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I always needed KP - Collingwood

ESPNcricinfo staff

February 17, 2014

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Kevin Pietersen and Paul Collingwood were quite happy to accept the umpires' offer for bad light, 4th Test, South Africa v England, Johannesburg, 16 January, 2010
Kevin Pietersen and Paul Collingwood averaged 60.04 batting together © Getty Images
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Paul Collingwood, England's new assistant coach for the tour of West Indies and the World Twenty20, has said that he always needed Kevin Pietersen in his team and that any side would try anything to retain a player of his ability.

Collingwood, who was handed his new role last week, played 300 times for England across all three formats - many of them alongside Pietersen - and was the captain of both the ODI and T20 sides. He led England to their one piece of global silverware, the 2010 World T20 in West Indies, where Pietersen was named Player of the Tournament.

Collingwood's international career ended when he was dropped following the 2011 World Cup - having earlier retired from Test cricket after the 2010-11 Ashes - which means he has not been involved in the side during the most recent of Pietersen's controversies; the 2012 text messages involving the South Africans and now his sacking.

However, Collingwood was a central figure in the side during the previous Pietersen-inspired crisis for English cricket - when he ousted Peter Moores as coach in late 2008 and was stripped of the captaincy - but never felt Pietersen had become unmanageable.

"You will always try to find a way of keeping KP in the side," he told the Scotsman after a spell coaching Scotland as they qualified for 2015 World Cup. "But the last three years it just seems that the relationships have become so unmanageable between both sides that it hasn't been able to work any more. You just can't function.

"I don't know if this has been happening, but if you orientate too much around one player, and not the whole team, then it becomes an issue. From the outside you can see that there have been occasions over the last few years where he has obviously upset the apple cart.

"But I always felt that I was needing KP in the side, and he'd never, at that point when I left the England team, he'd never become unmanageable as what it looks like he has now."

The end of Pietersen's career comes despite Ashley Giles, the limited-overs coach, calling him a "million-pound asset" and reports that Stuart Broad, the Twenty20 captain, wanted him in the side.

On the field, Pietersen and Collingwood had a strong relationship when they batted together: they averaged 60.04 as a pair with nine century stands including their 310 against Australia, in Adelaide, in 2006-07.

"I've played with KP for pretty much six years, five and a half years, and he won a lot for England," Collingwood said. "I probably wouldn't be sitting here as a World Cup winner if it wasn't for KP."

Collingwood is entering an England coaching set-up in a state of flux following the departure of Andy Flower and a new head coach is unlikely to be named until after the World T20. Ashley Giles, the limited-overs coach, remains the favourite to take charge and Collingwood gave his former team-mate wholehearted backing as they begin their new partnership.

One of the reasons Flower gave for relinquishing his position was that he felt England needed one head coach across all formats - rather than the split roles introduced last year - which is something Collingwood supports.

"Ashley is obviously early on in his international coaching career, but I think he'd be very good if he gets the three formats and I think that's quite important now that the next coach does take the three formats over and really puts his stamp on the England team culture, the ethics and all that kind of stuff

"I think Ashley's done a good job with the players that he's had in the one-day and the T20 form of the game. A lot of the time he does lose some of his best players because you've got to balance out the fatigue factor for Test cricket. So I think he's definitely the next man in line for the job."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Vinod_Fab on (February 18, 2014, 11:06 GMT)

@JG2704.. Yeah,that has been the case starting from his career(even prior to his intn'l career) that none of us will never ever know the thnigs behind the scenes and i bet KP won't be the culprit (Management is the sole reason and KP just can't say YES to any of them,that's his trait-no one can change that).. And you very well know that he plays cricket in such a way that one day he will be like over the moon stuff and next day he will be like pacific ocean's depth(that much below standards) so you cannot predict at all..Whether his form is poor or no, he must be in team to groom youngsters,bringing dynamicity to the team,X factor and atleast he deserves to be in team for what he gave for ENG(Past 8 years).. KP expressed so much disappointment that there are very meagre chances for him to represent ENG again..!!.. Though strong IPL performance from him will be icing in the cake for contention.!. And i m sure Kirsten will utilize him fully as a 1st down player that too IPL will be in SA

Posted by JG2704 on (February 18, 2014, 9:45 GMT)

@Vinod_Fab on (February 18, 2014, 6:51 GMT) To be fair none of us know what's gone on behind the scenes but the common thinking is that Cook and KP have had a big bust up so that says to me that them playing together is unworkable. The other inponderable is how much of an impact would KP make in the shorter formats? His longer form cricket has not been so good in recent years and in his last ODI series he was not so impressive. He no longer seems to walk down the pitch to fast bowlers and/or play innovative shots and without those traits KP is not the same player. It will be interesting to see if he does any of this in the next IPL.

Anyway my main point was that I wonder if England could have kept him on as a SF player rather than just end his career?

Re Collingwood - I think he's an astute thinker and has the capabilities of being a good coach in all SFs

Posted by Vinod_Fab on (February 18, 2014, 6:51 GMT)

@JG2704.. Colly in T20's is ok but in ODI's ..??. I fear considering WC 2015 is just a year away..!!. Micheal vaughan in tests(mentoring--Ford)is a ideal choice as he knows what it takes to build a side which is in disarray..!!. I honestly believe that ENG have it in them to win the WC..(Now they have 60 percent chances but if they include KP then it will go up by 90 percent chances of winning). But the question is how to include KP..? Both the ENG coaches and Foreign coaches 1st choice will be KP..!!. So recruiting coaches in ODI's will not be handful to ENG and i would preferably say that without coach(with the advise of some great players like warne/Holding in bowling front,ponting/hussain/colly in fielding front,and vaughan/Mike/Straussy in batting front) ENG have chance to play their own game and doors for KP return will be more and more likely..!!. Give captaincy to Morgan in ODI's, take cook out of the ODI side , bring KP in considering WC 2015 , Root and bell to open..!!

Posted by Vinod_Fab on (February 18, 2014, 6:37 GMT)

@Lexington North.. Well documented ..?? Where..?? You are naming a few who have their attitude problem of their own(except straussy)..Jason Gallian attitude was very poor at Notts and KP pointed that out,instead he found himself in precarious position..!!.. And well well well..!! What to say about moores, whole cricketing world knows about what he is..!!.. De man cannot take decision on his own..!!.. It's not about the scalps here,everytime if someone retires or some spat or some losing streak u will find KP's name in 1st place..!!. Hope u all remember de 100th test that he played,he got a cap and in that it was written like pieterSON(like a son to the ENG cricket).. As i said KP not only bring dynamacity to the team,he also motivates young players and his character is not that much bad which media and others made it out..!!. He speaks straight forward which others don't like..!!. Retired individuals don't have it in them to fight it out..!!. He fights like a lion each and every time.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (February 18, 2014, 4:30 GMT)

@FawltyBean on (February 17, 2014, 20:37 GMT), Collingwood is saying that KP was never unmanageable as long as he was part of the team but it appears that, since then, he has done. Collingwood is basically admitting that he doesn't know what's gone on lately because he hasn't been part of the team for several years. He was part of the team for a good while though, yet lots of fans seem to believe that they know more about the situation than he does.

Posted by Redmakka on (February 17, 2014, 23:48 GMT)

If giles becomes head coach of all formats then england are doomed. They need domeonr like Tom Moody. As for collingwood he is more than a yes man. Cook needs to relinquish his role as captain and I would go with Morgan. But England todo anything KP needs to be in the side. He has been sacked for not agreeing with everything. Which is pretty sad indeed as he is by far the best player in the england team

Posted by JG2704 on (February 17, 2014, 21:51 GMT)

@CodandChips on (February 17, 2014, 18:40 GMT) I'm not going to write Giles off yet - I'll wait til after we get beat in WI first.

Ideally (if both turned out to be as good coaches as captains) my dream team would be Collingwood as shorter formats head and Vaughan in charge of the tests , with both being mentored by someone like Graham Ford for a year or so.

It's not an ideal world unfortunately - the fact that I have to do jury service next month proves as much.

So I think Giles will take over the national set up and while I'm not for it you never know (although I think you do) Giles may have some innovative ideas which he has been hamstrung to try out under Flower. So realistically I'm looking at the fact that at least if Giles gets the main job then PC will be in charge of the shorter formats - every cloud and all that. You never know Collingwood could be as duff as anyone but I like the idea of him taking over

Posted by FawltyBean on (February 17, 2014, 20:37 GMT)

Collingwood getting better at ECB politics by trying to have it both ways. First offer little praise to KP then agree with the decision to sack him. Hope he had much more backbone.

Posted by CodandChips on (February 17, 2014, 18:40 GMT)

@JG2704 agree completely that Morgan should captain both white ball sides. Also agree KP should feature in both sides.

But Giles to coach the test side? Is that really what you want? Or do you just think it will happen?

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 17:43 GMT)

@Vinod, don't get me wrong i'm a big KP fan in regards to his talent, but he's had a record for causing disruption behind closed doors. Jason Gallian at Notts, Peter Moores and Andrew Strauss for England to name a few, are well documented. And as far as the recent Ashes are concerned, i'm just reading between the lines. Greame Swann quitting out of the blue and implying during his first statement that certain individuals think they're bigger than the team, what was the first question reporters asked him and for legal reasons, he back-tracked. KP got a start in some of his innings and threw his wicket away like he didn't care because things were going badly anyway, then rumours about falling out with Flower, followed by KP being isolated on the pitch by Cook when fielding, which has now resulted in Cook being part of the decision in discarding him completely. Loyal KP fans are calling it a witch-hunt/scapegoat, but there's got to be more to it than we know...

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