England's Pietersen dilemma

Pietersen selection moves closer

George Dobell

September 13, 2012

Comments: 105 | Text size: A | A

Kevin Pietersen was all smiles back in the sunshine at The Oval, Surrey v Nottinghamshire, County Championship, Division One, The Oval, September, 4, 2012
The latest signs point to a happier winter for Kevin Pietersen © PA Photos
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Series/Tournaments: England tour of India
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England depart for Sri Lanka today with even more baggage than normal for a touring team. The decision to delay the announcement of the England squad for the Test tour of India means that speculation over the position of Kevin Pietersen will spill over into their World T20 campaign.

It looks increasingly likely that Pietersen will be included in the squad for India. While for some time there was an impasse over Pietersen's future, the appointment of Alastair Cook as captain seems to have revitalised the process. Cook missed the last round of Championship matches as did Pietersen which would have helped facilitate further talks between the pair.

Cook, who is understandably keen to begin his captaincy career with the strongest possible team, would appear to have convinced all parties to redouble their efforts to find a solution to the Pietersen conundrum. While it would be premature to conclude that Pietersen will definitely be included, the situation is swinging that way.

One man who insists that Pietersen should be included is Darren Gough, the former England fast bowler who played with Cook at Essex and was best man at Pietersen's wedding. He accepts that Pietersen's behaviour in recent months has fallen below acceptable standards but Gough believes that others players in the squad have also been at fault and that the time has now come to "shake hands and get on with it".

"There has been some immaturity on both sides," Gough told ESPNcricinfo. "There are issues with the parody Twitter account - I think it's obvious that players were involved in that - and there are issues with things that were written in players' books about Kevin that were just not right. But at the same time, some of Kevin's words have not been acceptable. Everyone knows that.

"But haven't we all called the boss a few names at some stage? It happens. You don't have to be the best of friends on the pitch; you just have to be prepared to work together. Nasser Hussain and I used to argue like cat and dog when he was England captain. But neither of us ever held a grudge. He got the best out of me. I'd have run through a brick wall for him.

"What do you do? You look each other in the eye, shake hands and get on with it. And that's what I expect to happen.

"Alastair Cook has come in. He's an ambitious new captain and he wants to win. And so he should. So he's come in determined to take the best side he can to India. He knows - we all know - that Kevin is in the best team. I'm very hopeful he'll be in the team now and I definitely think he should be."

The England squad will be named on Tuesday.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by MattyP1979 on (September 16, 2012, 5:39 GMT)

Eng don't need him but I suspect would want him to play. KP back only on Eng's terms seems to be the sentiment of most English fans. I suspect he will play against Ind....he wants to improve his batting average against the mighty Ind bowling unit lol.

Posted by JG2704 on (September 15, 2012, 7:52 GMT)

@Optic ctd - Re ECB leaking stuff - I'm not so sure. KP has made numerous accusations and to me has not elaborated at all on them and I'm finding it hard to take the guy seriously. I mean he said about "not being looked after" but did not go any further with that and if ECB are not looking after him then why is he still desperate to get back in the side? He cited "not getting any rest" as the reason for retiring from ODIs/T20s and then what does he do during periods where he has no Eng obligations? - he plays more cricket. I'm sorry but for me - as brilliant a cricketer that he is - the guy seems unable to take responsibility for what he says/does

Posted by JG2704 on (September 15, 2012, 7:43 GMT)

@Optic - I agree that none of us know the content of the texts. However - one of our players - may have been Jimmy did an interview on Sky and said he was surprised about the texts etc as all had seemed ok in the dressing room. I feel therein lies the problem. If KP had been shouting the odds in the dressing room it wouldn't have been so bad so it has become a trust issue more than anything else. Would you be happy with someone who was sweetness and light in person but then you find out they're saying bad things behind your back? Also , I wonder if who KP sent the texts to (asin a SA player) has a bearing on it all? I mean if he sent it to a non cricketing person it might not have been so bad but to send a text like that to a player from the opposition camp then does it not show disharmony in the England team and during a series surely any teams management would frown on that.

Posted by JG2704 on (September 14, 2012, 21:49 GMT)

@Charlie101 on (September 14 2012, 10:48 AM GMT) Who knows?It seems that KP has trusted the wrong person/people to share his texts with. I'm not sure. I mean if KP was sure he had confidence in the recipients of the texts then I thought he would have denied it. Obviously someone he sent it to wasn't to be trusted because how would Eng know about these texts? I wouldn't say he is wiser than we think because if he was he wouldn't have got into this mess to begin with. I think Eng now know exactly what was said , but I'm just going by how it's all panned out.

Posted by   on (September 14, 2012, 15:17 GMT)

@Long-Leg. I admire you for your honest English view. It is about people like you I had been talking about, when I had been adversely commenting, over several posts, over the past 2-3 years, on the imported mercenaries and they blocking the path of true English boys with talents and aspirations.

Posted by Selassie-I on (September 14, 2012, 14:40 GMT)

Posted by F on (September 14 2012, 13:28 PM GMT) - ever hear of Andrew Symonds??

Posted by Optic on (September 14, 2012, 14:19 GMT)

@Graeme Codrington When you speak of betrayal, are you speaking about private text messages we don't know the content of because a apart from that the nature of what he was supposed to have said in the texts changed from day to day. I personally have a problem about personal texts from anyone getting out into the public, I bet you in the past have sent some choice texts to family and friends abut you're employers or work colleges.Just like Swann & Anderson or anyone from the England team will have sent some to each other that they wouldn't want to get public. I also don't know where you're coming from with the KP giving away supposed "classified" information, if you're talking about the text again, about how to get Strauss out lol, well that was the first rumor of what he was supposed to have text, then it changed to he was supposed to have called Strauss a idiot or something stronger. If you feel so strongly about that surely the ECB's rat is just as bad, leaking private info.

Posted by mydearoldthing on (September 14, 2012, 14:08 GMT)

Graeme Codrington, I agree with everything you say with the addition to your list of misdemeanour's the reneging on a contract to be available for every day of cricket if required by the management. A point which rarely sees the light but shows , to my mind, what his word is worth if he can take a legally binding contract so lightly.

Posted by   on (September 14, 2012, 13:28 GMT)

I am pakistani but i would like to admire australia on that account that if pieterson was in aussies team he would have dropped for indefinite time for his behaviour and would not have been selected . All other boards are weak in that respect and they will bear cricketers like pieterson . Ideally they should close the chapter of pieterson forever . ECB show some character and i bet even with pieterson ENG will be beaten by india in india though not quite convincibly 4-0 as happened in england .

Posted by Long-Leg on (September 14, 2012, 13:17 GMT)

I grew up wanting to play test cricket for England and ached to have the talent to make it possible. It was all that mattered to me as a youth. The fact that Pietersen would rather play a domestic T20 thrash in India than turn out at Lords for a test match makes my blood boil with rage. The ECB should not even consider bringing him back until he commits himself properly to the national side. Will he turn out against NZ in England? This is the key issue for me. Stuff about texts and who said what to whom is just trivia.

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