England's Pietersen dilemma September 13, 2012

Pietersen selection moves closer

105

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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??

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 .

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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??

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 .

  • 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.

  • on September 14, 2012, 12:56 GMT

    George, your consistent position in print and on the Switch hit podcast has been one of mild incredulity at the "immaturity" of both sides (KP and the England camp). While it is undoubtedly true that mistakes have been made, I think you have failed to ever acknowledge the depth of KP's betrayal of his team mates. There is not other area of life - in business, charities, government or anywhere else - where any employee or colleague would be allowed to get away with both disparaging his boss and colleagues, as well as disclosing what could be called "classified" information about the inner workings of their organisation. In other areas of life, people who are bad for morale, who are patently disloyal, and who seek to undermine their organisation are quickly dealt with and removed. KP's issues are not petty, and I support the way the England camp have dealt with it. Sure, it's a shame to not see KP in the team, but it would be a bigger shame to see him destroy it from within.

  • himohan007 on September 14, 2012, 12:27 GMT

    About Cook: Hope Cook cooks this issue better to bring KP back otherwise Cook will be cooked in India. All the best Cook

  • Dutch_Bowler on September 14, 2012, 11:26 GMT

    Goughs right. This is what every team player should do and if your a star have to do now and then. Put your ego aside even if you know your right and everyone else is a whimp. Only worry I have is can KP keep his ego under control. I'am afraid he may think himself just to much of a superstar to be team player. Sjhould have taken up tennis. Then there would be no problem.

  • 200ondebut on September 14, 2012, 11:13 GMT

    With all due respect Sharjeel Kahn your comments are misinformed. Australia had a constant issue with Shane Warne but never dropped him and I am sure I am not the only one who can see the irony of a Pakistan supporter lecturing us on player behaviour. You are right though in one respect - England will probably lose to India with or without KP.

  • Charlie101 on September 14, 2012, 10:48 GMT

    @JG2704 I do not think anyone has read the text and I begin to wonder if KP's SA mate who received the text has not divulged the content but only the fact that he had received a degoratory text about Strauss . SA mate has then told KP that no one else has seen said text and therefore KP is not divulging the content because he knows no one can prove anything either way. May be he is wiser than we think and knows if the content is never leaked it will eventually blow over !!!

  • on September 14, 2012, 10:25 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 .

  • veerakannadiga on September 14, 2012, 9:45 GMT

    Does the ECB want KP to crawl on all fours & beg them for forgiveness? If so, forget it, KP has much more dignity than all the ECB put together. If KP doesn't tour India, it is not his loss, it is a loss to us the cricket fans

  • dabhand on September 14, 2012, 9:45 GMT

    Whilst I have all the time for Darren, I'm afraid he and many on here just don't seem to get it - the more people who have something to say the more likely the issue is to become polarised and those who do make decisions harden their stances. This is especially true when journos and TV pundits who feel the whole affair would benefit by their wisdom add their 0.02s worth - and they aren't interested in what's best for the English team, just in getting name checks and building their profile. If everyone stopped speculating and left things to go ahead behind closed doors - the situation would be resolved, one way or the other, a darn sight quicker.

  • JG2704 on September 14, 2012, 9:42 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster on (September 13 2012, 19:29 PM GMT) Surprised these comments got published. No actually I'm not at all. Nothing surprises me any more

  • JG2704 on September 14, 2012, 9:41 GMT

    I'm still struggling to come to terms with this issue. Part of me is even starting to think that Swann and Jimmy were guilty of something. The reason being that I'd have thought that KP naming the pair as Twitter suspects would have taken negotiations further the other way. It's just a theory but I wonder if part of the terms of KPs return is that he doesn't pursue further his allegations re Swann and Jimmy? 2 wrongs do not make a right and if Swann/Jimmy are guilty then they should also be punished. Just like Swann/Jimmy's ALLEGED actions in no way excuse KP's actions. Also I reckon it was KP's people that leaked the Twitter suspects named story as the ECB don't want any more scandal - esp re other players. Please publish this time. These are my opinions and are certainly not as controversial/offensive as some comms we have had on here.

  • itsthewayuplay on September 14, 2012, 9:36 GMT

    Cont'd On to cricketing matters, given NZ's impressive performance in the 2nd test from their pace attack and if Eng have been doing their homework, they should face a dilemma as to whether to play 3 quicks and spinner or 2 and 2. They could go with Panesar as the 2nd spinner on the slower wickets as he has the experience of playing against India and as some of the Indian batsmen would not have faced him before and historically get turned over by spinners they're not used to. As for the quicks, Finn was impressive in the ODIs last year and with his, pace, height and bounce I'm sure will trouble India. Bresnan who by some accounts has lost a yard of pace since his operation moves the ball off the seam both ways which will be important if swing is not there. Anderson's never really enjoyed Indian conditions but this may be his last tour to India so could be the incentive to improve his record there. I'm not sure which Broad will turn up

  • itsthewayuplay on September 14, 2012, 9:36 GMT

    If Pieterson is picked and even as Indian supporter I hope he is as there are very few batsmen that can do what he can. My understaniding was that the naming of the squad to India had been pushed back to allow selection of other players. It will be interesting to see how KP, Broad, Swann, and Anderson all get on even more so if KP were to drop a catch of their bowling! What is going on with Cricinfo? George Dobell wrote in his article of 12 Sep that it was unilkely but not impossible for KP to be included and 2 days later he's writing that it's increasingly likely that he'll be going to India. This can only be descibed as U-turn that the the coalition govt would be proud of. Perhaps in a couple of days he'll be writing that Bopara will most likely be going? Pls publish.

  • on September 14, 2012, 9:27 GMT

    The team need to be professional, they don't all have to be best friends, they just have to put it behind them shake hands and stop acting like children. Also it would be great if the management put a ban on publishing autobiographies while still playing, as much for literary reasons as anything.

  • Valavan on September 14, 2012, 9:03 GMT

    @DINESHCC, I didnt expect these comments from you. But you seem to be spot on here this time, i hardly believe india can whitewash, but England maximum can level this series given their weak links in sub continent and after all these pietersen drama. The only advantage England has in India is NO DRAVID, NO LAXMAN and a STRUGGLING TENDULKAR, DHONI and RAINA (No test material), if England play sensibly they will have a cracker of a series. I can only see disappointed indian fans speaking about revenge. anyway you support your team, i support my team, very civil of you that not to hurt others on disappointment. cricinfo please publish.

  • phoebeminder on September 14, 2012, 9:01 GMT

    We haven't had a Stanford-esque decision from the ECB for a while, so little surprise if the kowtow to the prima donna comes to pass, as is suggested. Cannot see how England cricket (or any other cricket) will really suffer through his absence from the international scene. Rod for the ECB's back coming up, I fear.

  • creekeetman on September 14, 2012, 8:46 GMT

    always admired cook's way, he seems to lack the ego that some of the other pom poms (all) appear to possess. its clear cook cares about the team and success rather than anything else, and kp is a main ingredient for that to happen.

  • VivtheGreatest on September 14, 2012, 8:26 GMT

    Sensible words from Gough. Through the times there have been instances of players in a team not getting along( The Pakistanis are pretty notorious for that!!) but they should be professional enough just to shrug it off and get the job done like Warne and Gilchrist, Wasim and Waqar. After all these are international sportsmen not 10year old kids. Ultimately the team has to be picked on ability and so Pietersen, Anderson, Swann and Broad all have to play if England has to seriously compete

  • on September 14, 2012, 8:00 GMT

    Well done Captain Cook and I hope you keep your your crew under control

  • JG2704 on September 14, 2012, 7:55 GMT

    @bobmartin on (September 13 2012, 15:53 PM GMT) I've generally found your comments to be pretty much spot on re this affair and I do wonder how many "harshly treated" comments there would be had it been any other England player. Having said that , do you know exactly what KP said in those texts? The reason I say this is that KP was fined for his remark re Nick Knight which I felt was basically an honest and not particularly derogatory remark. My guess is the way KP has behaved since that the texts (not denying anything etc) , but I can only fully judge KP's behaviour from what I read and have not read the exact content of the texts.

  • BigMachine on September 14, 2012, 7:30 GMT

    If this happens it will be a sad day. England lose a fine skipper and a decent man and KP remains in the fold. Respect and decency is worth a lot more than ego- whatever the ability. This will all end in tears.

  • csr11 on September 14, 2012, 7:24 GMT

    "the appointment of Alastair Cook as captain seems to have revitalised the process" somehow does not do justice to Strauss, who by far has been your best captain in recent times, a good leader, and decent chap.. this has little to do with the captain.. this was a game of who blinks first.. and the results will be out on tuesday..

  • Buckers410 on September 14, 2012, 7:18 GMT

    They need to include him for India. Should be; 1. Cook (c) 2. Root 3. Trott 4. Bell 5. Peitersen 6. Bairstow 7. Prior 8. Broad 9. Swann 10. Anderson 11. Finn

  • DINESHCC on September 14, 2012, 6:42 GMT

    BIGWONDER: I have some statistics on India's Revenge Series: In 2002 India got white washed at the hands of Flemming & Co at Newzealand in both tests and ODIs. When they came back India in 2005 Bhajji, Sehwag thrown an open challenge that NZ would be whitewashed. But what happened India almost white washed in two test series. Because of heroics of Laxman India drawn the two test series 0-0. Similarly England toured India in 2006. It was a depleted team led by Andrew Flintoff. They completely dominated the series and drawn the test series 1-1 and ODI 3-3. Even against NZ team they narrowly won the Bangalore test. Now every one is hoping that India will whitewash England 4-0 which will never happen. With the out-of-form Sehwag, Gambhir & Tendulkar, inexperienced middle order, pathetic bowling attack, retirement of Dravid & Laxman definitely India will not whitewash England. If India draw the Eng series it is a great achievement. BOTTOM LINE: DONT TAKE EVERYTHING GRANTED

  • on September 14, 2012, 6:09 GMT

    yepp...... KP should be back. Without him English team just sucks.....

  • satish619chandar on September 14, 2012, 5:10 GMT

    So, finally England had found a guy who can talk sense. Good on you Darren Gough to come up and do the needful for the betterment of the team. The retirement of Strauss had a big role in this improvement. Cook is now in good arms which will lead him to do things that are right. KP irrespective of how much he scores WILL have the aura on him. Flintoff didn't have a huge role to play in 2009 ashes but still, he was massively influential to the team because of the aura he carried. KP will always carry the aura on top of him. Wish he comes back to India as a England test cricketer.

  • MAK123 on September 14, 2012, 5:01 GMT

    This is a defining moment for cook - while Strauss will be remembered as the one of the most successful captain in the English Cricket history, Cook might carve his name in the history books as a true leader and man-manager...this is the moment

  • on September 14, 2012, 4:51 GMT

    England should go with KP to India, otherwise, the Test matches will be like Club Cricket and fans will lose further interest on Test Matches. I hope ECB will support Cook and include him in the team. I wish them all success

  • CricketFan365 on September 14, 2012, 4:46 GMT

    Please stop the soap opera. As Gough said it's time to "shake hands and get on with it".

  • on September 14, 2012, 4:34 GMT

    For England cricket's sake, for new captain, Alistair Cook's sake and for KP's sake, Andrew Strauss made the wise decision to retire and to clear the playing field for KP's return and peace and order in the dressing-room. The end result could be great success for England in India and accolades should flow for ECB, England team, Strauss and KP. The England fans especially will be over the moon. If not, tough luck, the show must go on with or without KP. It seems as if sanity, at last, canl prevail.

  • mehulmatrix on September 14, 2012, 4:27 GMT

    I think Gough is being very frank and practical. Many of them have done some crap in some way, though some of that by KP is not exceptable. Possibly KP is more open about his thoughts/views as compared to others.But time to move on and ensure such things don't spoil the team culture.

  • Stateside_Steve on September 14, 2012, 3:34 GMT

    If Cook has indeed stood up and asked for KP then he has earned a tremendous amount of respect in my book. Cook has a mature head on his young shoulders. He just did what all the wise men of ECB couldn't do, reconcile with KP for the greater good of the team. That is what exemplary leaders do.

    He has shown that he is a strong leader. Swann, Anderson and Broad will all be kept in line by Cook's strong hand. I don't see any disunity in the dressing room going forward.

  • on September 14, 2012, 3:21 GMT

    Some sense at last! I wish Nasser and Gough were more directly involved with English Cricket now.

  • samincolumbia on September 14, 2012, 1:47 GMT

    Looks like KP is going to have the last laugh after all..HAHA! ECB's already dented image has taken another bruising...they are so desperate that they are ready to accept KP back in the fold after all the public chest thumping about discipline, no-one-greater-than-team bs that was being fed to the public.

  • on September 14, 2012, 0:53 GMT

    All these talks about whether KP should be included or not included should be laid to rest. I can see lots of comments regarding his inclusion or otherwise. Cricinfo should put a stop all these comments for his inclusion as well against his inclusion. People are looking for topics to say 2 cents worth of their opinion. This is the first time I see no comments about SRT's imminent enforced retirement. This topic too should be laid to rest and wait for the home series to conclude. If SRT fails to score in all these matches, I am sure he will be the first one to decide his future. The BCCI will also make a decision, I am sure. Let us wait for the series as currently too many adverse topics are clouding the status of test cricket. We can ill afford such unsolicited remarks

  • warneneverchuck on September 14, 2012, 0:52 GMT

    Without KP ENG is no better than Zim or BD

  • china_cricket on September 14, 2012, 0:48 GMT

    trust a headstrong heart on sleeve Yorkshireman to come up with a little sense....a rare thing throughout this saga amid a sea of emotive, jingoistic claptrap written by pundits, fans and other players

  • DavidvE on September 14, 2012, 0:09 GMT

    Beefy was flawed, but no-one got on any high horse about him. Let Kevin play. England need him to tighten their slippery grip on that No.1 position.

  • on September 13, 2012, 23:25 GMT

    ECB trying all means necessary to get KP back in the England squad . I guess they are making him "sweat" a little .

  • subbass on September 13, 2012, 23:08 GMT

    If KP has a point to prove then history shows he often does just that. If he goes to India I can see him been England's leading run scorer.

  • mikey76 on September 13, 2012, 22:13 GMT

    What ever you think about KP personally is irrelevant. He is simply one of the best two or three batsman in world cricket, and certainly the most entertaining. Even the most die hard Indian fan would want to see Pietersen play, just as I want to see Sehwag take guard against us. Testr cricket is struggling to fill stadiums at the moment. Leaving KP at home is one sure way of ensuring ticket sales take a nose dive.

  • TheBengalTiger on September 13, 2012, 21:52 GMT

    JG2704- Not much to say about Indias loss. Not too bothered about a meaningless t20. Nice to see yuvraj back

  • ilovecricket1234 on September 13, 2012, 21:48 GMT

    Here's an Indian praying that KP does not travel to India! KP, don't cave in! Fight for your dignity!

  • Front-Foot_lunge on September 13, 2012, 20:46 GMT

    England's recent test performances have been dire. losing 6 of the last 11 is disastrous in anyones book. As an England fan, it pains me to say that. Add to that the fact that around christmas last year, Anderson, Swann et al were talking up England's future in terms of 'aura', 'legacy' and 'greatness'. You cant blame deluded fans for believing them after so many decades of mediocre performances from "team England". You couldnt preface a sentance about England without mentioning them being 'Number 1' in tests. But this 'noise' is from the same place that this Pieterson debacle has arisen from, hubris mixed with a classic english sense of entitlement. Why do people think that all of a sudden, if you mix the same characters again, the results will be different. Of course they wont, this is a recipe for disaster! You need to change the fundamental attitude of all the cricketers, and while you're at it, the fans could do with a healthy dose of humility to!

  • on September 13, 2012, 20:42 GMT

    It will be a disgrace if Pieterson ever gets selected for England again! the guy only cares about himself and nothing about England, except what he can get from them!

  • on September 13, 2012, 20:41 GMT

    Bang their heads together, Cookie!

  • JG2704 on September 13, 2012, 20:38 GMT

    Pointless writing too much here as ESPN seem have a policy of who you can respond to and what you can say , even if you are not being att all offensive when responding to the poster. I'm sure Cook will only have KP back in if he doesn't see it causing any further grief , in which case I'm happy with it

  • bigwonder on September 13, 2012, 20:35 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge, It appears that Cook clearly knows his team will be under-cooked in India without Strauss and KP, hence the continuous closed-door discussion to keep the door slightly open for KP to return in time for Test series with India. It shows England is scared and knows they will be white-washed in India without KP.

  • JG2704 on September 13, 2012, 20:34 GMT

    @TheBengalTiger on (September 13 2012, 15:12 PM GMT) Was interested to see zero comments from you on your own team's recent T20 vs NZ but you seem to be on the England threads all the time. Maybe England are your new favourite side?

  • SurlyCynic on September 13, 2012, 20:13 GMT

    Good work by the 'little chef' to bring KP back into the England team.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on September 13, 2012, 19:47 GMT

    Take a bow Darren. At last one sane comment against the dinosaur ECB. The world loves the straight forward and brutally honest KP. An Indian here is keeping his fingers crossed.

  • on September 13, 2012, 19:41 GMT

    So it is official that Strauss's resignation has come out of this issue? But one thing for sure England without Pieterson is nothing in India.

  • vipravara on September 13, 2012, 19:10 GMT

    Well said, Darren-"You don't have to be the best of friends, but need to work together'. It's a shame, if the best talent is left out in the name of 'team spirit will be at stake', especially when the fault lies on either side. After all, are we dealing with 'boys' or 'men'? KP back in England team is certainly good for cricket. Hope the 'men' remain 'men' and don't get childish to become 'boys' again.

  • ashes61 on September 13, 2012, 19:01 GMT

    So despite the "news blackout" on the affair, this Dobell chap knows what is going on. The Cook appointment, the delayed announcement of the touring side & some trite remarks from Gough (no doubt in answer to questions from the author of this piece) all point to Pietersen's improved chances being selected? Really? Why would Cook want to alienate the whole side as wel as his bosses? Since when did anyone in cricket treat anything Gough said seriously? Ask HIS former team-mates if you didn't know! Why should the delayed announcement have anything at all to do with Pietersen? There are several thorny matters to be ironed out with selection. Cook needs KP in India like a hole in the head. KP would have to score a massive heap of runs to outweigh the reduction in performance inevitably to be expected from the rest of the team as a result of his presence. Ego has gone - finished. Let him go. We have some terrific talent in the wings - give them a chance in India. Win or lose, so what?

  • zoot on September 13, 2012, 19:01 GMT

    A lot of nonsense has been spoken about team unity. I have never played in a team where everyone got on with everyone else and I suspect that's normal. The important thing is to give 100% on the field. Cricket is basically an individual game so there is scope to accommodate players who can bat or bowl but are otherwise awkward to handle. Grow up guys you will all be too old to play soon enough and you will be judged on what you win.

  • whatawicket on September 13, 2012, 18:58 GMT

    vatsap the english born symonds and KP are not in the same boat. symonds well documented spat with the aussies is in no shape or form similar. symonds i believe would not have done what KP did. he always seemed to have a good team ethic until as i said his spat,

  • ElBeeDubya on September 13, 2012, 18:47 GMT

    Finally someone makes sense. I wish Gough had spoken on this issue sooner. Nobody has won by excluding KP from England's World T20 squad. The losers, in addition to the most obvious, are the Cricket fans. If an England player gets injured, I hope KP would be chosen as the replacement.

  • phoenixsteve on September 13, 2012, 18:29 GMT

    As an England supporter and someone who wants to see a successful England team I really hope that KP is given another chance. I also hope that Goughies words haven't made things worse for KP - as it seems anyting said by anyone at anytime can be used against him! It's such a shame that England will be without him in Sri Lanka but I suppose a different captain has different thoughts? I suspect that Stuart Broad's days as T20 captain are numbered anyhow - but I hope he proves me wrong with a successful defence of the World Cup! It could happen....... (ready for me medication now doctor).... COME ON ENGLAND!!!

  • Yorks1 on September 13, 2012, 18:08 GMT

    Cook (Essex), Gough (Essex), Bopara (Essex), Gough (Pietersen's best man), well that's a common thread to cement Cook's decisions! There is some very good young talent that can be picked, some of the most exciting cricketers in the country and given the chance they can will step up to the plate. Play the Essex connection and you hold back some very good players that can also become great. If Cook caves on these players he is going to lose a lot of respect in the dressing room. Pietersen will never change. If the teams are to have a successful future the negative and unpredictable has to go. Which CEO would take Pitersen back into his company when he needs all players on the same agenda and TEAM.

  • on September 13, 2012, 18:02 GMT

    Darren should be in ECB. This was all child's play so far from all the parties. With IPL and various other premere leagues, there are heterogeneous teams playing the game. What I mean by that is, the teams consist of players from all countries. That said, they develop personal friendship and then get on social network to stay in touch since they can't meet every day. The remote communication using social platforms makes them vulnerable in terms of reveling their personal conversation. We would be naive to think that this didn't happen in the past. If recording phone conversation was legal, all teams will have similar issues. ECB just has to grow up and move on. And yeah, KP needs to slow down. The complacency is kicking in more often lately. He should stop thinking that he can manipulate the system at will wherever he goes. The job comes first. It includes delivering good for his employer in most politically correct manner on and off the field weather he likes it or not.

  • jackiethepen on September 13, 2012, 18:02 GMT

    Now we know why Strauss resigned.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on September 13, 2012, 18:01 GMT

    Cook already developing into a fantastic captain, possibly a great considering his batting.

  • on September 13, 2012, 17:45 GMT

    LOL the NO1 team hahaha.. the last time Eng won a series in india was almost 30 yrs ago. bring whoever u want it aint happening.

  • on September 13, 2012, 17:44 GMT

    It doesn't matter if Pietersen is selected to India tour or not, India winning is inevitable, England wont have any answers to India's spin.

  • bobmartin on September 13, 2012, 17:29 GMT

    If he is included for the trip to India, will KP have some text banter with his IPL team mates..

  • on September 13, 2012, 17:29 GMT

    Almost there... Hope Cook makes a decision in the best interest of english cricket... include KP for India.

  • on September 13, 2012, 17:16 GMT

    Gough is a hundred percent correct Time for this saga to come to an end(till next time) and to get on with it KP is a great cricket character and he needs someone to understand him Maybe Cook can as obviously Strauss was too much of a gentleman

  • on September 13, 2012, 17:13 GMT

    cOME ON KP you are only a man English team else are only JEALOUS from you:))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

  • on September 13, 2012, 16:56 GMT

    Darren Gough's are the most sane comments I have heard so far. You will never have a playing 16 that is 100% on board on all the issues. Having differences of opinion is healthy - you need to stir the pot. If Kevin is the bad guy then are all others saints? I hope sanity prevails for the sake of the team and cricket. I also hope that Kevin learns a lesson from this episode as well and focuses on his cricket. But I think that English team and the management need to get out of this mental block that if Kevin texted some comments to his friends (in SA team) does not mean that he is dishonest to English cricket and that his loyalties are still with SA. Until they can overcome this mentality there will not be any reconciliation.

  • sharidas on September 13, 2012, 16:50 GMT

    For the love of Cricket and a good competition, I sincerely hope that England comes to India with their best team....having Pietersen in the team would make it that !

  • Snick_To_Backward_Point on September 13, 2012, 16:42 GMT

    Oh pls dont select KP for Eng again. They'll only be trouble further down the road. Let the guy disappear to the IPL - it's what he wants after all.

  • on September 13, 2012, 16:38 GMT

    "What do you do? You look each other in the eye, shake hands and get on with it."

    That's pretty rich coming from a guy who, according to Graeme Swann's autobiography, blindsided him with a punch and knocked him out in the bathroom while on tour together.

  • on September 13, 2012, 16:25 GMT

    Cook is doing a fantastic job... without KP England can't win a single match

  • Hira1 on September 13, 2012, 16:19 GMT

    wonderful news, hopefully its true...KP in T20 cup will still be missed, I still feel if they do it quickly he can still be sent as a replacement for an injured (self inflicted) Bopara.

  • JacksDad on September 13, 2012, 16:16 GMT

    I hope sanity prevails on all sides and that KP is included in the tour squad to India. As Goughy says - our best Test team would have KP in it, so let bygones be bygones, kiss and make up for the good of team England, and get out there and beat the Indains again.

  • vatsap on September 13, 2012, 16:16 GMT

    Very well said, Darren Gough. KP is too good to be kept out of the English team and although discipline is a factor, it can be sorted out like men. Hope he isn't lost to the cricketing world, like Symonds was a few years ago.

  • on September 13, 2012, 16:13 GMT

    If he is named, does that open the door to him being drafted into the T20 World Cup should there be an injury to one of the named squad?

  • Kentheavenonearth on September 13, 2012, 16:11 GMT

    Cricket-lovers wait and pray. Who knows, if Captain Cook indeed has the maturity to get them all together and shake hands AND STOP TWITTERING we might take all three top spots...by winning the Ashes next summer

  • on September 13, 2012, 16:05 GMT

    The best players do not necessarily make up the best team, everyone knows that. This issue seems no longer to be about Pietersen's retirement from his announced retirement, but about questionable use of social media. On balance, it would be churlish to cut a player like Pietersen off from test cricket based on some juvenile behaviour by a few individuals (including KP). Lessons are there to be learned by everyone, and let's move on. If Pietersen is included in the team, I'll say well done Capt'n Cook.

  • liz1558 on September 13, 2012, 16:04 GMT

    The catalyst for the KP saga was the nature of ECB central contracts and an overloaded international schedule, not dressing-room rifts. There have always been rifts between players in team sports - as the Dazzler points out - and this isn't the biggest issue for KP. It would be wrong of the ECB to give KP a bespoke contract, but the central contracts need to be flexible enough to accommodate the IPL as long as it lasts. The whole thing is likely to resurface next summer (unless the ECB can offer IPL- lucrative contracts) when he has to miss a large chunk of the IPL to play New Zealand in May.

  • QingdaoXI on September 13, 2012, 16:02 GMT

    Thank you ECB, now because of KP all other culprits in the team will be under pressure and till the make they will have in the series the time will tell them that they have loose the series. If KP wouldnt had played, than there might be some unity of the team would have created some upset over team India, but inclusion of KP is going to help India and i a sure KP will provide some information of his teammates to Sehwag and co.

  • xylo on September 13, 2012, 15:58 GMT

    Darren Gough has a good perspective on things than the author. Gough says, "I think it's obvious that players were involved in that", while the author says, "a cricinfo investigation exonerates other players". Gough says, "There has been some immaturity on both sides", while the author says that KP went against the team, and does not bother to comment on the other side of things. Bumble says that KP must learn to laugh at himself, but that is not something like a hand or leg that everyone is born with. If you have individuals in your team who take a joke personally, you ought to respect that and quit joking instead of going Swanny, Cookie, Straussy, Trotty and trying to artificially behave like a teenager and using your 'wit' against the person while the underlying reason is that this person earned a fortune while they found no takers at the auction.

  • dabhand on September 13, 2012, 15:58 GMT

    Yesterday you were suggesting no chance, today there's every chance.

    Instead of expressing opinions every day, why not just wait and let those who decide matters get on and do it - and then report the outcome. All you (and other journos) are doing is creating comment, debate and noise - most of which consists of totally unfounded allegations or gossip and none of which will be helping the 'healing process'.

  • on September 13, 2012, 15:55 GMT

    this is the most sense spoken about this issue. unbelievable that the 'deal with it like adults' approach has taken so long

  • bobmartin on September 13, 2012, 15:53 GMT

    Ah.. so it appears Cook is prepared to sacrifice principles for the sake of a few possible victories. Or is he just so scared that we might lose some without the diva. Remember, this team has won matches without Pietersen... He is not the match winning certainty that some people think he is. Anyway, if the rumours turn out to be true and Pietersen is included it will certainly alienate a heck of a lot of Cook's supporters. And if Pietersen fails and England lose the series... what then ?

  • Charlie101 on September 13, 2012, 15:53 GMT

    Good words from Darren Gough - KP should sack his management team and let Darren keep him on the straight and narrow. I hope Matt Prior is appointed as vice captain as he is one of the players who has been talking to KP and can help his reintegration.

  • Selassie-I on September 13, 2012, 15:48 GMT

    Hopefully so... hopefully so. If this is the case then it will certainly add to Cookie's legacy, and what a legacy he's going to have.

  • SCC08 on September 13, 2012, 15:45 GMT

    Bet he texts Kholi that CooK struggles with the inswinging LBW.

  • SpizenFire on September 13, 2012, 15:43 GMT

    Hope cricket wins!! Cook is sounding astute and up for the challenge to win in the sub-continent. But will reserve the final words only when I see the final team.

  • on September 13, 2012, 15:41 GMT

    He should be included in the England team cause batsman like him with his experience cannot find a replacement. leaving him is the biggest mistake. I am a Sri Lanken but I like to see England placed well in this tournament cause they have a very good side.

  • on September 13, 2012, 15:34 GMT

    I would like to see Kevin back to the England sid as soon as possible even im very happy that he is not playing in T20 in SLE becuase our team Afghanistan is going to face ENG in the T20 in there second game after the play India

  • on September 13, 2012, 15:31 GMT

    Darren Gough, stop talking sense! You are ruining the soap opera for everyone, I had barely dipped into my tub of popcorn...

  • Nmiduna on September 13, 2012, 15:20 GMT

    finally heard some guy talking with common sense,it may be easier said than done, but england without kp and kp without england is pretty bad for cricket..we all wanna see him play!..its a pity he is not coming here for the WC..but nice to hear sth good at last!

  • on September 13, 2012, 15:18 GMT

    no one is bigger then the team i think KP is big EGO n same time few players are jealous of the money he gets from IPL anyways its better KP is playing for ENG but before that he and others should settle there issues for world crickets sake :)

  • gpindian on September 13, 2012, 15:17 GMT

    I dont believe it! Some in English cricket actually has common sense!

  • TheBengalTiger on September 13, 2012, 15:12 GMT

    haha. what an embarrassing situation. the thought of playing in india drove strauss to retirement, and england are willing to completely sacrifice team spirit to get their (well, not their, South Africa's.) best player because they are so scared of India

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  • TheBengalTiger on September 13, 2012, 15:12 GMT

    haha. what an embarrassing situation. the thought of playing in india drove strauss to retirement, and england are willing to completely sacrifice team spirit to get their (well, not their, South Africa's.) best player because they are so scared of India

  • gpindian on September 13, 2012, 15:17 GMT

    I dont believe it! Some in English cricket actually has common sense!

  • on September 13, 2012, 15:18 GMT

    no one is bigger then the team i think KP is big EGO n same time few players are jealous of the money he gets from IPL anyways its better KP is playing for ENG but before that he and others should settle there issues for world crickets sake :)

  • Nmiduna on September 13, 2012, 15:20 GMT

    finally heard some guy talking with common sense,it may be easier said than done, but england without kp and kp without england is pretty bad for cricket..we all wanna see him play!..its a pity he is not coming here for the WC..but nice to hear sth good at last!

  • on September 13, 2012, 15:31 GMT

    Darren Gough, stop talking sense! You are ruining the soap opera for everyone, I had barely dipped into my tub of popcorn...

  • on September 13, 2012, 15:34 GMT

    I would like to see Kevin back to the England sid as soon as possible even im very happy that he is not playing in T20 in SLE becuase our team Afghanistan is going to face ENG in the T20 in there second game after the play India

  • on September 13, 2012, 15:41 GMT

    He should be included in the England team cause batsman like him with his experience cannot find a replacement. leaving him is the biggest mistake. I am a Sri Lanken but I like to see England placed well in this tournament cause they have a very good side.

  • SpizenFire on September 13, 2012, 15:43 GMT

    Hope cricket wins!! Cook is sounding astute and up for the challenge to win in the sub-continent. But will reserve the final words only when I see the final team.

  • SCC08 on September 13, 2012, 15:45 GMT

    Bet he texts Kholi that CooK struggles with the inswinging LBW.

  • Selassie-I on September 13, 2012, 15:48 GMT

    Hopefully so... hopefully so. If this is the case then it will certainly add to Cookie's legacy, and what a legacy he's going to have.