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I always needed KP - Collingwood

ESPNcricinfo staff

February 17, 2014

Comments: 33 | Text size: A | A

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

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...

Posted by JG2704 on (February 17, 2014, 16:35 GMT)

Longer term my suggestions are

1- Cook resigns from the ODI captaincy and 100% concentrates on tests and KP has nothing more to do with test cricket

1- After Giles inevitably moves up for test duties , Collingwood takes over the SF set up 2- Morgan captains both the shorter format sides 3 - KP either goes totally freelance (pay as you play with England) with a verbal agreement on which series he plays or they do up a contract suitable to both parties. All the time KP is on probation. I prefer the no contract way as it means that neither party is tied down and there are no messy legal scenarios if things go wrong and I think it will mean that it is more likely KP will keep his emotions in check. Also KP could not moan about the schedule etc

It would obviously have to sit well with Collingwood and Morgan but I think both would be happy to bend a little to keep KP available. The test situation is obviously unworkable but do we have to also write off his SF career?

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

Top man Colly. He's just what we need, and he's handled the KP situation excellently. If he had no problems with him, why should he say otherwise? Apart from that, he's endorsing the decision made. Good interview

Posted by JG2704 on (February 17, 2014, 16:13 GMT)

My suggestions are that Short term (under a probation period)

1 - I believe Cook is rested from the WI ODI series so KP plays that

2 - If there are no probs then if Broad wants him in the T20 set up (as he said he did) then he should play in the T20 WC if it is not too late to add him - obviously Dernbach could get a mystery injury with KP replacing him - changing the balance

I believe that KP would be on his best behaviour and also these aren't long tours where frictions are more likely to surface. Also (presuming his main fallout is with Cook - Cook isnt involved) and I believe that if KP is not totally unmanageable then Collingwood is a guy who can manage him better than anyone in the current England set up

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 15:34 GMT)

The fans need him, the game needs him, the new coaches need him except the English Management. God save cricket and cricketers from these so called Management guru's.

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

KP, Trott, Swann gone! But England are playing at home. So no issues facing SL or India this summer, especially India. SL seems to be gathering a good sqaud of fast bowlers, provided they are fit should be able to challenge England. On ther other hand, tried and tested bunch of Indians do not encourage any positive signs! Having said that Swann was thier wicket taker in their last series against India and KP was the biggest tormentor both in England and India. With those two gone, some intresting times. Overall at least this time we will witness equal squads although with England having upper hand.

Posted by BlackCountryCricket on (February 17, 2014, 14:53 GMT)



.... and replace him with who?

Lexington North: good post.

Vinod_Fab: There is no smoke without fire!

Posted by Vinod_Fab on (February 17, 2014, 14:50 GMT)

@BlackCountryCricket... Never fully filled the undoubted potential..?? 4 Ashes series victories .. T20 WC .. #1 in test ranking.. Away series win in IND and AUS ... Drawn series in PAK.. 4-0 in Abu dhabi against PAK..KP has immense contribution in all of them.. Me for one personally thinks that ENG needs KP services for 2015 WC, away series against SA and then ASHES.. He deserved atleast 2 years of ENG cricket for what KP gave for ENG.. And there were some innings that was note worthy.. One being the ton at oval 3rd test against AUS and 5th test which almost sealed the series 4-0 in favour of ENG and next match was in MCG(70 odd),eventhough that was not a ton but he nearly crawled ENG back to the winning ways for the brief period. He still have it in him but the constant support is not being provided to him since he is not an ENGLISH by birth .. :(

Posted by Vinod_Fab on (February 17, 2014, 14:19 GMT)

@Lexington North ... There isn't any evidence stating that KP betrayed the coaches and his own team mates..!!. It's all media who made a spl player to be like this since they want something to write on icons and famous players..!!.. My perspective on KP is that he is quite a courageous bloke(let it be in talking or playing cricket),he motivates young players like ben stokes,james taylor etc and even you would have saw KP giving some useful tips to surrey youngsters.It's a big mistake from ENG dropping KP and they will realise surely as replacing a player like him not only impacts cricketing worls but it will impact ENG cricket..!!.. A very sad end to a gem of a player..!! Hope KP will do a commentary stints furing de upcoming T20 WC ...

Posted by BlackCountryCricket on (February 17, 2014, 14:18 GMT)

The notion that Cook should be dropped for Pietersen is ridiculous beyond measure; the two have similar records in Tests, now consider that Cook is 4.5 years younger and opens the batting; and KP's ODI record has been abysmal recently. The bottom line is that KP is a right royal pain in the backside, and that he has been tolerated when he was winning matches for England. KP hasn't won a match or been a stand out player for England since early 2012, his contribution against India at Wankhede in November that year excepted.

He has been dining out on his 2005-2008 record for a while, a guy that had the talent and ability to be the greatest ever but never fully fulfilled the undoubted potential. He'll be 34 this year, there are plenty of good young batsmen who are missing out to accommodate someone who is arguably in physical decline and has alienated almost every manager he has had. This was inevitably going to happen at some point, especially with the ECB's inability to handle him.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (February 17, 2014, 13:48 GMT)

Having just witnessed the most incedible stand by McCullum and Watling for the 6 the wicket and seen McC score 281* in a rearguard v India, I cannot comment on KP beyond saying that in Wellington a captain took full responsibility for what went on. It was glorious to see the fight, backs to the wall. In Australia where was the yellow belly captain of England? Resign, Cook.For the love of God you are not fit to captain a plastic tug in your bath let alone England. Pathetic characterless tyrant. McCullum runs a responsibility show. Cook overseas the'Blame' show. Disgusting.By the way I appreciate what PC says. great man, with heart.He would have fought to save draws. That is what we need back, and KP. Cook it seems only handles sheep.Baaaa!

Posted by LeeHallam on (February 17, 2014, 13:31 GMT)

I think some of the commentators here have not read what he said. He did say he would always try to keep KP in the side. However he also said that a side cannot function if the relationships become unmanageable. This is in no way an attack on the ECB action, simply of regret that it was necessary.

Posted by StJohn on (February 17, 2014, 13:25 GMT)

Didn't know you were allowed to express an opinion once you're part of the England Establishment!

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 13:18 GMT)

Mixed feelings on this one. It's good that Colly had such a good relationship with KP. It also helps to have a man of his ability on-side, but at the end of the day, no man is bigger than the team, regardless of how talented they are. And there's been too many insidents where KP has shown a complete lack of respect to his Coach or Captain, once there is a disagreement. You can't go round under-mining your Coach/Captain, but is exceptable simply because he is a world class performer. What kind of example does that set when you have younger and less-experienced players joining the Squad and witness how issues are resolved amongst Senior players. If you read between the lines of the ECB's statement about omitting KP, pretty-much sums up how demoralising the Ashes tour down-under must've been and although alot of credit must go to Australia's u-turn in improvement, the inner-squabbles clearly effected the team's morale and confidence, out in the middle.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 13:00 GMT)

Well said Collingwood, I wonder if the ECB will dicipline you for making that statement, Petersen was always the backbone of England's batting,maybe the ECB has done KP a favour, he has secured one good contract already.

Posted by CodandChips on (February 17, 2014, 12:32 GMT)

@R_U_4_REAL_NICK agree, especially when you consider that Morgan and KP leading the ODI side would be much more effective than Cook and Broad.

Coldly was useful at batting but no world beater. tactically good and a natural leader, and of course sublime fielder. Needs to be careful what he says mind, as to not upset anyone.

Posted by Coolcapricorn on (February 17, 2014, 12:30 GMT)

Great that Collingwood has had the courage to speak up in saying what he believes to be correct. Now that he has entered the England coaching set-up, he could very easily keeping quiet in safeguarding his new status but kudos to the man for speaking his mind!

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 12:23 GMT)

excellent cooling wood bring kp back to england side it is for better for england cricket as well as kp

Posted by MiddleStumpMike on (February 17, 2014, 12:17 GMT)

Honest, outspoken and slightly controversial comments from Collingwood.

Obviously cannot be trusted and should be shown the door.

Posted by nareshgb1 on (February 17, 2014, 12:13 GMT)

What the Brigadier does not know is that it was KP who was responsible for the mess up with Steven Finn. Per Holding, Finn was a 150PKH bowler - and it ALL due to KP that he is such a complete mess right now.

Collie - you are out of touch with the times mate.

Posted by android_user on (February 17, 2014, 12:08 GMT)

KP will be back! wait for their T20 world cup failure and another series defeat and theyl be begging him to come back

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (February 17, 2014, 12:05 GMT)

I agree with some of the comments made on previous threads re. Cook vs. KP: why on Earth not just drop Cook from the shorter formats completely (would that be such a tragic loss?) and allow KP to play in the shorter formats - seemingly with players that respect him loads anyway? Cook can do what he likes in tests, and let's face it: there's much to be done.

Posted by elsmallo on (February 17, 2014, 11:52 GMT)

Collingwood's a good man. England have missed him since he retired. He brought to the side vital personal qualities in addition to his cricketing skills - openness and the desire to always improve, and a sense of perspective which helped to ward off negativity. I'd go one step further than the England management here and bring him back as captain!

Posted by mtfb on (February 17, 2014, 11:45 GMT)

The main thing for the England coaching set up to do is to get rid of Gooch.

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