England news February 6, 2014

ECB struggles to control Pietersen message

  shares 121

James Whitaker's attempt to justify the omission of Kevin Pietersen from the squad for England's tour of the West Indies and subsequent World Twenty20 in Bangladesh could not have been more carefully controlled: only the rights holders, Sky TV and BBC radio, were allowed anywhere near him and, with legal issues still swirling, the demarcation lines on what he could answer were clearly laid down.

For all that, Whitaker has had better days. With one unscientific poll on ESPNcricinfo suggesting around 80% of England cricket fans supported Pietersen - and about half of the rest wanted more answers - Whitaker, the new national selector, was probably on to a loser but he did nothing to swing sympathy towards the ECB's unforgiving stance.

"The ODI team and the England T20 team has played a number of matches over the past 12 months or so without Kevin and on occasions has performed very well so we would hope that is still going to be the case going forward," he said on Sky TV.

"Yes, while it's a surprise going into an ICC competition without one of our leading run-scorers, the players and the management group are well rehearsed in coping without him. So, yes, in a way a tricky decision, but in another way it gives an opportunity for players to play in that environment and excel in it."

At that point, he was temporarily put out of his misery when his mobile rang. "I thought I'd turned that off," he muttered, half apologetically, as he fielded a call from a figure who is thought to have been none other than the ECB's chief executive, David Collier. There have been many suggestions what Collier might have said, but "You're walking the argument, son" was not one of them.

As for the explanations the public has demanded, none were forthcoming: legal constraints being what they are, or what they are claimed to be. Perhaps it would be more appropriate to negotiate without acceptance of legal constraints, which would ensure the cricket-watching public got a fairer deal. Such a passing observation is doubtlessly legally naïve, which might be a jolly good thing.

But there were more references to England's need to rebuild their ethics and their culture. There were even vague suggestions that the ECB, or perhaps the new coach, or perhaps somebody in Whitaker's mind but as yet not as yet fully identified, is about to oversee a new code of conduct.

"What I can say," Whitaker said, "is that there's a group of players there looking forward to re-energising this team, going forward with different values, re-evaluating the culture of the team, and it will start in the West Indies, and I've every confidence that, in the players that we're take to the West Indies, that will happen.

"Any team has certain values, sometimes written down, sometimes they're just forms of communication, that good teams adhere to and good teams will carry forward with them, and England over the past four or five years has shown these good values. Over time they can precipitate [sic] a little bit.

"But now we believe is a time to rewrite those, and whoever's involved in the management group and the players will do that, they will continually communicate it. I believe it starts from smart work, from winning back the country's perception of what the cricket team is about, we want to see a pride back into the cricket, and I believe the players we select will show that to the country."

That begged the question. "Those values you believe haven't applied to Kevin?"

The question did not beg the answer. "Well sometimes performances go against us, you have to re-evaluate what is going on. No-one really is privy to what is going on within the intricacies of the team working, but we have to review various conversations with people and have to make decisions."

Asked if, in an ideal world, Pietersen would be a player Whitaker would want to select, he replied: "We would always review our options of players available to play for England."

Come again? If that was a hint that the door remains open for Pietersen, nobody was prepared to believe it.

"Players are resilient," Whitaker concluded. "They do get over issues. They can reboot, they can go back home, they can reassess and they can energise very quickly. Cricketers are used to doing that, it's a unique environment in that sense ... There's a great sense of optimism about the England team going forward."

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | February 8, 2014, 21:48 GMT

    One comparisson I'll make with how ECB and a football manager handled a player with an ego and how it went down with the fans is the way ECB have been so secretive re the KP issues comp with how Mancini handled the issues he had with Tevez. Tevez was a Man City favourite and although in a star studded line up could do magic things on a football field just like KP could do on a cricket pitch. When the Tevez "Benchgate" (if I can call it that) happened the Man City fans (despite Tevez's flair and charisma) were (pardon the pun) United in backing Mancini. I'm sure they would have missed Tevez's ability on the pitch but they recognised that his antics were unacceptable and I think they also felt more valued/respected as fans for being kept informed and have it all out in the open. I wonder if the ECB acted like Mancini did (if there are off field issues) it may convert some fans. Personally they'd have more respect from me even if I still disageeed with the decision.

  • POSTED BY Saadi69 on | February 7, 2014, 17:38 GMT

    Very ironic the board that demands ethics from its players is amongst the ones that have thrown ethics out of the window when it comes to the ICC revamp. What ever has gone on behind KP being thrown out of the squad needs to come to the forefront. I personally feel KP himself does not want to be a part of the England setup anymore, but I still feel everything should be known to the cricket fan about decisions of the team which they support. As for the ECB they would do pretty well to incorporate ethics in their own decision making and stop supporting this financial apartheid. Nothing will come out of this, England will still play cricket like it has been doing, KP will continue making money whatever he does and the proposals presented will be passed through. The only person who will be poorer will be the supporter of the game.

  • POSTED BY Firegoblin on | February 7, 2014, 17:24 GMT

    @Suman: *Thank you* for some construction discussion! However if I may retort :) Stokes had the highest average, Pietersen averaged just 1.3 more than Carberry, and only 3.2 more than the 6th highest (to wit - they *all* did badly!); but he cannot therefore be said to have scored *way* more than the other batsmen. More importantly, the one Test where he did knuckle down with discipline (4th) he averaged 60 (almost double) - without which his series average would have been 6th, and less than Cook. Don't get me wrong, I'd have a 2005-10 vintage Pietersen in my team any day, I just don't think the modern version (who seems to have lost the unreal hand-eye co-ordination that made him so *reliably* destructive) is worth it when we're looking to build a new team. "Non-conforming" high performers will always be accomodated by pro-sports teams; but the flip-side is they'll get cut no slack when they start slipping back into 'normality' - which statistics says is what has happened to him.

  • POSTED BY Firegoblin on | February 7, 2014, 13:51 GMT

    I find myself trying to understand why the concensus that I hear among peers - generally supporting but not reveling in, the sacking, is not reflected on these forums. England's strategy has been built around him for many years - the bulk of the top order establish a solid run base, so if he fails we still have a defendable total, and if he suceeds we are in a position of strength. That worked (& showed that the team could manage him), but in recent years his increasingly high ratio of failures to successes, AND the dropping runs of the remainder of the top order made this ineffective. Now we have to rebuild, we cannot him in this way, and we needed a dialing back of the aggression to help the newer, less experienced, players coming in - in words *and* deeds on the field. Dropping him is not the same as sacrificing him - his position has been negated in part by the reduced capability of others, but also by his own inability to adapt to a new role more suited to his waning returns.

  • POSTED BY jb633 on | February 7, 2014, 12:55 GMT

    @JG207, I think people will start to vote with their feet. The huge worry for me is the huge decrease in participation levels amongst our youngest generation. Now this cannot be solely blamed on the ECB and our unattractive style of play, but surely removing the only entertaining player will make game less appealling for kids. It worries me greatly what is going to happen with cricket in this country. I have recently finished a level 3 coaching course which I have been paid to attend because of the lack of interest from any prospective coaches. We are experiencing lack of participation in the youngest age groups, lack of willing coaches and lack of willing umpires. Cricket seems to be slipping down the rankings of the general public and the ECB seem oblivious to it. The ECB has got to think about the consumer for once and what is good for the longevity for the game in this country. Whatever they are doing at the moment is plain and simply not working.

  • POSTED BY danmcb on | February 7, 2014, 9:24 GMT

    He said "Going forward". Instead of "in future". Twice. Say no more.

  • POSTED BY DudleyJelani on | February 7, 2014, 9:18 GMT

    This is just a failure by the ECB to manage a player who has his own individuality. And if you look at all sports, and take a look at all the great players, that one can consider a genius. They were all strong willed individuals, who it took some doing to manage. Thats why they become geniuses, because they are not only talented, but mentally stronger than ordinary folk. Clive Lloyd manage a bunch of geniuses in 70s - 80s, because he was a great leader of men. These were men from different Islands, with different cultures and were very strong headed individuals. I invite all the readers to take a look at Sobers, read his autobiography and the comments made by others about him. Then you realised it took a special leader like Sir Frank Worrell to manage him and get the best out of him. You lose a series and you fire your best player, what kind a message are you sending. I am almost certain this would not have happened with Vaughn. He seemed to have been a leader of men.

  • POSTED BY Clyde on | February 7, 2014, 9:15 GMT

    Will lawsuits arise from the ECB's interference with the fielding of the best players?

  • POSTED BY on | February 9, 2014, 16:53 GMT

    Let me get this straight. KP scored more runs for England in the Ashes debacle & he has been benched?? England management seems to have a death wish especially after going winless in the Ashes, One Days & 20/20s. This must be a record though of course 20/20s are a recent innovation. I suppose when they play to empty grounds in the UK like NZ in the just concluded Test Match with India they will get the message. Meanwhile KP will be free to play for big money in the IPL & Big Bash in Oz for a few years so not grieving very much. The challenge to any management is to get the best from your work force. The ECB has failed miserably & the beat goes on.

  • POSTED BY riprock on | February 8, 2014, 19:08 GMT

    The English board is goofing around with one of the most exciting players on the planet! KP's flamboyance may just make up for the controversies. Get him back, ECB..you'll miss out on something precious!

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | February 8, 2014, 21:48 GMT

    One comparisson I'll make with how ECB and a football manager handled a player with an ego and how it went down with the fans is the way ECB have been so secretive re the KP issues comp with how Mancini handled the issues he had with Tevez. Tevez was a Man City favourite and although in a star studded line up could do magic things on a football field just like KP could do on a cricket pitch. When the Tevez "Benchgate" (if I can call it that) happened the Man City fans (despite Tevez's flair and charisma) were (pardon the pun) United in backing Mancini. I'm sure they would have missed Tevez's ability on the pitch but they recognised that his antics were unacceptable and I think they also felt more valued/respected as fans for being kept informed and have it all out in the open. I wonder if the ECB acted like Mancini did (if there are off field issues) it may convert some fans. Personally they'd have more respect from me even if I still disageeed with the decision.

  • POSTED BY Saadi69 on | February 7, 2014, 17:38 GMT

    Very ironic the board that demands ethics from its players is amongst the ones that have thrown ethics out of the window when it comes to the ICC revamp. What ever has gone on behind KP being thrown out of the squad needs to come to the forefront. I personally feel KP himself does not want to be a part of the England setup anymore, but I still feel everything should be known to the cricket fan about decisions of the team which they support. As for the ECB they would do pretty well to incorporate ethics in their own decision making and stop supporting this financial apartheid. Nothing will come out of this, England will still play cricket like it has been doing, KP will continue making money whatever he does and the proposals presented will be passed through. The only person who will be poorer will be the supporter of the game.

  • POSTED BY Firegoblin on | February 7, 2014, 17:24 GMT

    @Suman: *Thank you* for some construction discussion! However if I may retort :) Stokes had the highest average, Pietersen averaged just 1.3 more than Carberry, and only 3.2 more than the 6th highest (to wit - they *all* did badly!); but he cannot therefore be said to have scored *way* more than the other batsmen. More importantly, the one Test where he did knuckle down with discipline (4th) he averaged 60 (almost double) - without which his series average would have been 6th, and less than Cook. Don't get me wrong, I'd have a 2005-10 vintage Pietersen in my team any day, I just don't think the modern version (who seems to have lost the unreal hand-eye co-ordination that made him so *reliably* destructive) is worth it when we're looking to build a new team. "Non-conforming" high performers will always be accomodated by pro-sports teams; but the flip-side is they'll get cut no slack when they start slipping back into 'normality' - which statistics says is what has happened to him.

  • POSTED BY Firegoblin on | February 7, 2014, 13:51 GMT

    I find myself trying to understand why the concensus that I hear among peers - generally supporting but not reveling in, the sacking, is not reflected on these forums. England's strategy has been built around him for many years - the bulk of the top order establish a solid run base, so if he fails we still have a defendable total, and if he suceeds we are in a position of strength. That worked (& showed that the team could manage him), but in recent years his increasingly high ratio of failures to successes, AND the dropping runs of the remainder of the top order made this ineffective. Now we have to rebuild, we cannot him in this way, and we needed a dialing back of the aggression to help the newer, less experienced, players coming in - in words *and* deeds on the field. Dropping him is not the same as sacrificing him - his position has been negated in part by the reduced capability of others, but also by his own inability to adapt to a new role more suited to his waning returns.

  • POSTED BY jb633 on | February 7, 2014, 12:55 GMT

    @JG207, I think people will start to vote with their feet. The huge worry for me is the huge decrease in participation levels amongst our youngest generation. Now this cannot be solely blamed on the ECB and our unattractive style of play, but surely removing the only entertaining player will make game less appealling for kids. It worries me greatly what is going to happen with cricket in this country. I have recently finished a level 3 coaching course which I have been paid to attend because of the lack of interest from any prospective coaches. We are experiencing lack of participation in the youngest age groups, lack of willing coaches and lack of willing umpires. Cricket seems to be slipping down the rankings of the general public and the ECB seem oblivious to it. The ECB has got to think about the consumer for once and what is good for the longevity for the game in this country. Whatever they are doing at the moment is plain and simply not working.

  • POSTED BY danmcb on | February 7, 2014, 9:24 GMT

    He said "Going forward". Instead of "in future". Twice. Say no more.

  • POSTED BY DudleyJelani on | February 7, 2014, 9:18 GMT

    This is just a failure by the ECB to manage a player who has his own individuality. And if you look at all sports, and take a look at all the great players, that one can consider a genius. They were all strong willed individuals, who it took some doing to manage. Thats why they become geniuses, because they are not only talented, but mentally stronger than ordinary folk. Clive Lloyd manage a bunch of geniuses in 70s - 80s, because he was a great leader of men. These were men from different Islands, with different cultures and were very strong headed individuals. I invite all the readers to take a look at Sobers, read his autobiography and the comments made by others about him. Then you realised it took a special leader like Sir Frank Worrell to manage him and get the best out of him. You lose a series and you fire your best player, what kind a message are you sending. I am almost certain this would not have happened with Vaughn. He seemed to have been a leader of men.

  • POSTED BY Clyde on | February 7, 2014, 9:15 GMT

    Will lawsuits arise from the ECB's interference with the fielding of the best players?

  • POSTED BY on | February 9, 2014, 16:53 GMT

    Let me get this straight. KP scored more runs for England in the Ashes debacle & he has been benched?? England management seems to have a death wish especially after going winless in the Ashes, One Days & 20/20s. This must be a record though of course 20/20s are a recent innovation. I suppose when they play to empty grounds in the UK like NZ in the just concluded Test Match with India they will get the message. Meanwhile KP will be free to play for big money in the IPL & Big Bash in Oz for a few years so not grieving very much. The challenge to any management is to get the best from your work force. The ECB has failed miserably & the beat goes on.

  • POSTED BY riprock on | February 8, 2014, 19:08 GMT

    The English board is goofing around with one of the most exciting players on the planet! KP's flamboyance may just make up for the controversies. Get him back, ECB..you'll miss out on something precious!

  • POSTED BY 2.14istherunrate on | February 8, 2014, 18:03 GMT

    ECB need to get wise about one thing-they are robbing us of an awful lot of entertainment. That is really silly. For my mind it is the likes of Joe Root who are selfish,not KP.Using so many deliveries to score so few and then using up the review in 2 games running. That surely is selfish,not scoring the most outrageous totals off very few balls.

  • POSTED BY Chitranjan31 on | February 8, 2014, 13:30 GMT

    I think it is a revenge by Andy Flower and Alastair Cook. If I'll talk about all format of cricket then there is no comparison between KP & Cook. KP is great player and I don't need to tell anything about him because everyone is aware about his potential. As per me English fans should fight for KP and force ECB to bring him back and take an action against Cook & Flower. It seems Cook & Flower is director of ECB and whatever they want they do. Politics is everywhere but world cricket needs player like KP.

  • POSTED BY chapathishot on | February 8, 2014, 12:42 GMT

    Tony Greig of the current Era.It is astonishing that history always repeats itself.

  • POSTED BY milepost on | February 8, 2014, 12:04 GMT

    Not selecting KP to play for England is just another horrendous blunder by an organisation could hardly do more to destroy itself.

  • POSTED BY CricCap on | February 8, 2014, 11:45 GMT

    No one is bigger than the team and KP doesnt seem to get that. Forcing him into early retirement is a bit harsh but He just cant stay out of controversy. He might be a good batsman but if you look at history none of the batting legends have had such controversy with them. They just happy to play and score runs for their team. Good Riddance i say!

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | February 8, 2014, 10:15 GMT

    @Shaun Price on (February 8, 2014, 9:37 GMT)Very far fetched comms there. KP was nailed on to overtake Gower and probably Gooch too but bear in mind KP's recent injury record , coupled with his downturn in form - he is only 134 runs ahead of Cook as it stands so Cook would likely surpass KPs runs mass soon after his career ends regardless - if not before his career ended if KP missed a few games

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | February 8, 2014, 10:10 GMT

    @VillageBlacksmith on (February 8, 2014, 3:17 GMT) What exactly did KP say in Textgate? I could never judge whether Eng were right or wrong re their actions as I didn't know what was said. When ECB took KP back they said they believed nothing derogatory was said in the texts but then KP was still apologising.

    @ jonnyboy82 on (February 7, 2014, 23:20 GMT) Patel is more a batting all rounder so his possible place was taken by Ali who had better stats with bat and ball last season. Parry takes the place of Briggs

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | February 8, 2014, 9:56 GMT

    @Firegoblin on (February 7, 2014, 17:24 GMT) You make good comments and I too don't think KP is near the player he was but I still think ECB should either enlighten us more or if it is a case of believing that KP being discarded is the way forward they should categorically confirm that it is for cricketing reasons only and quash gossip/rumours etc

  • POSTED BY on | February 8, 2014, 9:37 GMT

    There is always the possibilty that ESSEX, Flower,Gooch & Cook did not want a foreigner to be top of the batting list of England. Gooch has 8900 runs & KP has 8181 with at least 19 test matches (38innings) still basically in his bank. Complete those & KP would finish on 10750 & 26/30 centuries. The papers have also mentioned David Gower being "run in by Gooch" as well. Gower had around 8250 runs at his "forced retirement" KP a maverick, well Gooch was even more of a maverick. Played rebel cricket against South Africa for CASH. There is more to come. 20/20 cricket is about CASH, ODI is just to milk the public who don't watch TESTS. Real cricket is what drives real players & KP was a real player. Dedicated to scoring exiting "crowd pleasing" runs. To those who say he's just there for the IPL cash, well i ask, WHY DO YOU ALL GO TO WORK DAY IN DAY OUT. Oh sorry some just sit on the dole of course, this is England, rather get the dole than work. ENOUGH SAID

  • POSTED BY on | February 8, 2014, 8:43 GMT

    Far too much hot air. KP is not wanted in the dressing room, it seems. He is his only worst enemy?

  • POSTED BY on | February 8, 2014, 7:17 GMT

    if sherlock was to comment...logically speaking a group of players are willing to re-energize the team..first question where was this energy during the ashes...why have they been hoarding it.....more likely case ...a group of players having no other excuse for the apalling performance/result...and throwing it all on a last ditch attempt to prolong their careers....i guess i can understand it...kevin didnt help himself by either i guess...might be there would have been things he could have done that would not have brought things to this........however ... now its all blown up......it shall begin in the west indies....lol...almost sounded like gandalf the grey....or was it white.....

  • POSTED BY wickdwitch on | February 8, 2014, 6:39 GMT

    Well, an an aussie the best KP comparison player-wise I can come up with is his good friend Shane Warne. The main difference between the 2 however appears to be in how they view being part of a team. Warnie would bowl over after over to hold down an end - often with no reward (think England's first innings, Adelaide 2006-07) and bowled his heart out in a losing side in 2005 Ashes. He was also a great cricketing tactician (and the best captain that we never had .. if ONLY he had kept away from the text messages) but KP appears to be all about himself and how many runs he could score for himself. I know the England tail is nothing brilliant - but compare and contrast how Brad Haddin batted with the Aussie tail and KP with England's. That in itself says a lot about how KP sees himself - and it is not as a defender of the team.

  • POSTED BY VillageBlacksmith on | February 8, 2014, 3:17 GMT

    im surprised if any Eng supporter would have forgotten 'textgate'… something from which kp should never have been brought back from… anyone who has ever played in a team would not want someone around like that… he was ''re-integrated'' but obv started with a few minus points and with his recent constant dim dismissals and declining form the guys that run the team have finally had enough of him… i would have thought it was fairly obvious and would not need explaining… the fact that kp is still causing all these acres of print show exactly the problem… its always about him and not the team… good riddance to kp and go and pursue the ipl contract you have always dreamed of, the team is much better off without you… as most posters on here appear to be from ipl land they will be happy and can stop moaning on here

  • POSTED BY iamgroot on | February 8, 2014, 0:37 GMT

    KP is an amazing batsman .. England will rue this decision. really ..he came to india and scored that amazing 186 and has tortured indian team when they toured Eng. man this guy is extremely dangerous batsman and what does England selectors do? remove KP from team. Don't know some cricket boards selecting a terrible playing X1 for their country. Bell, Cook are fine batsman but KP is the X factor and a guy who can play all over the world even on Indian pitches with great authority. Eng needs to rethink their terrible decision. Come on KP come and IPL I will select you in my fantasy team :) and sure IPL will pay you lucrative salary .. Eng's loss is IPL.s gain for KP

  • POSTED BY dunger.bob on | February 7, 2014, 23:46 GMT

    A couple of things in this article stand out for me. 1] Legally bound to say bugger all. Sounds to me as though someone is very worried about being sued, or, has already been slapped with a writ. 2] Is there a sense that Kevin can make a comeback if he is inclined to do so. .. I haven't seen it said anywhere that he won't be considered again under any circumstances. He's out of the WI tour and the T20 thing but that's as far as it goes. Maybe weight of runs could see him reinstated somewhere down the line.

  • POSTED BY Sodit on | February 7, 2014, 23:22 GMT

    Well done the ECB. About time KP was shown to boot. KP has been a bad influence on every team he has played in . I think cricket would be a better sport if KP never plays another game. What can young players learn from him--- precisely nothing. Good riddance . Arrogance never pays.

  • POSTED BY jonnyboy82 on | February 7, 2014, 23:20 GMT

    It looks like Sami Patel is an indirect casualty of the Pietersen decision. Nothing against Ali or Parry, but their selection for the one days and T20 WC conforms to the ECB spin of re-energising the team. I can't see either playing against top teams in the world cup. It'll be pretty much the same group that were walloped against a weakened Australia team, there doesn't seem any pressure on places with the exception of Dernbach.

  • POSTED BY Suredes on | February 7, 2014, 21:06 GMT

    I agree. What about Root & Bopara. KP gets out trying to hit the ball but these two get out trying to block. So will have 11 people like Root & Bopara in the England team and I think ECB will love it, They want playesr who say Yes Sir thats all.

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | February 7, 2014, 19:00 GMT

    @jb633 on (February 7, 2014, 12:55 GMT) I'm with you re how it could influence the younger generation. Obviously in the shorter formats we have Morgan and Buttler who on their day are captivating to watch but in tests we've lost our most charismatic bowler and exciting batsman within weeks. You look at someone like Buttler and wonder how much he may have been influenced by KP and who Fred may have influenced in that 2005 series Re Textgate - I can understand why they were so hush hush as it was a delicate situation , but this is a very final situation. It could be that there's a reason behind it which if we knew we may even agree with the ECB but I think it's a little arrogant to not tell the fans what's going on in this instance

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | February 7, 2014, 18:59 GMT

    @Rexton87 on (February 7, 2014, 12:46 GMT) No - he was part of the team that won the T20 WC (admittedly our best batsman but our bowlers were huge in that) and the away series in India (where Cook was our main man with the bat and the spin pair contributed more) just like he was part of the team that were whitewashed in UAE and Australia. Don't get me wrong - I don't like the decision as it stands (with the ECB being secretive about what was behind the decision) but I genuinely think we'll miss Swann more than KP

  • POSTED BY Gmale on | February 7, 2014, 18:39 GMT

    Who am I - England cricket team manager. What's my job - select & manage a team that maximizes England's chances of winning a cricket match. Does KP increase England's chances of winning a cricket match - yes. Is KP a team player - probably not. Does KP like me - no. Do I like him - no as a person, yes as a batsman. Will I pick him - yes. Why - see answer to 'What's my job' above. If I pick a team full of people I like, I am implicitly killing the 'manage' aspect of my job. That is not why ECB hired me. I know KP will win England cricket matches on the field. Off the field he can do anything he wants so long as he is winning games for England. If I pick KP even when he hates me, that will only highlight the fact that I let nothing come in the way of performing my job to the best of my abilities. By discarding KP because of personal disagreements and communication styles, I will not be doing my job. SOLUTION - get rid of my ego and hire KP. He's not my wife whom I have to live with.

  • POSTED BY Chilli on | February 7, 2014, 18:34 GMT

    What? The broady's & the cook's are now the decision makers? These are the good school boys of Flowering University. Feeling really sad that we'll never ever see KP taking on other international sides. Salute the Master! Wish luck to the boys!

  • POSTED BY on | February 7, 2014, 17:52 GMT

    So England on few occasions have done well without KP, meaning lost by not a large margin or won a few games and if so were they against a major side? I think not.

    If we follow the ECB logic shouldn't half the team including Captain Cook also go. Anyways, thank you ECB for killing off entertainment in English cricket.

    Oh by the way if your wannabe's don't perform guess what not many people will want to turn up to watch England, and then ECB wont be the BIG 3 for long. What a sorry state for English cricket?

  • POSTED BY northumbriannomad on | February 7, 2014, 17:30 GMT

    It's depressing to discover that the new England chairman of selectors is the kind of man who uses the idiotic and redundant managementspeak phrase "going forward" three times in the same interview. Someone who talks like that - in meaningless clichés - also thinks like that. This coup against Pietersen has been engineered by a bunch of non-entities in Downton and Whitaker. I hope it fails spectacularly enough to make their respective tenures brief and hilarious.

  • POSTED BY SirViv1973 on | February 7, 2014, 16:59 GMT

    I guess the ECB thought they needed to say something without actually saying anything. Whitaker was the logical choice to put in front of the camera because as I understand it at least, he was excluded from the KP decison which fell to Downton, Giles & Cook. I'm not sure how Whittaker became a selector anyway. As I remmember it he wasn't much of a player he went on 1 tour and pretty much carried drinks for 3 months! I'm also wondering why on earth Cook or for that matter Giles were involved. Unless the ECB have already told Giles he is the new director then any new man who comes in may not fancy Cook as his capt. They may also want total charge of all 3 formats and not want to keep Giles on.

  • POSTED BY stumpedlloyd on | February 7, 2014, 16:41 GMT

    James Whitaker played one test and two ODIs and he is an English selector? KP has more cricketing nous and talent on the tip of his little finger than Whitaker has in his entire body. The ECB couldn't even handle a completely controlled news conference with networks chosen by the ECB! What a bunch of cowards these chaps are. That Alastair Cook has remained mum about all this shows he doesn't have the courage to skipper a schoolboy side, let alone an international team. Why doesn't Cook come out and say what happened? Have the decency to admit someone on the English team threw KP under the bus for being forthright in a team meeting. There isn't a single player in the current English side who comes even close to being the player KP is. KP may not be a nice chap, he may be arrogant, but it is a captain's job to make sure he controls the side; a good skipper does not go crying like a baby the first time someone acts up. English cricket would be served better without Cook, Prior & Bresnan.

  • POSTED BY dreamliner on | February 7, 2014, 16:39 GMT

    Just when I thought ECB could never make a more controversial selection decision over KP, they name Dernbach in the squad. No disrespect to Dernbach but seriously?

    If KP's omission was about excluding a match winner, then Dernbach's inclusion is about retaining a match looser at the expense of another potentially match winning bowler. Absolutely ridiculous, how are our selectors getting away with such calls?

    Can Cric info please publish some background and evaluation stats on the England selectors so we can understand who these individuals are and the logic behind their performance. If KP's omission doesn't warrant an explanation from them, then Dernbach's inclusion certainly begs the case for an enquiry in to the sanity and competency of those selectors.

    Iif cook/flowers can not captain/coach who he selects effectively, then he shouldn't captain/coach or play a part in the selection.

  • POSTED BY on | February 7, 2014, 16:14 GMT

    @Firegoblin : I would accept that argument in parts, except for the fact that KP was still the highest scorer even in this shambolic Ashes demolition. I agree that he was nowhere near his best, but at least he was scoring way better than others. Discipline and values definitely have their place in a team culture but sadly discipline doesn't score runs for you.

  • POSTED BY Twenny-Twenny-Knight on | February 7, 2014, 15:51 GMT

    James Whitaker says this, amongst his other meaningless twaddle:

    "I believe it starts from smart work, from winning back the country's perception of what the cricket team is about, we want to see a pride back into the cricket, and I believe the players we select will show that to the country."

    My perception of what the cricket team is about and I suspect I'm not in a minority here, is to play an attractive form of the game and to be able to compete on the international stage, on equal terms, with the other teams; whilst picking the best available players currently qualified to represent England.

    At the moment that clearly isn't the ECB's perception and therein lies the root problem - politics.

  • POSTED BY Green_and_Gold on | February 7, 2014, 15:22 GMT

    ECB need to explain their decision. The whole future of English cricket argument they are presenting is bull! If it were true then KP would be a part of that until he is forced out via players taking his place. He is still their best player. He should be there till the likes of Root and Stokes are settled and established. Or ECB could just come out and say why they have let him go. The public may sympathise if they are told the truth.

  • POSTED BY on | February 7, 2014, 15:15 GMT

    Whitaker interviewed by Jeremy Paxman could be a humdinger. (Has he been excluded from England's future plans for cricketing reasons, Mr Whitaker? Yes or no?)

  • POSTED BY PrasPunter on | February 7, 2014, 14:40 GMT

    @Lawton, you could well be right - KP must be their captain , not the ultra-defensive Cook. Anyway, how times change !! 10 months ago, the Aus camp was in a total disarray - coach was sacked, champions trophy lost, 4 of the players suspended and for sure Eng must have been enjoying all those. Now, it is Aus turn !! And how forceful the change has been !! Lot of blood on the floor !!

  • POSTED BY on | February 7, 2014, 14:36 GMT

    I am an indian. But I would say ''Its a poor decision made by ECB''. Last 2 ashes series I wasn't interest to watch the battle of Aus & Eng much. But Only to watch Pieterson batting. He is the only one ''who can take the opposition and manipulate the game in his way''. I want you to go back to IPL 2012 season, Pieterson with Delhi Derdevils & as long he stayed with them, they were unbeatable and dangerous team in the tournament. And as soon as he left the team to play for England and they lost the magic. This season If he get to play for any team, he will make ECB official think, well ''what i have done here''. All right time will tell all the answers.

  • POSTED BY vlakshman on | February 7, 2014, 14:34 GMT

    ECB is the best management in the world!

    That's why there are more Tendulkars, Pontings, Kallis and Kohlis in English Team for the last 2 decades.

    Please name one icon in English team who is close to being called an Icon!

    Only KP comes close to my mind :)

  • POSTED BY sachinssnn on | February 7, 2014, 13:59 GMT

    KP was my idol...oh sooo sad...wish u all the best...with love from SL

  • POSTED BY sreni on | February 7, 2014, 13:32 GMT

    "It was an assassination,if you like,by unworthy people who are themselves shamefully incapable of performing their own designated duties." - super wordings..i Like this, Cook must go and not KP. Giles now being promised a post of Coach for Test also, now goes in hand with cook and ECB

  • POSTED BY Batmanindallas on | February 7, 2014, 13:19 GMT

    English Cricket cannot handle characters all they like is stoic players like Bell, Cook, Straus etc. Give them a Botham or a Gower or a Petersen they are lost how to handle that talent. Is it surprising Englishmen have never dominated a Game created by them??

  • POSTED BY on | February 7, 2014, 13:00 GMT

    Maybe KP's ego and temperament were tolerated as long as he was making tons. No tons in the Ashes, but still the highest run scorer for England in the series. Unfortunately for England, only Stokes made a ton...Bell and Cook had a lot of time to download apps on their iPads.

    The ECB always needs a scapegoat.

  • POSTED BY on | February 7, 2014, 13:00 GMT

    Peiterson was the best batsman for England in the Ashes series . Yet I note people saying his performance was terrible. If his performance was that bad ,what would one say about the batting of Cook, Root, Bell and others?

  • POSTED BY R_U_4_REAL_NICK on | February 7, 2014, 13:00 GMT

    @Lmaotsetung (post on February 7, 2014, 11:02 GMT) & nickythetoon (post on February 7, 2014, 11:57 GMT): I'd even go as far to question if England HAVE really 'moved on' from Flintoff. Yes we won a lot of games, series even, since his "retirement" (not expulsion), but in my opinion that sense of 'belief/aura/hope' that Flintoff so often conveyed disappeared, & has seldom come back to the England camp. England are still missing a 'go-to / chins-up-there-lads' player, & even the likes of KP were not consistent enough to inspire that same strange feeling for me. England have tinkered & chopped & changed with potential replacement all-rounders ever since. It's only when one or two players were in exceptional form (e.g. Bell during the Ashes in England) that warm/fuzzy feeling was felt for a while; a player like Flintoff on the other hand didn't necessarily have to be in good form - he just always gave the impression in every game he played he had something big to give. Strauss knew this.

  • POSTED BY jb633 on | February 7, 2014, 12:59 GMT

    @selaisse_I, could not agree more. The ECB are essentially mocking their own fans and are taking us for a ride. For once I just want to hear straight answers and not the robotic media jargon we are so accustomed to.

  • POSTED BY on | February 7, 2014, 12:48 GMT

    ECB and the England management including captain Cook are incapable of managing extreme talent. I would appoint Pietersen as Captain if England really want to go forward.

  • POSTED BY Rexton87 on | February 7, 2014, 12:46 GMT

    @Darksack the person you called burden on English team have won you a World Cup T20, a test series in India against all odds, a winning streak in Ashes, and several close contests and an ascent to number one test position beyond your wildest dreams. All these feats were not achieved by administrators and coaches who wish to run an international cricket team with a robotic and suffocating killjoy attitude. Now they have the 'troublemaker' out of the way see what they achieve with their straightjacket approach.

  • POSTED BY on | February 7, 2014, 12:31 GMT

    Brilliant that KP has been dropped, is society that blinkered that they cannot see the problems he has always caused! KP averages 47.28 in Test not 57.28, get over it he isn't THAT special...

  • POSTED BY jonnyboy82 on | February 7, 2014, 12:29 GMT

    I can't believe that they let Flower, who was leaving the scene have much influence over the decision to get rid of Pietersen. I think that the key player must have been Cook. I think that the reason he continues as captain is simply that they don't have any viable alternatives to lead them into the world cup. Prior's position cannot be guaranteed and the only other alternatives would be Broad and Bell who aren't captain material at test level. I think Cook presented the ECB with an ultimatum that if he was to continue as captain it would be without Pietersen.

    I think they maybe regretting their decision now. Should have given him more responsibility and made him vice captain.

    Please note the above is pure speculation in the absence of any reasoning provided by the ECB!!

  • POSTED BY Selassie-I on | February 7, 2014, 12:16 GMT

    As England fans, we deserve answers, without us (and the players) you wouldn't have your precious product to line your pockets with.

  • POSTED BY edrich on | February 7, 2014, 12:03 GMT

    The ECB have reached the right conclusion although for the wrong reasons.His performances on the tour were a disgrace.That is the sole reason for ending his England appearances.The problem the ECB have is that they have failed to state that performances that bad from senior players will never be tolerated.At the same time as ending KP's involvement time should also have been called on the careers of Anderson,Prior and Bell.None of whom showed the slightest pride.A complete clearout of those who patently failed when it mattered.Remove the captaincy from Cook and find a stop-gap from County cricket. THe ECB should make it plain.That tour was not acceptable,the captain and senior players will take the blame.We have rebuilt before,we will again.A complete clear out and none of this ongoing silliness with Pietersen would have resulted.I say again the performances of KP,Anderson,Prior and Bell were so bad there should be no question of any of them playing for England again.We will rebuild.

  • POSTED BY nickythetoon on | February 7, 2014, 11:57 GMT

    @Lmaotsetung.There is a big difference in your reasoning. England didn't jettison Flintoff,he retired because his body was battered and incapable and standing up to the rigours of the game.He couldn't even play all five matches against Australia when he last appeared in 2009. Pietersen on the other hand is still England's best player and had intimated he was happy to retire within the next two years. The decision to sack him is vindictive and thoughtless as England can no longer rely on over half their experienced players and do not have sufficient quality to fill their positions en masse. Pietersen would have aided the transition of new players enormously.

  • POSTED BY on | February 7, 2014, 11:45 GMT

    James Whitaker says: "We would always review our options of players available to play for England."

    Yes, and Basil D'Oliveira was left out purely for cricketing reasons.

  • POSTED BY enjoythegame on | February 7, 2014, 11:27 GMT

    I would have prefered AG to front the press conference. At least he knows how to quote from the ECB statutary answers manual! he knows it inside out (its homework for him, when he sits writing on his pad on the side of the pitch at the games he@s swatting up) It was a very poorly managed interview which throws up more questions than answers.

  • POSTED BY minicab on | February 7, 2014, 11:25 GMT

    How come Michael Vaughan's team were so competent at managing two big name players, KP and Flintoff without any known problems? For me it is the management and captain who are totally to blame for this situation, the fact that no one is now talking about the rout down under is their only achievement. Nasser Hussain took English cricket in the right direction and MV took the batton on drove us on to a great position sadly Captain Cook is still fumbling around trying to grasp it and while he does the national team is going backwards!

  • POSTED BY Lmaotsetung on | February 7, 2014, 11:02 GMT

    Just like Eng moved on after Flintoff retired, they will do the same after this. One player does not make a team!!!

  • POSTED BY ruester on | February 7, 2014, 10:39 GMT

    Well now that Whitlesser is chief selector we can all breathe easily. Good bye KP we obviously have somone who really is on the ball picking the. National side!

  • POSTED BY Elbow on | February 7, 2014, 10:32 GMT

    England management and selection is bizarre at best and can be summed up by binning our best and most agressive batsman yet selecting the cannon foder that is Jade Dernbache. The ECB have lost the plot and the suport of the public answers should be given to what the hell is going on!

  • POSTED BY nickythetoon on | February 7, 2014, 10:26 GMT

    Watching Whitaker was excruciating apart from the fact I have have absolutely no sympathy for him or his other spineless cohorts. To paraphrase,"Those that can do (Pietersen),those that can't are spineless,weaselly,incompetents and form the ECB". The dismissal of Pietersen is wholly without justification on any level. It was an assassination,if you like,by unworthy people who are themselves shamefully incapable of performing their own designated duties.The ECB's failure at assigning a huge management team who cannot manage one player whilst appointing a captain who is inept,embarrassingly out of his depth and weak. Such is the case when men of feeble minds are confronted,they form a gang believing safety in numbers in the hope they can defeat their perceived enemy.Flower has cowardly gone into hiding,Whitaker humiliatingly exposed for what he is on TV,Downton already looks weak and captain Cook will be publicly held to account later this summer by the angry,disillusioned fans.

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | February 7, 2014, 10:23 GMT

    I hope people (Eng fans) who have condemned ECBs decision vote with their feet.

    It has to be said KP is box office and is probably more responsible than any other Eng player for attracting youngsters into the game so for me it's a huge call. Morgan is borderline box office and Buttler may get there but you need as many of these players as you can get

    Maybe folk (fans) would be ok if they heard what has gone on behind the scenes.

    No one heard what the texts exactly were. At the time I thought ECB handled it well but the reconcilliation made me think they didn't at all. KP was apologising for any offence caused and ECB were saying they believed there was nothing derogatory in the texts. Why after what ECB said was the question not raised as to why KP was outed if there was nothing derogatory said and if he had done no wrong then ECB should have been made to apologise for making an error in judgement , if they since believed he said nothing wrong.

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | February 7, 2014, 10:10 GMT

    From reading all KP related threads you tend to get 3 sets of fans (who think)

    1- no matter what he does off field he should stay in the side 2- KP is a nasty ogotistical piece of work who should be outed 3- Need to know what exactly has gone on behind the scenes before making a judgement

    I fall into the latter but without knowing the goings on I'm reluctant to back ECB on this one. To drop a player is one thing but to end a player's career is another.

    KP seemed to know it was coming and he hasn't reacted either. I would expect someone who was dropped purely for cricketing reasons to be quite vocal about being made a scapegoat. It's a shame in a more ways than 1 that Swann retired as it would have made it tricky for ECB to explain why they released the younger KP but not the older Swann. We're all presuming it's for off field reasons but could it even be that KP and Swann were facing the axe after this series - Swann took that option out of their hands by retiring

  • POSTED BY jerzRavein on | February 7, 2014, 10:04 GMT

    Atleast for me it sounds like a revenge by Andy. '...'I step down on one condition, Petersen doesn't play anymore...''. Simple as that!!! English cricketers are looking, sounding and behaving more like school children under a very strict head master Andy. I for one wouldn't be surprised if Cook and Prior decided to hold the confidential players' meeting upon instructions from Andy. Conspiracy theories anyone??? But along the route ECB will realise cricket isn't like football where the coach has the final say.

  • POSTED BY enjoythegame on | February 7, 2014, 10:03 GMT

    Dudleys comments are spot on the money.Its all about leader of men. Taking all the individual styles which make up great performers and moulding accordingly. I believe the new management structure (not coaching and backroom staff) is already in place. Mr Giles will head that who I believe to be the wrong man totally.He may be a respected individual but from what i see he can only manage a team/group of men that tow a party line. Any individual who has special needs I think he could not handle. I think we will now see a team of "yes men". This is why the KP decision has been made. Giles does not want anybody rocking his new boat.

  • POSTED BY danmcb on | February 7, 2014, 9:26 GMT

    From the archives : "James Whitaker was a member of England's Ashes-winning side in 1986-87. He made his one appearance at Adelaide, when Ian Botham was injured, and managed 11 before falling to Bruce Reid." --- Good to know that things are being handled by those with proven experience at the sharp end then.

  • POSTED BY neilwilkes on | February 7, 2014, 9:26 GMT

    Darksack, please don't be so naive. What this is effectively saying when translated is exactly the same thing that Nasser retired because of - the feeling that no matter what you have done, how well you do - come hell or high water you are always having to constantly keep proving yourself. This does not make for a good dressing room.

    The problem is that the sport is losing to the greed of corporate sponsors, whose wishes seem to be of paramount importance above & beyond any other consideration and cricket is going the way of football - no longer about the actual game but instead about the politics & sponsors.

    If it is really all about KP's attitudes then surely this is what upper management are paid large amounts of money to do - MANAGE PLAYERS. If they cannot do this then it is them who should face the sack, not the player.

  • POSTED BY blaggard on | February 7, 2014, 9:25 GMT

    KP is not and has never been a team player, his demise is long overdue. He should maybe stay for 20/20 (I hate this form of the game) and probably for ODI, he would be handy for the World Cup since he plays the short game regardless of the event, he has NEVER played Test Cricket well aside from the odd series which just suited him. I don't think there should be any embarrassment for dropping him, he was given way too many chances even given his undoubted exceptional ability, he was the Architect of his own downfall.

  • POSTED BY magpie22 on | February 7, 2014, 9:01 GMT

    Dear Darksack, Your 'unified' England will next be playing without coach Flower, opening bat Carberry, No 3 Trott, No 4 KP, proabably 'keeper Prior, leading spinner Swann, pacemen Rankin, Flynn and Bresnan and maybe young but out-of-sorts Root. Good luck with unifying the new batch.

  • POSTED BY on | February 7, 2014, 8:36 GMT

    Oh boy! Does anyone have an app to translate management gobbledegook into English? Whitaker talks here like a man who doesn't believe what he's saying. As for "The ODI team and the England T20 team has played a number of matches over the past 12 months or so without Kevin and on occasions has performed very well". True, but on many more of those occasions they've performed very badly, most recently in 7 of the 8 limited overs matches in Australia.

    It is even odder that the incoming coach doesn't get any say in team selection, unless that new coach has been chosen, and would never select Pietersen (say, Peter Moores).

  • POSTED BY PeerieTrow on | February 7, 2014, 8:02 GMT

    Check the records sshadab, KP only performs well "on occasions" and they were becoming wider spaced in an England shirt.

  • POSTED BY on | February 7, 2014, 7:55 GMT

    The English management seem to forget one thing- the fans. We want to be entertained, yes by a winning team but also by players that excite. Now without wishing to be negative, I don't see too many if them currently in the English team. Who would you rather watch bat, Cook or KP? Yes Cook is normally very effective but bats like his personality. Players like KP don't come along very often and now because of weak useless captaincy and management, we are to be denied a couple of years of the most entertaining batsman we've ever had.

  • POSTED BY Darksack on | February 7, 2014, 7:25 GMT

    Darstar..... You talk about Great Players but England want a Great TEAM. Ateam of great players does not make a great team. England can't afford to have brilliant individuals that play only for themselves. If you have played in or have coached or managed a consistent performing team you would understand why KP is not good for unity.

  • POSTED BY Manxmuppet on | February 7, 2014, 7:15 GMT

    There seem to be more losers (the England team and the England fans) than winners in this sorry farce. I, for one, am losing interest in England cricket.

  • POSTED BY sshadab on | February 7, 2014, 7:07 GMT

    "The ODI team and the England T20 team has played a number of matches over the past 12 months or so without Kevin and on occasions has performed very well so we would hope that is still going to be the case going forward".... Hello so the hope is that you are ok to perform very well on occasions????? If that is the case, then you definitely do not need KP.

  • POSTED BY liz1558 on | February 7, 2014, 7:04 GMT

    All of this KP stuff is a complete over reaction. What need do England have, in order, of Trott, Swann, Prior or KP, or even an in form Cook, when we have Ben Stokes? Let's keep a little perspective.

  • POSTED BY Taurayi on | February 7, 2014, 7:01 GMT

    ECB have got the plot totally wrong, Pietersen is still a great and valuable player. I hope England lose miserably in the upcoming T20 World Cup.

  • POSTED BY darstar on | February 7, 2014, 6:58 GMT

    Same old English conservative approach. Technique, stats, Values, Ethics, culture......... Blah blah blah. What is cricket to the raw fan - see the ball - hit the ball; see the stump- hit the stump. That's what all good and great players do and have done- KP included. For those who say 'nobody is bigger than the game'- it is that somebody Whomake the game- and KP is one of the not these silly political administrators.

  • POSTED BY Darksack on | February 7, 2014, 6:56 GMT

    KP is a burden to any team. A good team plays as one not one plus KP. If KP was a match winner the team and management would not let him go. So for all those that go on about England can't do without him think again because England will once again play as a unified team and that is priority for an team looking to go forward.

  • POSTED BY on | February 7, 2014, 6:22 GMT

    Present English side without Peterson can beat only Bangladesh and Zimbawe while playing away. While playing at home England they may beat Newzeland and Srilanka as well.

    If they loose to West Indies on this tour who are they going to blame, it may again be Peterson !!! ECB can do anything behind the door to ridicule Pieterson. On the ground England do need a batsman to score runs and no one better than Peterson to do this job at present.

  • POSTED BY shabmost on | February 7, 2014, 6:02 GMT

    ECB made a terrible mistake to get rid of the best match winner they had for ever in last 30 years. KP is still young, hungry, and has been willing to pursue greatness over money (by committing to the plans for the next Ashes series at home and Australia) as per his last public statement. ECB and the fans in particular, the real stakeholders of English Cricket in my view, should be aware that Australia had similar problems with Shane Warne when his ideas of playing aggressive cricket frequently conflicted with the "safety first" philosophy of his captain, coach and the management team at that time. But that did not result into Cricket Australia getting rid of Shane Warne, even after a number of damaging scandals surrounding Shane Warne. They learned over time how to manage Shane Warne and use his talent to win, and thus maintain cricket's popularity. I think ECB should reverse their decision on KP asap, and apologise to English cricket fans.

  • POSTED BY LancashireHotSpot on | February 7, 2014, 5:46 GMT

    "There's a great sense of optimism about the England team going forward." Not from the majority of England fans' point of view their isn't. The management sack the star batsman and then hamstring themselves by signing up to a legal agreement preventing them from informing the fans on the rationale behind this massive decision. Complete disaster. The Aussies are loving this. First of all the team gets thumped, then the team director 'steps down' and then the management sack the only player the opposition bowlers were terrified of facing! Well done ECB.

  • POSTED BY LancashireHotSpot on | February 7, 2014, 5:26 GMT

    "There's a great sense of optimism about the England team going forward." Not from the majority of England fans' point of view their isn't. The management sack the star batsman and then hamstring themselves by signing up to a legal agreement preventing them from informing the fans on the rationale behind this massive decision. Complete disaster. The Aussies are loving this. First of all the team gets thumped, then the team director 'steps down' and then the management sack the only player the opposition bowlers were terrified of facing! Well done ECB.

  • POSTED BY Whatsgoinoffoutthere on | February 7, 2014, 4:25 GMT

    "At some point, you've got to start moving away from the older players and bringing in the younger ones. We've already tried this with Bairstow in the latter part of the Ashes and Chris Jordan in the one day games. There's a precedent here, when Graham Thorpe was replaced in the team by a young rising star just before the 2005 Ashes. That player was Kevin Pietersen."

    There. Do you think I could make a cricketing twaddlesmith? I'll promise not to surpass Whitaker's Test cap tally, although with that few hats to go around there will be a lot of cold heads.

  • POSTED BY on | February 7, 2014, 2:43 GMT

    He said they have played very well without KP in the team over the last few months, so they call losing the majority of the ODI and T20 matches over the last few months, that have been without playing KP, playing well do they. I think it is just a case that they don't have any answers to the reasons why he was dropped all together and just don't want to admit that it was because they couldn't handle him when half of the time he was right about things such as the case of playing in the IPL I agreed with him there and so did many others. I personally am keeping faith at the moment that he will be back and also actually see some of the more experienced players like Bell who was out on the field with him many a time changing games missing him.

  • POSTED BY on | February 7, 2014, 1:11 GMT

    When you sat "struggle", do you mean "didn't really try". 'cos that is what it looks like.

  • POSTED BY al451 on | February 7, 2014, 0:33 GMT

    KP's job is to play cricket -- score runs, take catches, chase balls hard in the field. ECB's job is to manage players, manage money, manage communications, build image. Earth to ECB -- great sportspeople can be hard to manage. That is *your* problem.

  • POSTED BY on | February 7, 2014, 0:18 GMT

    India managed a character like Sreesanth till he got himself into trouble with the law (which is yet to be proven of course). And Sreesanth has not even achieved 25% of what Pieterson has. Worse a lot of the India audience did not like Sreesanth and still the selectors persisted with him for his talent.

    If Pietersen had played for India, he would be a demi god long back...

  • POSTED BY vstrider on | February 7, 2014, 0:13 GMT

    The more of these weird enigma coded messages I see from the Ecb, the more confused I am... So is it official he been totally canned from all England cricket or just the limited overs stuff... Haven't seen anything so far to suggest he won't play tests in the summer..

  • POSTED BY R_U_4_REAL_NICK on | February 6, 2014, 23:49 GMT

    @Chandana Fonseka (post on February 6, 2014, 20:09 GMT): Very well. Let me start by saying that I should have said "people" instead of "players", as clearly it's by no means just players at fault for England's current struggles. To name but just a couple, I'm really starting to question David Saker's handling of the bowlers. As an example of a player: just how many lives is Dernbach going to get, despite poor form and bad attitudes during the recently concluded series in Australia?

  • POSTED BY xxxxxxxxxxxxxyyyyyyyyyyyyyyzzzzzzzz on | February 6, 2014, 23:22 GMT

    @Billy_Hubble - I generally find that by substituting "ignoring the monumental stuff up we have just perpetrated" for the expression "going forward" everything becomes much clearer.

  • POSTED BY xylo on | February 6, 2014, 23:19 GMT

    "while it's a surprise going into an ICC competition without one of our leading run-scorers, the players and the management group are well rehearsed in coping without him."... as evidenced in the recently concluded ODI series I suppose?

  • POSTED BY bobmartin on | February 6, 2014, 23:09 GMT

    OK..so Whitaker was not the best person to put up for this press conference.. But, if as has been reported, there are legal implications from Pietersen's dismissal, it's obvious they would play their cards very close to their chest... Anyway, in the overall scheme of things it matters not a jot... Pietersen is history... and no amount of brow beating, anguish, or press column inches by his ex-player supporters is going to bring him back.. It's not the end of the world .. so get over it and move on...

  • POSTED BY jb633 on | February 6, 2014, 23:03 GMT

    It makes me despair listening to the ECB's evasive waffle.

  • POSTED BY jb633 on | February 6, 2014, 23:02 GMT

    It is absolutely pathetic from the ECB. First we are subjected to an utter Ashes humiliation and then we sack our best batsmen without any explanation. The fans of the country deserve better. Cricket has got a number of sports to compete with and it's popularity has been declining in the last 3 years anyway. For once, just once i wish the ECB could consider the man who has to pay £60 to go an watch a day of cricket that without KP is going to be as dull as dishwater. When we are getting beaten by India and SL I bet they will be crawling back to KP on their hands and knees.

  • POSTED BY on | February 6, 2014, 22:37 GMT

    This is just the start. Every press conference attended by Cook, Giles, Clarke, Downton or any other captain, coach or ECB official will be dominated by the same questions, until there is a proper answer. And the questions will only intensify if England keep losing.

  • POSTED BY cloudmess on | February 6, 2014, 22:37 GMT

    Don't ever put Whitaker on Newsnight. Such vagueness in his replies, and probably thinking too. It's presumably a collective thing. I fear that the old boys' network is about to start dragging the ECB back into the bad old days again.

  • POSTED BY ruester on | February 6, 2014, 22:31 GMT

    Does legal issues really mean.....we can't say anything because we have sacked our best player for no justifiable reason and are scared that we are now going to get sued for unfair dismissal? Wouldn't is be wonderful if the ECB would come out and say that due to the overwhelming support from the supporters of England that KP will continue to be selected?

  • POSTED BY on | February 6, 2014, 22:27 GMT

    OMG....!!!what is he talking about...???? Does he takes his breakfast this morning ? Why not replace the entire English. Why only KP ? WI is going to be a soft series anyway so the English batsmen will obviously do better than what they did in Australia and so Whtaker will emerge as a reformer by the end of the series !!!He is probably a good chess player.

  • POSTED BY 200ondebut on | February 6, 2014, 22:14 GMT

    yeah we've been great without him - from T20 winners and #1 ranked side to ...oh...number 8.

    Muppets - the lot of them.

  • POSTED BY on | February 6, 2014, 21:57 GMT

    What a farce! Pathetic action by the ECB! Take a look at the team that has been humiliating us all winter. 6 months ago they were in disarray. What did they do ? They brought in an inspirational coach who got the best possible out of every available player. Bad boy Warner - sent away, came back, played the season of his life. Inconsistent boy Johnson, given confidence boost, played the season of his life. Humdrum Haddin, reinvigorated, played the season of his life. Injury prone Harris, trusted to know his own body, played the whole series. Australia team, happy aggressive cricketers enjoying expressing themselves as individuals, and being part of a steamrolling winning team. I loved seeing the happiness, team spirit and self expression of the Aussies despite our embarassing non show. What do we do? Get even more defensive and get rid of our best player, because he is too difficult to manage! Come on Downton and cronies, learn from the team that has been thrashing you all winter.

  • POSTED BY on | February 6, 2014, 21:56 GMT

    That's not an explanation :/ I'm disgusted at this. Just watched the guy giving a masterclass and he was lovely. Don't understand it I'm sorry

  • POSTED BY on | February 6, 2014, 21:50 GMT

    The Australians managed to keep Warner in their team, ECB are more concerned about their own (Supposed) self importance than picking the best players and learning to manage characters like KP

  • POSTED BY on | February 6, 2014, 21:49 GMT

    Yeah I think ECB should bring Kevin Pietersen back in the side. I can understand that ECB has got some problems with KP but that doesn't mean to make him history. I am a Pakistani supporter but KP is one of my favourite player in the World. I can't believe that he is not playing for England. We love to see him back in the side. And I hope he will be the part of future team.

  • POSTED BY on | February 6, 2014, 21:47 GMT

    And this, my friends, is what happens when you get thrashed 5 nill in an ashes series. Carnage.

  • POSTED BY on | February 6, 2014, 21:13 GMT

    That was Cringeworthy!. Total fiasco from Whitaker.

  • POSTED BY mrpfister on | February 6, 2014, 21:12 GMT

    Pathetic, as one has come to expect from the ECB.

  • POSTED BY 64blip on | February 6, 2014, 21:00 GMT

    @billyhubble I heard the whole Agnew interview and there were about ten "going forwards", I kid you not. The rest of what he said was the same content-free gibberish as is quoted above. Oh dear.

  • POSTED BY alexkrish on | February 6, 2014, 20:48 GMT

    Read it once and read it all over again but unable to understand what Mr Whitaker was trying to convey. However, I think there is a clear message for the future would be England players.

  • POSTED BY gham on | February 6, 2014, 20:46 GMT

    The decision which has been made by the ECB is doesn,t make sense att all he was the only super star player in the current england team. Shame on the ECB stupid decision. They can,t even beat bangladesh with this team with the absence of KP.

  • POSTED BY CricketingStargazer on | February 6, 2014, 20:40 GMT

    The handling of this whole affair has been dreadful. One is brought in mind of the phrase "they couldn't organize a ... in a brewery". And they have managed to make Kevin Pietersen the only person to come out of the whole affair with dignity.

  • POSTED BY wgtnpom on | February 6, 2014, 20:29 GMT

    Surely the reason KP has not been selected for these tours is that in the opinion of the selectors he is not the best choice at present. Simple as that. There is no obligation on the selectors to pick any given individual and no player has a divine right to be selected. Any player who ever says "I will continue playing for England" (or any other country) is being partucularly arrogant. And the media and the public have no say in the selection of the team.

    The selectors are also not accountable to the public for their selectorial decisions. Having said that, the non-selection of KP when fit and available is, in purely cricketing terms, a surprise, and it is legitimate for the media to ask questions about the rationale behind a surprise selection or non-selection. Whitaker didn't really answer those questions convincingly but that doesn't mean the selectors' decision is wrong.

  • POSTED BY on | February 6, 2014, 20:25 GMT

    Which ever way you look at it, what has been said so far about the exclusion of KP, is a load of cods wallop! Get rid of the current ECB management and let the players (and statistics) decide.

  • POSTED BY Billy_Hubble on | February 6, 2014, 20:24 GMT

    If Whitaker is being quoted verbatim (and I trust cricinfo to do so), then that's three "going forwards"...A piece of meaningless contemporary management babble which kind of summarises the ECB at the moment.

  • POSTED BY on | February 6, 2014, 20:23 GMT

    I love the Animal Farm reference. With sideways reference to the new Troika - in the dying days of cricket, much like banking or other troughs of greed

  • POSTED BY on | February 6, 2014, 20:09 GMT

    Worse players than KP? Name one.

  • POSTED BY R_U_4_REAL_NICK on | February 6, 2014, 19:41 GMT

    It's like 'Animal Farm' all over again. Predictable, unsatisfactory answers along the lines of "new exciting young players that will re-energise team England", but inevitably one or more players will have worse personalities than KP. If the ECB are wanting to start from scratch, there are worse players than KP still souring England's chances at winning anything for years to come.

  • POSTED BY R_U_4_REAL_NICK on | February 6, 2014, 19:41 GMT

    It's like 'Animal Farm' all over again. Predictable, unsatisfactory answers along the lines of "new exciting young players that will re-energise team England", but inevitably one or more players will have worse personalities than KP. If the ECB are wanting to start from scratch, there are worse players than KP still souring England's chances at winning anything for years to come.

  • POSTED BY on | February 6, 2014, 20:09 GMT

    Worse players than KP? Name one.

  • POSTED BY on | February 6, 2014, 20:23 GMT

    I love the Animal Farm reference. With sideways reference to the new Troika - in the dying days of cricket, much like banking or other troughs of greed

  • POSTED BY Billy_Hubble on | February 6, 2014, 20:24 GMT

    If Whitaker is being quoted verbatim (and I trust cricinfo to do so), then that's three "going forwards"...A piece of meaningless contemporary management babble which kind of summarises the ECB at the moment.

  • POSTED BY on | February 6, 2014, 20:25 GMT

    Which ever way you look at it, what has been said so far about the exclusion of KP, is a load of cods wallop! Get rid of the current ECB management and let the players (and statistics) decide.

  • POSTED BY wgtnpom on | February 6, 2014, 20:29 GMT

    Surely the reason KP has not been selected for these tours is that in the opinion of the selectors he is not the best choice at present. Simple as that. There is no obligation on the selectors to pick any given individual and no player has a divine right to be selected. Any player who ever says "I will continue playing for England" (or any other country) is being partucularly arrogant. And the media and the public have no say in the selection of the team.

    The selectors are also not accountable to the public for their selectorial decisions. Having said that, the non-selection of KP when fit and available is, in purely cricketing terms, a surprise, and it is legitimate for the media to ask questions about the rationale behind a surprise selection or non-selection. Whitaker didn't really answer those questions convincingly but that doesn't mean the selectors' decision is wrong.

  • POSTED BY CricketingStargazer on | February 6, 2014, 20:40 GMT

    The handling of this whole affair has been dreadful. One is brought in mind of the phrase "they couldn't organize a ... in a brewery". And they have managed to make Kevin Pietersen the only person to come out of the whole affair with dignity.

  • POSTED BY gham on | February 6, 2014, 20:46 GMT

    The decision which has been made by the ECB is doesn,t make sense att all he was the only super star player in the current england team. Shame on the ECB stupid decision. They can,t even beat bangladesh with this team with the absence of KP.

  • POSTED BY alexkrish on | February 6, 2014, 20:48 GMT

    Read it once and read it all over again but unable to understand what Mr Whitaker was trying to convey. However, I think there is a clear message for the future would be England players.

  • POSTED BY 64blip on | February 6, 2014, 21:00 GMT

    @billyhubble I heard the whole Agnew interview and there were about ten "going forwards", I kid you not. The rest of what he said was the same content-free gibberish as is quoted above. Oh dear.