Prats6 on (February 5, 2014, 16:33 GMT)

What the hell is wrong with ECB? I am disgusted. Maybe ECB simply do not deserve a free thinker, he need robots. Good luck, as you would need all of it. I simply cannot put this in words. Horrible, disgusting, pathetic.

Posted by   on (February 5, 2014, 16:31 GMT)

Cook go home pls. U ruin England Cricket. we need KP back

Posted by Crictragic1 on (February 5, 2014, 16:30 GMT)

Very well said George; I have a suspicicion this character Giles has a lot to do with this. Never a positive cricketer, he used to bowl so negatively in any form he played, I think under Nasser Hussein, another negative player. The damage KP's absence will do to England is immense; and the ECB should be held accountable if people stop watching test cricket. Terribly sad!

Posted by   on (February 5, 2014, 16:30 GMT)

England going for a nose dive. Good for SL

Posted by amrithd on (February 5, 2014, 16:29 GMT)

what england is really lacking is a strong leader who can get the best out of people Ultimately its the captain's call to decide the best 11 to represent the country - Coach at best should be an adviser and tactitian. He cannot be a substitute captain and selector.

Cook's leadership skills are bare for all to see - Difficult personalities are part of the game - Big ego players usually at this level have the skills to turn around games - Lillee, Miandad, Botham were known to be hot heads with massive egos but their respective captains channeled them -Best example being imran and javed - Off the field they may not look in the eye but on the field imran relied on him heavily.

KP for all his ego remains the single biggest game changer in Eng batting side - He can be given a county break to prove his form and come back.

More than anything it shows the board's decision to back the system and ideals than a strong individual leader!

Posted by sachin_equal_to_bradman on (February 5, 2014, 16:26 GMT)

What a sad end to one of the modern day greats!!! But thanks ECB for such decision...He is a "rockstar" so this Million Pound Asset will add glitter to another Million Pound tournament called IPL!!! He will be free to play IPL and we are waiting to watch this artist play his game!!! Such an awesome cricketer...Had he born in india, He would have enjoyed the status of rahul/vvs/dada...Infact would have enjoyed Sachin's status who knows!!!!

Posted by   on (February 5, 2014, 16:24 GMT)

i support kp rather than ecb.. grow up ecb , u dont have any single player who can take place of kp..and kp is greater than giles and flower.. see d players profile.. how come less qualified people can take decision on higher qualified peoples

Posted by jackiethepen on (February 5, 2014, 16:19 GMT)

Very good article George. A little inflated on Kev's report. The team have managed to win games without him and even Series without him being the all conquering hero. But he has been an important player for England and we do need players of flair and ability to mix and match with the accumulators. KP has been very easy to defend because he has been so conspicuous and a celebrity but there are others who have suffered from the dour regime of Flower and Gooch and I wish you wouldn't repeat how great Flower has been. Greatness does not end like this in the complete implosion of the England side. Things have been getting worse for a while and under Cook Flower took more and more control of the side. It stopped being a happy camp. He has managed to escape responsibility for the mess and you managed to spot where he was failing. Kev in his scapegoat. Bell also suffered from being sidelined when Flower decided to promote Root to 3. A disaster for both. Bell is also a flair player we need.

Posted by liz1558 on (February 5, 2014, 16:18 GMT)

Apparently Cook's was the main voice in determining KPs exit. He probably feels like he's been betrayed - having his support for KP thrown back in his face by the man from Pietermaritzberg. Stupid decision, based on feeling hurt. He should've been talked out of it by senior management. Cook's captaincy problems had nothing to do with KP not respecting his authorita, but the fact that he's not a good captain. It will be a surprise if Cook lasts the summer as captain.

Posted by valvolux on (February 5, 2014, 16:15 GMT)

Look George I'm not generally a fan of your writing, cause even you put england on a pedestal way above their achievements when things are going well (which I think is half England's problems), but this had to be said. It was gobsmacking to see Trott go home, a huge over reaction to see Swann retire, funny to see Prior dropped, puzzling to see Flower step aside but now truly sad to see KP go. Remember how Warnie, a flamboyant guy with as many detractors as supporters as KP, publically ridicule Buchanon for his love ins prior to the 06/07 ashes? He may have caused argument among media and ruffled a few team mates feather's, but he was an enigma - a guy, no matter how much controversy, diaharmony, bad media he created (far more than KP), you knew your team was better with him, than without. KP wasn't great this ashes, but fought hard. Was he the reason Cook bowled spinners with terrible fields to let oz off the hook in brissie and Adelaide? Legend KP, hope you enjoy England's demise

Posted by   on (February 5, 2014, 16:15 GMT)

I think if Pietersen's name is going to be thrust out as a cause for the team failing, let's lob in a few more shall we? Morgan Batting too low in ODIs. If its his fault for that, shame on you: if its the managemants, one tick against some names there. Finn: his action mucked around with, his career derailed and his confidence at rock bottom. His fault or the managment? one tick against the management. Carberry picked out of no where for the ashes down under. Did he underperform or was it unfair to throw him into that series? hmm I think the management. Trott, Swann, Strauss, Anderson, Broad, Prior all played into the flippin floor and why? Oh you guessed it: the MANAGEMENT. Fellow cricket fans, I see a pattern here and I agree with this article. I feel a lot of sympathy for KP and I hope he enjoys his IPL and that Surrey fans enjoy watching him smash our sorry system everywhere because once again we prefer average cricketers who play for the team but cannot hack it at the top: Bresnan

Posted by LegSpinBowlr on (February 5, 2014, 16:15 GMT)

I noticed ECB has a typical approach to a problem. Whenever someone complains about something they remove both the complainer and the complaint against whom it was. Like when Pietersen and Peter Moores had a dispute both were removed from their positions

Posted by   on (February 5, 2014, 16:14 GMT)

Is this how England treat their greats. Very sad He should have been allowed to depart with some dignity

Posted by brusselslion on (February 5, 2014, 16:13 GMT)

I agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Dobell that England fans deserve explanations for any number of things (the handling of this affair, the total disintergration of a competitive team, the ruining of promising players e.g. Finn, the list goes on).

However, in KP's case, it is just plain wrong to lay the blame solely at the ECB's door. KP should have looked at two WI geniuses - Lara and Richards - as a guide to how to manage his ability. Very seldom did either of these two players place their own sense of self worth above the team (and let's face it, Sir Viv especially didn't lack self confidence). Sadly, KP often did and that is why he will not go down in history as a great player (unlike Sir Viv and Lara), "just" as a player occasionally touched by genius.

Posted by   on (February 5, 2014, 16:13 GMT)

Maybe just maybe the English selectors did the same thing with KP like the Aussie selectors did with Simon Katich

Posted by 32mahesh on (February 5, 2014, 16:10 GMT)

Well said George.we love that cricketer MRE than this foolish ecb.they are throwing million pound asset to garbage. Don't worry kp you will win your dreams.

Posted by vishwa1111 on (February 5, 2014, 16:10 GMT)

Who wants to see flower coaching??? Who wants to see Cook change his bowlers as captain...When we watch a cricket match which England is playing we want to see KP & Morgan batting......KP a special player...It's a real shame for ECB...I never think England going to win any match again.....& I never wish that so....

Posted by   on (February 5, 2014, 16:08 GMT)

Time to BRING COMPTON BACK to fill this huge gap. England would be foolish to allow Compton to *not* come back.

Posted by quogequox on (February 5, 2014, 16:06 GMT)

"When England won their first Ashes series in two-and-a-half decades"? Really 1987-2005. Much though I'd like a 25 year run to have been the case it simply isn't true. if this was a work of fiction you could claim artistic license. As a journalist you're guilty of hyperbole. As a cricket writer comparing playing in England's twenty20 world cup win to a 5-0 Ashes defeat, well that's just silly.

Posted by choo_for_twenty_choo on (February 5, 2014, 16:03 GMT)

Good article, Mr Dobell. Interesting that you point our how the ECB forgives rebels - but not boat-rockers. May Tony Grieg, another South African boat-rocker, RIP.

Posted by   on (February 5, 2014, 16:02 GMT)

Greatly summarized. The way KP is going out is really tough to believe. He paid the price of being genius in a medicare line up.

Posted by   on (February 5, 2014, 15:59 GMT)

You have struck several nails directly on the head here, George. The perception is that Flower, Giles and -- in particular Cook -- are responsible. Appalling.

Posted by MCC_Tie on (February 5, 2014, 15:58 GMT)

Thank you George for bringing common sense and calm to what is an emotional topic. Pietersen is the best England player for a generation and has played some of the great innings of the past 20 years. Should anybody put forth an argument that the ECB has in fact acted in the best interests of English cricket, I will point them firmly in the direction of this fine article, for it dissects this messy, poorly managed catastrophe with surgical precision.

Posted by PrasPunter on (February 5, 2014, 15:58 GMT)

Well said Doebell !! What on earth was ECB thinking when they made this ? Without KP, Eng for sure wouldn't have achieved what they have in the last 10 years or so. Eng are desperate to go back to the 90s' and have done so, thanks to the 5-0 drubbing at our hands.

Posted by NathanR on (February 5, 2014, 15:58 GMT)

This is going to be positive for India - both for IPL and for their tour against England. Can't see any positives for England because of this axe.

Posted by   on (February 5, 2014, 15:58 GMT)

Well written and clear. Captain Cook should have taken a stand here. He is the with the biggest loss. Again, I don't believe Cook is captain material. He may have ridden on the good form of himself and his players so far but is not capable of leading England's turn around.

Posted by jerryman on (February 5, 2014, 15:57 GMT)

I believe KP should still be in the T20 format for now. He certainly did not perform well in the disastrous Ashes tour , bit even Cook was an underperformer as well . Is he being made a scapegoat to silence critics , which will not be fair. He possibly was guilty of being outspoken and bringing shortcomings of the coach to light. I hope the cricketing public is made aware of what went behind closed doors . Agree that performance should be a criteria for selection , but sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander . Food for thought and hope he will come to an England side sooner than later . Think he has about 3 years left in cricket years at least.. Lest bring the skeletons outside the closet for the public to decide.

Posted by vijay225 on (February 5, 2014, 15:54 GMT)

Excellent one..precise to the point.

Posted by wazza001 on (February 5, 2014, 15:52 GMT)

The simple fact of the matter is that the ECB feels that they would rather have average players producing average performances but agreeing with everything they command, rather than class that drags English cricket away from the early 90's humdrum of poor cricket played by all. The man had at least 3 years left in the tank and they have wasted those years in the belief that his winners ethic is unwanted because no one else wants to win.

Posted by sudiptaasi on (February 5, 2014, 15:51 GMT)

Excellent, superb article. Conveys my sentiments beautifully. Many people are saying that remember his episode with Strauss; but it was supposed to be a clean slate when he was re integrated. If not, then why re integrate him in the first place. Also, if he was sacked because of giving an honest opinion in a team meeting, as the article suggests, that is as unethical and hypocritical as to make a politician blush. Lastly, ECB's media management policy seems to consist of three part : 1) If it is a politically correct news, tell it and tell it in a politically correct manner, 2) If it is a politically incorrect news which reflects badly on the management, suppress it and tell some werd half baked answers to media questions 3) If it is a politically incorrect news which helps the management, leak it and appear outraged.


Posted by Manxmuppet on (February 5, 2014, 15:51 GMT)

Well done George, you've just written what I was thinking!

Millions of pounds invested and all there is to show is a fleeting peak at the top of the world rankings in all 3 formats, followed by the customary freefall.

18 months ago all the talk was of a "legacy". Sadly, in 20 years we'll all remember the way KP was handled and we'll have forgotten about the few weeks at number 1. Some legacy!

Posted by kuldeep1109 on (February 5, 2014, 15:51 GMT)

Totally agree with you George!! KP has been one of the best cricketers to play for England. This all seems way too fishy!! This is just another step in the implosion of this English team. Once decision England cricket will regret for a long time to come!!

Posted by   on (February 5, 2014, 15:50 GMT)

KP has been the best batsman in English side. his absence vl b greatly felt.

Posted by crookedfinger on (February 5, 2014, 15:48 GMT)

Someone put some sense to these english selectors/ECB. KP has couple of years of good cricket, still left in him.

Posted by JayPeg on (February 5, 2014, 15:48 GMT)

As a South African who has worked and lived in the UK for 10 years I can testify to one thing. If you are forceful and opinionated, you are in spite of any good work, regarded as a personality problem, and seen as a liability by most around you. This is especially so if you challenge the people above you. Pieterson is anything but opaque and as such should be given much credit for the longevity he managed in the English team, most of which was due to his superior skill and temperament.

The more placid Saffa's like Strauss (although it's difficult to really regard him as one) and Trott are more likely to find favour with the English need for averageness and team cohesion. It's now time that England cricket got on without the continual Pieterson factor to either praise or lay blame. They may in future come to regard him as one of the better players to have played in the modern era, but for now you get the impression they just want to be done with the stress of having to deal with him.

Posted by   on (February 5, 2014, 15:47 GMT)

What is the reason to axe Pietersen ? Age, Performance or politics ?

Posted by   on (February 5, 2014, 15:47 GMT)

excellent article.KP type's batsman are not born everyday.I see that he has another two years of intl cricket left.I can't forget the t20 inning he played against SA.It was probably one of the best inning. It will be a waste not to have him in the next T20 WC.

Posted by DustyBin on (February 5, 2014, 15:46 GMT)

George, other than your maths (1989 to 2005 is 1.5 decades without winning the ashes, not 2.5) you have captured perfectly the views of many, me included. If the net effect of KP was to make the team worse-he somehow dragged others' performances down beyond the worth of his own contributions-then perhaps he should have been "dismissed", but how are we mere punters to judge if that was so? Either the ECB explain in full why KP went or we shall continue to believe that the ECB is full of people not fit for the job ( I could add to the ruining of Finn & other examples George mentions, the running into the ground of Broad & Anderson as major ECB sins.) The great "Warne era" Aus team, many of the great Pak sides etc have harboured "interesting" characters, every bit as difficult as KP, they seemed to take the rough with the smooth & keep picking the best side for cricketing reasons, why should the ECB be different?

Posted by SachinTendulkar-INDIA on (February 5, 2014, 15:45 GMT)

What looks like is that ECB thinks England players are finding it psychologically difficult to handle Pietersen inside the dressing room and hence putting on them the extra pressure and deteriorating their performance on the field. If it has really gone beyond limits then ECB made the right decision as dignity of cricketers themselves is more important than victory of the team.

But its hard to believe that this could have happened as the article points out numerous instances where English cricketers have been helped by KP. Perhaps, it could be difficult to digest a foreign man outsmarting the locals.

Posted by ObjectiveCricketism on (February 5, 2014, 15:44 GMT)

An excellent article George. You have summed up this disgraceful situation very well.

Posted by   on (February 5, 2014, 15:40 GMT)

Just Shame on ECB i don't know why they behave KP like he is nothing to them but his record shows what he is.. i have not seen any player from England who has such classic technique like KP.. Such an all rounder he is for all format of the game whatever its Test ODI or T20i

Posted by FawltyBean on (February 5, 2014, 15:40 GMT)

Very well said George Dobell. We as fans - English or non-English need answers from ECB for this major scapegoating of KP.

Posted by topeleven on (February 5, 2014, 15:37 GMT)

Very sad on hearing the news. England will go many step backwards because of this. I will never support English Cricket anymore.They did it to Botham and they are doing it to Pietersen

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