George Dobell
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Senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Muddle management failing Pietersen

England are stronger with Kevin Pietersen in the side but the ongoing sideshow could even threaten his place for the third Test against South Africa

George Dobell

August 7, 2012

Comments: 120 | Text size: A | A

Kevin Pietersen ponders life during a tricky week, The Oval, July 17, 2012
England's managerial staff must work to build bridges with Kevin Pietersen © Getty Images
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Like recalling Abraham Lincoln's visit to the theatre and omitting the pesky incident when he was assassinated, it is impossible to reflect on the second Test of the series between England and South Africa without focussing on the latest chapter in the saga of Kevin Pietersen.

It is increasingly hard to envisage a happy ending in the story of Pietersen's England career. From a position where there was a possibility that the Lord's Test might be his last he has clumsily painted himself into a corner whereby he might not even play that game. At a time when England, faced with a foe who may well be stronger than them, require the team to be united and focused, Pietersen's post-match venting was most unfortunate.

Pietersen, for all his posturing, for all his inconsistencies and for all his poorly expressed frustration, has a point. England's international schedule is overly onerous and, despite requests to act on it for years, the ECB has continued to pile demands upon its players. Pietersen is not the first to complain and he may not be the first to retire prematurely. Just as you would not blame the deceased if a horse is flogged to death, so Pietersen is not entirely to blame for rallying against the workload.

It is also not hard to understand Pietersen's disappointment at the leaking of private conversations and contract talks. In normal circumstances, you might expect an enquiry into such leaks but at the ECB such an exercise might prove highly embarrassing. The media, no doubt, will be blamed. But the media rely on sources.

That is not to say he is blameless. It is hard to claim exhaustion and then arrange stints in domestic T20 leagues. It is hard to be aloof and then claim to be alone. It is hard to confirm your commitment to Test cricket and then ask to miss Tests to play in the IPL. Pietersen is poorly advised, demanding and hard to manage. But that's why the ECB has a team of staff and managers. Now is the time for them to earn their corn. In particular, Hugh Morris, the manager of England cricket and as such the man who signs off the schedule and negotiates central contracts.

Pietersen might also point to a certain hypocrisy within the ECB. There is an inconsistency with the treatment shown towards Pietersen and some other players. Andrew Strauss, for example, was not obliged to maintain any pretence that he was available for T20 cricket while still captaining the England ODI side. He did not even play T20 at county level.

Most of all, there is an inflexibility within the ECB that is unhelpful. While the policy of not allowing players to 'pick and choose' - an unhelpfully emotive statement - is well intentioned and understandable, it is fast becoming unrealistic and simplistic. A more sophisticated approach is required in the modern game.

The shame of all this is that a batsman at the peak of his powers could be lost not just to England but to world cricket. Yes, he will play in T20 tournaments but, for all the excitement they may generate, they cannot replicate the variety and quality of international cricket and Test cricket in particular. All cricket lovers will regret Pietersen's premature departure but, in time, Pietersen will surely come to regret it the most. He wants to play in all formats; England want him to play. The two parties should be able to find some common ground.

It is unfortunate for Pietersen's England colleagues, too. While one or two may actively dislike him, most just want to play cricket. Causing such dramas will only breed resentment, however, and Pietersen may be in danger of creating a situation where he becomes too much of a distraction to select.

Either way, England must head to Lord's where, in the most fitting of surroundings, the title of the No. 1-ranked Test side will be decided. England will need to beat South Africa to retain their hard-earned title - something they have not managed in the last four Tests they have played against them, though they can take comfort in the fact that they have won six of their last seven Tests at Lord's.

In time we may come to reflect that England have lost their best opportunity. A target of 253 in 39 overs at Leeds was always unlikely - England have only successfully chased more than 250 in the fourth innings ten times and never in such circumstances - but chances to defeat a side as strong as South Africa come rarely and England might rue not taking it. The run-out of Matt Prior, sent back after embarking on a second that was never there, may well prove to have been a nail in England's coffin.

 
 
"After the horrors of The Oval, England went into the Leeds Test flustered and confused - behaviour surely testament to the excellence of South Africa's performance"
 

Still, there were some encouraging signs from this Test for England. Most pertinently, after a humbling defeat at the Oval, England produced a much improved performance that suggested there is not such a large margin between these teams. They took 19 wickets - something that was well beyond them at The Oval - with Stuart Broad, after a couple of anodyne performances, finally sparking in to life, while Pietersen produced a century of rare brilliance. It is worth noting that, by scoring a century and taking four wickets in the match, Pietersen achieved something that Andrew Flintoff never managed.

There were some concerns, though. First of all, England's close catching was poor. The drop of Alviro Petersen just 29 runs into his innings of 182 was the most obvious example, but several other chances were spurned - one or two quite straightforward - that sustained England's fallibility in this area. Bearing in mind the strength and depth of South Africa's batting, England are making life very difficult for themselves. It was bad catching, more than the 72 overs lost to rain, that cost England.

Most worryingly, their tactics seemed muddled and negative. The decision to drop Graeme Swann was, arguably, as big a selectorial howler as has been made under this regime, while the decisions to insert South Africa and then stack the leg-side field for Graeme Smith were little better. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that, after the horrors of The Oval, England went into the Leeds Test flustered and confused. Such behaviour has been rare in recent years and is surely testament to the excellence of the South Africa performance.

There will be much debate about selection ahead of Lord's but perhaps the pitch should be the focus of attention. With England needing to win to retain their No. 1 Test status, there is strong case for preparing a raging turner - England, in Swann and Monty Panesar may feel they have the stronger spin attack - or, more realistically, a green track to help seamers. Against an attack as strong as South Africa that would represent a risk, but England have more experience in these conditions and must back themselves to prevail.

They will be stronger for the inclusion of Pietersen but, sooner rather than later, it seems increasingly inevitable that England will have to adapt to life after KP.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by JG2704 on (August 10, 2012, 21:49 GMT)

pr3m on (August 10 2012, 15:33 PM GMT) Really strange comms here. 1 - this is purely a subject on KP. 2 - with Swann not exactly on great form and our batsmen struggling with spin more than pace so why would Eng deliberately prepare a track which would hinder them?

Posted by JG2704 on (August 10, 2012, 21:48 GMT)

@satish619chandar - I've kind of said why ECB won't/shouldn't let KP have time off for IPL. If he is having time off for rest then cool , but problems arise if KP gets injured during IPL or suffers burnout/fatigue. Also , what if Broad,Swann,Jimmy,Finn etc get picked for an IPL and they give KP the time of but not the others. How do you think that would sit with these players? If ECB want to keep him they could say to him to play next year's NZ series and then ECB won't clash any series with IPL from then onwards. IMO ECB possibly won't offer him a new deal as KP has said too many things which have got their backs up

Posted by JG2704 on (August 10, 2012, 21:48 GMT)

@Dravid_Gravitas on (August 09 2012, 12:15 PM GMT) I'm actually really surprised at your comments as I had you down as different from your fellow Indians. The thing is if you give KP preferential treatment A- You will be getting other players wanting similar treatment which would be unworkable if several wanted the same series off and B , If you refuse to do the same for others you are saying to players like Swann,Jimmy and Broad that KP is more important than you and how would that work in the dressing room? KP is certainly the one match changing batsman we have but I think the only solution would be to ensure Eng matches don't clash with IPL. Landl has also emphasised points I have touched on before

Posted by pr3m on (August 10, 2012, 15:33 GMT)

If England prepare a rank turner that keeps low, will South Africa complain to the ICC, and will ICC sanction the ECB the way it did the BCCI after a rank turner was prepared to combat the South Africans back in 2010?

Posted by nikhilmjain on (August 10, 2012, 14:19 GMT)

England just needs to learn to contain their jealousy over IPL. If you are refusing to accept innovations, you will fall behind. This case of sour grapes is similar to refusing an Ipad coz u invented telephone. If you don't know how to manage a team, learn from India. Take references from how Dalmiya changed cricket once he joined ICC.

Posted by satish619chandar on (August 10, 2012, 10:16 GMT)

@JG2704 : As simple as that.. If ECB wants KP, give break for one series(which most cricket nations gives to its players even without their consent).. If KP seems too arrogant, just get rid of him.. For KP, if he wants to play for England, just shut up and do it.. If not, just retire and leave the space for others..

Posted by satish619chandar on (August 10, 2012, 10:08 GMT)

@JG2704 : Yes buddy.. That is the issue.. KP asked for off to play IPL but England offer him rest against WI.. As if the IPL clashes with Ashes.. If they are ready to grant him rest, why not grant it when he asks for it? KP never said i will not play for England.. It would have been very easy for him to fake an injury and retire as IPL is far away.. Atleast for money, he is still willing to play for England and asked for rest from one series(Not that tough team as of now) but denied and made public.. KP is full of ego.. But same is ECB..

Posted by dabhand on (August 10, 2012, 9:23 GMT)

landl47 - right on rohan - I sorta disagree, anyone who understands team spirit and ethics has no time for KP, those that just remember his 'smashing' innings want to keep him but they also forget he was a 'bunny' for most spin bowlers for long enough.

It's true he has a special talents but IMO his playing ones are far outweighed by his ability to create dissent, argument and distrust within a team - those players who backed him in the past were soon discarded by him when his ego demanded he became the focal point again.

Posted by jezzastyles on (August 10, 2012, 8:39 GMT)

@scritty - were the current lot ever considered quick?? Pace isn't everything - a bowler in the mould of Terry Alderman would run rampant in international cricket at the moment, and he was medium-fast at best. Most batsmen from all nations struggle against quality swing bowling, that's why Anderson is world-class.

Posted by rohan024 on (August 10, 2012, 7:42 GMT)

It could be safely said that opinions are clearly divided..Indians jst love KP, English don't necessarily like KP but they know his existence is important, Aussies are smirking and Pakistani, well their focus as always is on the 'sour grapes' of IPL..

Posted by landl47 on (August 10, 2012, 5:28 GMT)

@david_gravitas: total nonsense. There isn't a company in the world which would let a contracted employee go off and work for someone else just so he could make himself more money when they needed him for their own purposes. It's obvious you have no experience of how corporations work; key employees are guarded very jealously. Now, if you'd said a corporation might agree to renegotiate his contract to give him more money, you would have an argument. If that's what he wants, then the ECB needs to think about it. However, picking and choosing his England matches so he can play in India is simply unacceptable and should be refused point-blank.

Posted by landl47 on (August 10, 2012, 5:15 GMT)

@jb633: Pietersen needs to decide for himself what he wants to do. I'd drop him and let him go and play kiddie cricket in India. My guess is it wouldn't be too long before he decides he'd like to play real cricket again. I don't think England are nearly as poor at playing spin as they are made out to be. The problem in the UAE was that none of them had played any first-class cricket for 4 months and they didn't prepare well enough. Once they had a few games under their belt, they played well enough to win the ODI series 4-0 and the T20s 2-1, and those were supposed to be Pakistan's strengths. They played Shillingford and Narine easily enough in England, though of course the wickets were different. Let's see how they get on in India this Winter.

Posted by The_bowlers_Holding on (August 9, 2012, 22:01 GMT)

Randy0z the supposed lack of English talent is only well documented by you and your alter ego Jones2, your dedication in posting comments on every single England link (except the recent ODI's) is commendable.

Posted by JG2704 on (August 9, 2012, 21:24 GMT)

@landl47 Hello , so you're doing away with KP now? Not sure how I feel about that either way. If I was ECB , I'd probably keep negotiations open with KP (even pretend they're thinking about giving him time off) until after the next SA test. Then hopefully KP will go out and prove a point. After that they can be as firm as they want as KP is not involved. I still feel KP will be a huge miss to the ODIs/T20s (more than tests but it seems unworkable. As for your side , I like Woakes coming in but still feel it harsh on Bres. Had Broad not shown some form in the last match I maybe would say he could miss out even though he's my favourite Eng player. Also Finn hasn't majorly impressed me either. I know he's better than he's shown. I'd even think about Onions although Finn does have that pace and Lords is his home ground.

Posted by JG2704 on (August 9, 2012, 21:24 GMT)

@cricketeria on (August 07 2012, 17:43 PM GMT) KP was to be given the whole of the WI ODI series off. The problem is that he wants time off to play IPL and will probably want time off for other big bashes. If he was resting then he'd have more of a point. What if he gets injured or suffers fatigue/burnout from overdoing the IPL? Will his franchise pay England compensation,

Posted by mukesh_LOVE.cricket on (August 9, 2012, 20:36 GMT)

The right thing to do here is for ECB to kick him out if he doesn't want to play , rules should not be bent for a KP , for all his proven class and ability KP is not a team man & for all us Indians supporting KP how would we feel if kohli or zaheer decides to miss test series to play in a domestic t20 competition of some other country ? its simply not fair

Posted by bumsonseats on (August 9, 2012, 19:49 GMT)

david gravitas as world cups have only been around since the mid 70s england would have done well to have won before then. get a grip.

Posted by warneneverchuck on (August 9, 2012, 19:16 GMT)

India 4 ENG 0. Upcoming test series result. How poor they play in India I just can't believe. At least India play better in ENG barring last tour compare to how ENG play in India in last 15 years

Posted by dabhand on (August 9, 2012, 18:27 GMT)

davidpk - too true - KP has also left to county teams due to his dissatisfaction with the 'locker room' - seems to be a consistent theme here --- everyone else is wrong and only KP is right.

dravid - don't know what world you live in but in a corporate world you are employed according to certain terms and conditions - if you try to renegotiate them later, the company can agree or you can go --- in my experience, no sane management creates a situation where to appease one person they open up the opportunity for a queue of people all demanding their wants.

KP needs to pick up his toys, put his dummy back in and go without his blue smarties.

Posted by jb633 on (August 9, 2012, 14:58 GMT)

@landl- I agree to a certain extent. That side you mentioned could certainly beat Australia. The bigger worry would be playing against spin in the sub continent. I know KP had a mare tour of the UAE but I still view him as the premier player of spin bowling. That is my major concern without KP. Who could put the pressure back on the spinners by belting them out of the park. Without KP in the line up the Indian spinners will be licking their lips. Luckily for us their spinners are tosh but if we come up against say Narine in the WI there could be big problems. Thoughts?

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (August 9, 2012, 14:05 GMT)

If KP were to be working in any corporate he would have got the laxity he is requesting. It's just sad that ECB doesn't understand his worth.

Posted by bumsonseats on (August 9, 2012, 14:04 GMT)

come on george get a grip. how many players/captains have openly asked for the coach to be removed. nobody at least on record i would think. hes a great batter but he always comes with baggage. i would say to KP do u want to play test cricket, if you do, play and shut up. i for one am just fed up with the guy. when you play get as much as you think you are worth. but when you are playing with your grandchildren in two decades or so time look back and see what your record could have read if you do finish playing cricket in all formats if you do retire. then you could have basked in the glory that you have been the best batter england have ever had. but as a man your record will be way down that list.

Posted by Selassie-I on (August 9, 2012, 12:20 GMT)

The ECB should be able to negotiate their way out of this. Maybe offer KP an incremental contract, he can say when he's available and use the money we save to give some extra perks to the centrally contracted players. then he can go play in whatever cash cow league he wants, our big test series and WCs and then it's up to him, if he wants his legacy to be 'brilliant international cricketer in all formats' or 'mercenary', he can choose. And I think that he is not being failed by the England management at all, Strauss was always 'available' for t20, if we needed him, he'd be out straight away but he didn't even play for midds and we have better t20 openers. Also, he chose to forgo the shorter formats to focus on England Test Cricket, not the Indian domestic league, the difference was he was putting the team before his bank account... I can't say the same for Kev.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (August 9, 2012, 12:15 GMT)

England has always been an average or below average team. It's really surprising that ECB isn't treating that player properly who got them their only trophy in nearly 200 years of cricketing history. Shame!

Posted by ashlatchem on (August 9, 2012, 8:38 GMT)

Posted by JG2704 on (August 09 2012, 06:26 AM GMT) I get your point and we agree only I don't feel as strongly about it (At the moment, if he ask for 4 months off next year then....) I was just saying how I felt it's inevitable it came to this when the ECB and KP could no longer talk in private and the schedule was too much. For once I actually agreed with like half of what KP had to say (Which isn't very often). Posted by landl47 on (August 09 2012, 05:58 AM GMT) I wanna keep KP around but how bout Woakes for Taylor? It's not like Taylor has been setting the world on fire this season and Woakes is in some form. Swap Onions for Finn (Who same as last time just hasn't lived up to the hype on his test comeback) and have Compton as 12th man and I reckon you're looking pretty good.

Posted by JG2704 on (August 9, 2012, 6:26 GMT)

@ashlatchem on (August 08 2012, 22:36 PM GMT) Pretty much on the same wavelength as you with everything here. The only point is the schedule , which probably is a bit too much but my point is and always has been that KP wanted time off because his body couldn't cope with it and now it seems he just wants to play cricket elsewhere during rest periods. @Cpt.Meanster on (August 08 2012, 23:04 PM GMT) I do try

Posted by landl47 on (August 9, 2012, 6:09 GMT)

I think cricketeria summed it up, although he didn't understand what he was actually saying. Here's what he said: 'ECB could look the other way while KP went and played IPL. The Indians do it all the time....' Yes, cricketeria, you've got that right. Now remind us how well India has been doing against England and Australia in tests recently, and who their young test bowlers and batsmen are. India is the clear example of why countries should NOT be looking the other way when it comes to letting players put T20 (in whatever country) before test cricket.

Posted by landl47 on (August 9, 2012, 5:58 GMT)

@JG2704: I see an opportunity here. How does this team sound? Strauss, Cook, Trott, Bell, Taylor, Prior, Woakes, Broad, Swann, Finn, Anderson. You have your 5 bowlers, Woakes is a better #7 than many who have played test cricket and by ditching KP the side gets younger- Taylor is 22 and Woakes 23, so only Strauss is going to need replacing in the next 3 or 4 four years. It might take a couple of years to reach full potential, but that side would beat Australia right now, don't you think?

Posted by ben.p. on (August 9, 2012, 5:53 GMT)

There is a false point here. Strauss is not equipped to play Twenty20 - as confirmed by his failure to appear in the format even for Middlesex - whereas Pietersen most definitely is.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (August 8, 2012, 23:04 GMT)

@JG2704: LOL you are on fire man !!! So many comments from you goes to show you are a worthy England fan. You deserve an award for all these contributions. Not joking, seriously !! :D

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (August 8, 2012, 22:53 GMT)

KP through all this could do worse than learn off Swann. Swann uses wit, charm, and takes outrageous but funny liberties. Hence he lands on his feet. He just ain't stupid, that one.

Posted by Varberg2010 on (August 8, 2012, 22:38 GMT)

Kevin Pietersen is an exceptional cricketer. Kevin Pietersen has a lot of money. In the future Kevin Pietersen will always be able to earn money.

As a cricketer KP has shown on a number of occasions that he's right up there with the best. Everyone is entitled to make as much money as possible from their job (or career as some people like to say).

The IPL will still be there next year, and the year after, offering him loadsamoney to play, and eventually like some of the other ex-test players, when he's paid for his name rather than his ability, Television punditry then awaits, does it not?

Moneywise he's not going to (proportionally) lose a lot of cash by playing for England full time and missing a bit of the IPL this year.

To me he seems to be a bit of a "rebel without a clue" rather than someone who wants to sacrifice something (England) to uphold a priciple (unlike what Mike Proctor did, amounst others, forty years ago).

It seems that KP is just like a lot of kids I knew wh

Posted by ashlatchem on (August 8, 2012, 22:36 GMT)

JG2704 on (August 08 2012, 19:57 PM GMT) Firstly completely agree with you about Monty but that ship seems to have sailed as far as the ECB is concerned. (Monty is only ever going to play if Swann is injured or they need a second spinner). Secondly everyone was woeful in the UAE bar I think Prior if I remember correctly? The thing that's scary is now is the bowling doesn't look so good.... Thirdly it does stick with me that KP wants to play the whole IPL which personally I find a little boring but as I stated before the private conversations he had with the ECB were then leaked to the media which completely destroys the line of communication they shared. If it wasn't for the ECB we wouldn't know that KP wanted to play the whole IPL. Hence KP talking to the media. Fourth Surely you have to admit the schedule is ridiculous? You only have to go back to the world cup and remember just how shot England looked to know there is something very wrong with the schedule...

Posted by Rahulbose on (August 8, 2012, 21:35 GMT)

G Dobell is fast becoming my least liked columnist on cricinfo. Management is failing KP? Really. Have you looked at his track record. Natal, Hampshire, Nottinghamshire and now ECB. KP has had problems everywhere he has played professionally (except for IPL). Not only has he had problems with the management in each case, he has had problems with fellow players in each dressing room. By now it should be obvious to any objective observer where the fault lies in this saga.

Posted by JG2704 on (August 8, 2012, 21:15 GMT)

@satish619chandar on (August 08 2012, 09:25 AM GMT) ctd - re KP still being the best etc - well I'm sure you remember the UAE test series disasterwhere our batting unit was woeful.KP was statistically - both in runs scored and average - the 8th best English batsman , scoring less than 100 runs aggregate in 6 inns and averaging 11.50. As I said he's a player you can never write off but also he is vertainly not a player I'd bank on either

Posted by JG2704 on (August 8, 2012, 21:09 GMT)

@Srinivas Pachari - You are right , but out of those players only Broad (who was injured) and Morgan who was picked up but never played were selected were taken. I think the ECB contracts are financially lucrative and I reckon ECB would be confident that these players (maybe not Morgan who is not a test shoe in , nor an IPL shoe in) would chose Eng over IPL with little issue. Ravi is certainly not a shoe in and while Broad and Jimmy are both huge players for us I think they know that we have quality waiting in the wings so (even if I did distrust these guys motives) I don't think there is an issue as it stands. Also as I put in another post or 2 it could be an issue if ECB allowed KP time off and these other players were picked up by IPL but refused time off by ECB. That would rightly be perceived as favouritism.

Posted by JG2704 on (August 8, 2012, 21:08 GMT)

@bobmartin on (August 08 2012, 15:22 PM GMT) re Strauss - he has retired from T20/ODIs for England so is only available for tests. Apart from that I agree with pretty much all the stuff you've written on these threads.I think another thing which annoys you and I about KP is that he is trying to make out that he's some sort of victim here and many seem to be buying it too.If he doesn't want to play T20/ODIs then don't sign the contract. If he doesn't want to commit to the test schedule - again don't sign the contract. I'd love him to remain an Eng player but feel the situation is too far gone with some of the stuff KP has said

Posted by allblue on (August 8, 2012, 21:00 GMT)

Look, if anyone has played team sport at any level they know you want your best players in the side for the simple reason you have more chance of winning with them in it. If, as is now emerging, KP is isolated almost to the point of exclusion in the England dressing room you have to conclude he has acted in a manner that has made this inevitable. These are hard-headed professional players, they would not be cutting off their nose to spite their face, it's their livelihood at stake. It's easy to criticise management, but some things are simply unmanageable in which case you have to exercise damage control and move on. If the choice is a fractured team with KP in it or a harmonious one without him good management would mean focussing on restoring harmony. It's been clear that over the last 12 months England have lost the cohesion that pushed them to prominence, so the suspicion is now clear that KP has been the cause of it. Time to move on.

Posted by JG2704 on (August 8, 2012, 20:12 GMT)

@bobmartin on (August 08 2012, 15:22 PM GMT) re Strauss - he has retired from T20/ODIs for England so is only available for tests. Apart from that I agree with pretty much all the stuff you've written on these threads.I think another thing which annoys you and I about KP is that he is trying to make out that he's some sort of victim here and many seem to be buying it too.If he doesn't want to play T20/ODIs then don't sign the contract. If he doesn't want to commit to the test schedule - again don't sign the contract. I'd love him to remain an Eng player but feel the situation is too far gone with some of the stuff KP has said

Posted by JG2704 on (August 8, 2012, 19:57 GMT)

@satish619chandar on (August 08 2012, 09:25 AM GMT) Indeed , I would rather have KP than Bopara or Bairstow etc but by the same token I wouldn't actually rely on KP any more than I would Trott or Cook. He certainly wasn't the best in UAE tests. Anyway , even if I thought KP was head and shoulders above everyone else I wouldn't put him on a different contract for that reason , otherwise you're saying to other players that KP is more important than you and that's not how England work.

Posted by JG2704 on (August 8, 2012, 19:57 GMT)

@ashlatchem on (August 08 2012, 09:40 AM GMT) It's only KP that has the issues here. There's no falling out among other players.

Posted by JG2704 on (August 8, 2012, 19:57 GMT)

@Meety on (August 08 2012, 12:33 PM GMT) One big difference is that Strauss had the time off when captain in all 3 formats in a series which they saw as a formality to rest and recharge his batteries which is exactly what he did. If KP is taking time off an Eng series to play more cricket elsewhere he is not doing that. KP was to be given the WI ODI series off so he hasn't been treated worse than any other player. It seems mr Bob has beaten me to it anyway

Posted by   on (August 8, 2012, 19:37 GMT)

Guys, you are not understanding one thing. This could happen to any player. "It's tough being me" can mean anything from 'I cannot go quiet seeing the attrocities of the management' to 'I love challenges and IPL is a challenge, that's me'. Please understand that he is not the only player who applied for IPL. Swann, Anderson, Prior, Bopara and Broad also applied for IPL. For Petreson's worth, No private company will pay him this much sum if they think he is not worth the money. You need to carefully think here, You can bring in any replacement now. But if this situation is not properly dealt with, this will continue to any of his replacements (if they become successful). Player poaching is the issue here, not KP.

Posted by bumsonseats on (August 8, 2012, 19:07 GMT)

im just fed up with it all. either play or go, how much column inches has this guy got to get before the matter concludes.

Posted by indyarox on (August 8, 2012, 17:53 GMT)

ECB just doesnt seem to understand the power of IPL. Its too lucrative even for the best of the worlds best. Others have learnt it so should ECB & so should ICC. There is a definate need for a window for IPL. Shouldn't be tough as only England and West Indies play during that time.

Posted by adeng on (August 8, 2012, 17:19 GMT)

One player does not make a team. England did not make it to no 1 in the world with only KP contributing. Yes, he is great when he fires. But if England is really the no. 1 team in the world, they must be able to show depth and young talent coming through. No team likes losing its 'stars'. SA lost Boucher and de Lange before the stat of the series even. Did they panic? When Steyn said that the SA-born England players may not make the SA team as it is at the moment, I did a double take - but it may be true - who would want a disruptive, self-obsessed ego like KP in the team when they have a TEAM that functions like a well-oiled machine most of the time? There is no I in TEAM, KP.

Posted by bobmartin on (August 8, 2012, 15:22 GMT)

@ Meety.. Strauss was not given permission not to play T20's. He declared himself available, but is unlikley to ever be selected... A subtle but significant difference. When Strauss missed the Bangladesh tour it was to rest him..not to go and play elsewhere... What KP's problem is that he wants to miss tests, not to rest, but to play IPL..He's also moaning about the amount of cricket he's being called upon to play.. Well he's bringing that on himself so how can he justify wanting rest.. His sole intent is money.. nothing more.. nothing less. But the choice is up to him.. When or if he is offered an ECB contract in September he can simply refuse it and trog around the world flogging his talents to the highest bidder...Like Gayle.. he'll soon get tired of it and want to return to the fold.. However, unlike Gayle, who had a fold to return to, Pietersen may well find himself without one. England will hardly want him and by the time he qualifies for any other country.. he'll be past it.

Posted by bobmartin on (August 8, 2012, 13:48 GMT)

Strenuous ? Playing cricket.. when the bulk of the time you're sat on your backside watching someone else play.. Gimme a break !!! Try being in the Armed Forces in the front line working 12 hour shifts.. for far less money a year than KP gets in a week... not to mention the perks he gets... Of course.. the answer from his beloved supporters will be... well.. it's their choice... Too right and it was his when he signed the contract.. In the words of the prophet KP... put up or shut up... I'm sick and tired of your whining and whinging every time something doesn't go your way.. Time to buzz off and don't slam the door on your way out.. I'd sooner England were not number 1 and be shot of you rather than remain number one and continue to listen to your pathetic bleating.

Posted by scritty on (August 8, 2012, 13:15 GMT)

My biggest concern is how SLOW the England bowlers have become almost over night. Broad was bowling over after over averaging barely 80 mph and requently slipping below (and not due to deliberate "slower balls" - that was just his pace). Finn rarely hit 85 and Bresnan is also much down on 12 months ago. What has happened to these guys? As for Strauss... only gets 100's when his career depends on it. 1 good knock followed by half a dozen failures. Not good enough at all. Reminds me of Butcher 12 years ago.

Posted by Meety on (August 8, 2012, 12:33 GMT)

@JG2704 - know where you're coming from re: why pander to him, however another Strauss comparison, he was given the series off (Tests) against Bangladesh as well as permission not to play T20s. So it's not like the ECB didn't set a precedent! The whole saga is an ugly mess, that doesn't need to occur when trailing 1nil against formidable opponants!

Posted by   on (August 8, 2012, 12:31 GMT)

One wonders why the ECB doesn't learn from the Gayle/WICB saga?

Posted by Herbet on (August 8, 2012, 11:44 GMT)

I too have been a long time admirer of Pietersen, but this is getting beyond a joke now. He cannot complain about workload and then swan off to the IPL. It just makes him look stupid. He can't say he wants to be a test cricketer and swan off to the IPL either, for the same reason. He either wants to prioritise his test career or he wants to be a show pony slogging 6's to set fields in front of Indian dignitries. Its time to choose. But preferably in a way that does not destabilise the whole team.

Posted by tommyb1234 on (August 8, 2012, 10:59 GMT)

Those who work for a large company will recognise that some workers are more skilled than others and hence demand more lucrative contracts. An exaggerated example: Imagine a man qualified enough to be the CEO of a company yet he's on a contract designed for a clerk - he'd be frustrated or would leave. If the ECB are going to run a business with England Players as employees, all of whom have different skills, then each employee has a right to negotiate terms of that contract. Why should they all be paid the same, have the same entitlement to 'annual leave' which seems to be the issue with Pietersen? If the ECB is willing to sell broadcasting rights to SKY and be part of a multi-billion pound business network then they need to be flexible in order to remain successful. Leaks and pay structure like this anywhere else - HR would be inundated whilst the Unions representing employees had kittens! No player bigger than team rests in days of amateur sport I'm afraid, as sad as that may be.

Posted by Vakbar on (August 8, 2012, 10:17 GMT)

"It's tough being me"...oh for goodness sake KP, listen to yourself!

I've been a vocal supporter of KP over the years, and have felt he has been unfairly targetted sometimes. But this latest act of selfish and ill-timed petulance could not have been more inappropriate given the spectacular performance of Team GB, many of whom get by on a fraction of what KP receives for a single IPL match, but whose dedication, focus and pride in representing their nation should make him ashamed of his behaviour.

That said, he MUST play at the Oval... as he always outperforms when he has a point to prove and feels the world is against him. Fining him heaviliy will make certain he delivers!

Posted by Colinsa on (August 8, 2012, 10:16 GMT)

Colinsa. Prior to this series, I have been impressed by the English quickies, so much so that I was concerned that the lads from Sa were going to be tested like never before. What has happened to the fire and determination shown recently (before this series) by Anderson, Broad and Bresnan? Fynn doesn't make it in my book and the stump kicking saga seemed to have diluted his efforts. (Incidentally, I vote for a no ball to be called instead of the dead ball) Something else that gets my goat is, especially evident on referrals, we often see the non striker stealing a yard or two. That should have an effect on the Televion umpires call. Now for KP. I saw Sachin the master make a ton a couple of years ago and thought that I would never have the opportunity of such pleasure again, but Mr Petersen's knock in the first innings surpasses anything witnessed in my 65 years. Absolutely riveting against the SA bowlers. But Kevin, you have allowed your tongue to let you down once again.

Posted by StaalBurgher on (August 8, 2012, 9:41 GMT)

Eventhough Pietersen is a difficult and probably self centered player you have to admit that private dealings between him and the ECB being leaked is outrageous. One has to wonder if the ECB does that on purpose.

Posted by ashlatchem on (August 8, 2012, 9:40 GMT)

1. I'm a Kiwi. 2. KP talks to management (privately) stuff gets leaked to the media and KP comes out looking bad. Who in their right mind would go back and try and discuss it further (privately)? 3. This whole situation reminds me of the England of old. Players unhappy/infighting in the dressing room, idiotic selection blunders, leaks to the media etc. Here I was thinking that this English team was supposed to be different. This is insane! Got a bunch of Fired up saffa's (No2) at home and need a win and this is going on! These guys are supposed to be the best test team in the world!! England need to stop all this nonsense, get some clear communication going with a clear thought process, get it together and I wanna see them fight for this, really show us why they deserve to be No1. Personally I don't even think it's necessary they win but I just wanna see them show how much it means to them. Cause right I just feel for their fans... Just like the old days.

Posted by satish619chandar on (August 8, 2012, 9:25 GMT)

@JG2704 : KP was still the best bet inspite of all his failures you mentioned.. He was the star and is still.. He is one guy whom England can always bank - whether he is in form or not.. Always can step up anytime.. Just as a case between KP and his replacement like Bopara.. In a big game, whom will you prefer? In a tough situation, who would you prefer to counter attack and bail you out.. Most will say KP than Bopara.. Match winners are always special though not consistent.. Yuvi and KP are of same league.. Best on their days.. They will have more "their day" than other marquee players..

Posted by AdamSutherland94 on (August 8, 2012, 9:11 GMT)

During Kevin Pietersen's post match interview with Sky he looked angry, lonely and lost. This is such a shame, after all he had just had one of the best test matches of his life, he should of been ecstatic. However, I feel that his latest spat with the ECB has left a happy resolution to this conflict highly unlikely. Pietersen and the ECB have never seen eye to eye but they have always tried to maintain a professional relationship and put their differences aside, however I think unrepairable damage has been created and I fear for Pietersen's international future. Losing Pietersen will have huge consequences for England, everybody will lose out. English cricket will lose their greatest batsmen for a generation, the spectators will lose a great entertainer and Pietersen himself will come to regret this decision come the Ashes next year, after all he is a man for the big stage. However if this is Pietersen's will then it needs to be excepted and England need to move on quickly.

Posted by PutMarshyOn on (August 8, 2012, 9:09 GMT)

KP travels the world making more money in a year than most of us will in a lifetime. playing the greatest game ever invented. Apparently that isn't enough.

Posted by applethief on (August 8, 2012, 8:58 GMT)

Anyone else think this is actually a shrewd move by Pietersen? He must be aware that England are failing massively as a test side, and that this is a collective failure after benefiting from statistical anomalies. Timing his exit like this will encourage simple-minded commentators to assume England's decline was due to KP's exit. He'll skip difficult tours that will hurt his image like playing in India, and will be recalled to save the side in time for the Ashes.

Posted by JG2704 on (August 8, 2012, 8:38 GMT)

@Baundele on (August 07 2012, 18:18 PM GMT) No one ever mentions Monty but surely he has much more cause for grievance. He came in , took a load of wickets in UAE , has one bad test and then is out of the side and few even feel it's a talking point. KP plays a jackpot of an inns vs SA preceeded by an indifferent series vs WI , and a poor tour of UAE/SL bar 1 match and we are supposed to be in uproar about it all

Posted by JG2704 on (August 8, 2012, 8:37 GMT)

@ gdalvi on (August 07 2012, 21:07 PM GMT) To most Eng fans our whole team are a unit and all stars. It wasn't KP who won the series against India or who won the last Ashes series - in fact other players contributed more in those series. Bowing to KPs demands means you bow to everyones' demands which then means you could have a situation where 4 or 5 players want the same series off or if you say no to another player you are saying that KP is worth more than you. How does that make the player feel and what does that do for team unity?

Posted by JG2704 on (August 8, 2012, 8:37 GMT)

@ Andre2 on (August 07 2012, 21:25 PM GMT) And who's to say that France would not have struggled with king Eric in the side? And also what happened to France 4 years later without king Eric? Even if the initial impact is bad the longer term impact can still be rosier. If you want the football analogy , what about when Ferguson (Cantona's paymaster at Man U) has had STAR players he perceived being difficult. He's shipped them off and has that meant Man U's success has been compromised ? And no I'm not a Man U fan

Posted by JG2704 on (August 8, 2012, 8:37 GMT)

@ Sayantan Bhattacharya on (August 07 2012, 23:01 PM GMT) Indeed if true , action needs to be taken. But KP also said about "not being looked after" but didn't elaborate further. If KP (with his wealth and attitude) thought all this would he not be trying to take some sort of action? Oh and do you believe the "It's not about the money" stance?

Posted by JG2704 on (August 8, 2012, 8:37 GMT)

@ Fahad Javed on (August 08 2012, 06:46 AM GMT) Totally. KP was awful in UAE and we don't here a squeak about this , then he has a decent ODI series and 1 decent test vs SL and we suddenly start hearing the noises. Then he is indifferent vs WI followed by a test vs SA where KP is deemed as extremely irresponsible in a failing batting unit and we hear nothing and then he plays a great inns in the 2nd inns and he starts talking again.

Posted by Clyde on (August 8, 2012, 8:30 GMT)

All pretty ridiculous. If you want to play a game you can put your name down for it. If you don't, you don't. The Laws remain the same.

Posted by ooper_cut on (August 8, 2012, 8:30 GMT)

A raging turner at Lord's ? Lol, my my how much do we stoop to retain this No.1 ranking ?

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (August 8, 2012, 8:26 GMT)

A raging turner at Lords ? If that's even possible then I am a 7 foot tall old woman that lives in a skyscraper on Mount Everest. It isn't April fool time.

Posted by golgo_85 on (August 8, 2012, 8:20 GMT)

Everytime he scores some runs, he needs to act like a petulant teenager. And how on earth England's schedule is overly onerous? People like Kallis, Dhoni, Jayawardene, Sangakara over the years had had to earn their rests from playing in all formats. No one is asking "KP" to play every single match in all formats. Isn't he only available for the Tests at the moment so he can be fresh enough to take part in an entire IPL season anyway? Pointless, pathetic drama and what's more pathetic is that he has some over exaggerating journalists by his side as well. He wants his ways, he wants the cake, not only that, he wants a scantily clad figurine made of money to come out of the cake everytime he hits a century

Posted by JG2704 on (August 8, 2012, 8:11 GMT)

@Baundele on (August 07 2012, 18:18 PM GMT) No one ever mentions Monty but surely he has much more cause for grievance. He came in , took a load of wickets in UAE , has one bad test and then is out of the side and few even feel it's a talking point. KP plays a jackpot of an inns vs SA preceeded by an indifferent series vs WI , and a poor tour of UAE/SL bar 1 match and we are supposed to be in uproar about it all

Posted by Seether1 on (August 8, 2012, 8:10 GMT)

@Andre2:Yes Eric Cantona went on to become the biggest star in England during the mid 90s. However, France moved on quite quickly and they rebuilt their team. 4 years later they were world champions and 2 years after that success, they became European champions. Zidane became their star and an all-time great whereas Cantona will always be remembered as just being very very good. I feel KP will be remembered in the same way and he will never get a chance to elevate himself onto the level of Kallis, Tendulkar, Lara, Dravid, Ponting etc. He planned this quite carefully. Why not say anything after the first test or before the series? Because after scoring a hundred and taking a few wickets he had leverage and he knew the likes of Dobell would take sympathy on him in the media. KP needs to decide and England need to move on. From and South African and Manchester United fan.

Posted by A_Vacant_Slip on (August 8, 2012, 7:49 GMT)

This is the end for Kevin.... He always was something of a problem child. There is no way back now. If he want India money, then let him go after it and good riddance.

Posted by VivtheGreatest on (August 8, 2012, 7:16 GMT)

@Harold Hobson,yea but the fact of the matter is how many players could have played such a high class innings whether for themselves or for country? If truly world class players like Pietersen and Malinga retire from Tests (and we all know Gayle's views on Tests!) then Test cricket is going to be really poorer. The IPL is here to stay and no amount of cribbing is going to change that so if we really want our best players playing all forms then a lot of egos have to be set aside and a solution found

Posted by KK47 on (August 8, 2012, 7:11 GMT)

I think the key for Kevin Pietersen to survive even in IPL is to continue playing for England. A simple example is Andrew Symonds who was the highest auctionaed player during IPL 1st year, but see what happened after he stopped playing for Australia... He lost his form, lost his place and got thrown out... nobody wants him now. IPL is a business model, runnig purely on Indian public...Only if he plays for Eng and keeps performing will he continue the get respect and support from Indian fans...He must remember that by running away from national duty will eventually get him kicked out of IPL too...

Posted by cric_fan_ on (August 8, 2012, 6:59 GMT)

ECB needs to deal with this issue with the long term prospects in mind, surely KP will not be the last player wanting IPL window. ECB needs to be absolutely certain about their strategy here, how they'll deal with KP because there will be star players in the future who'd want to play in IPL. ECB needs to be sure whether they're ready to loose players permanently over IPL.

Posted by   on (August 8, 2012, 6:46 GMT)

I think it is plain and simple black mailing and I would also suggest that the last innings pyrotechnics had to do a lot with the current impasse. Yes I do believe that Peitersen kept the attack till the very last to "prove" that he is indispensible to English cricket. He wants to make the maximum money which is fine but to force his employer to bend the rules just for him and the world going on a foot to defend him just because he is a good player is quite unfortunate.

Posted by   on (August 8, 2012, 6:45 GMT)

I find it ironic that KP should leap to such extravagant joy at scoring his 100 for his adopted country, right before announcing to the world that "politics" might destroy his test career. The irony is, the politics he speaks of is largely of his own making. Make no mistake, the 100 he scored was for himself, not for England. That 100 guaranteed that people would forgive him and love him all over again. It also gave him the lever he needed to remind the ECB what a valuable player he is and to continue his game of brinkmanship. His timing is too obvious for it to be coincidence. Mark my words, if the ECB give in to him now, he will forever more act like a spoiled child and insist in having things his way. The ECB will have to make up their collective mind as to whether he is worth it.

Posted by venkatesh018 on (August 8, 2012, 6:38 GMT)

KP is a victim of being brilliant enough to do well in all forms of the game. If, like Andrew Strauss he was good enough for just Test matches, he would have had all the rest his body needed from the stupid schedule. Nobody does a better job of destroying their own "golden assets" than ECB. The day is not far off when their International team will be decimated because of the intransigence and arrogance of the administrators.

Posted by   on (August 8, 2012, 6:05 GMT)

The schedule is not overly onerous. It's his job. I think my job is overly onerous but the only option I have is to look for something else if I'm that concerned by it. Pietersen has the option of doing exactly the same and Team England will replace him with someone else. He's an employee governed by the same employment contract (in general terms) as the rest of us. The fact is he wants everything his way - the IPL issue is the sticking point and Pietersen is making himself look like a complete clown over it as he's hypocritical in his view of "IT" against his national contract. England are on the edge of a precipice here and could easily lose Andy Flower over it if they aren't careful - not picking him for Lords' will show their hand and deny "The Mekon" his opportunity of turning it in to a circus centered on him as the Ringmaster.

Posted by   on (August 8, 2012, 5:56 GMT)

haha the scenario is perfect for smith to knock over another english captain....now kp will rue the fact that why didnt he play for saffers.....its sad that the world number 1 side's little era is coming to an end

Posted by   on (August 8, 2012, 5:41 GMT)

KP is a "high maintenance " guy. He constantly needs reassurance, talking to and plain managing.The English team wants him to perform and not open his mouth despite all provocations and clearly there has been reason for him to feel unhappy. However he is hardly lily white and has the ego of a monumental size. But cricketers who are champions and yet been difficult to manage is not a new phenomenon. People like Lillee, Warne have all been difficult to manage even though they are champion cricketers. It is okay for the ECB and the hypocritical English fans who think he is choosing IPL over test cricket. He is, but this should make the ECB think at least. In the past cricketers have chosen not to come to the sub-continent and gone scot free and now that someone wants to play in India he gets the sack. Double standards and if KP leaves England and cricket will be the poorer. Ramanujam Sridhar

Posted by VivtheGreatest on (August 8, 2012, 4:47 GMT)

To all the IPL bashers, blaming the IPL for all the ills of cricket just coz ur not a part of it is ridiculous. The ECB and Pietersen should sit and sort this issue out becoz international cricket without one of its few truly world class players ( and arguably the only one from England) is going to be a very diminished spectacle

Posted by v_singh on (August 8, 2012, 4:25 GMT)

When you read news about Peiterson on the BBC cricket website and go through readers comments (mostly English), one would get an impression that Peiterson has garnered a bad name... Indeed : if an Indian cricket player (I am from India) had chosen to play in world T20 leauges skipping national duty, Indian fans would have been furious. But readers and lovers of the game have to understand a few things : 1) NZ may not be sending full strength team to Eng. next yr. due to clash with IPL; so why can't an English player skip an unexciting series when the tourists (Kiwis) show little interest. 2) Leak of internal discussions - as some people pointed out, making Pieterson look bad. 3) Stop blaming IPL as if it was the root cause of all evils. There's a market for the T20 and hence its surviving. Find a market for Tests (sponsors), it would live long. Any sporting model should be sustainable and not forcibly sustained. 4) ECB's failure at T20 leauges aka Stanford.

Better ECB mgmt reqd.

Posted by brittop on (August 8, 2012, 3:55 GMT)

Easy being a journalist. You can say things like "A more sophisticated approach is required in the modern game" and "The two parties should be able to find some common ground." without having to work out what or how. You can also imply KP should have some games off if he wants, but be aghast for the fans when Anderson or Broad are left out.

Posted by Webba84 on (August 8, 2012, 3:12 GMT)

@jamesgreenfield - Do you really think that the ECB would force Strauss to play 20/20 if they believed it was necessary? Not a chance mate, its one rule for people who dont cause problems and one rule for the difficult ones. The real issue is the fact that Pietersens private comments were leaked, by someone in the ECB, specifically to make him look bad and give the ECB the advantage that would provide in their current negotiations. Truly despicable behavior, and the fact that people are talking about anything else is disappointing.

Posted by jackiethepen on (August 8, 2012, 2:52 GMT)

It is fanciful George to suppose that KP is an innocent led astray by bad advice. It has become clear that KP has decided to play a full two months for the IPL. Everything else is not a priority. He wants to play for the IPL because he prefers to mingle with international stars and enjoy the adulation of the Indian public. In India he is treated like a rock star. If the ECB will accommodate him then he will play for England as well. He wants to do both but without regard to the make up of the England team and the damage to team unity. He wants to take the Gayle path. He has instructed his advisors to get him the best deal. If they can't he won't sign because the IPL will come first. He said he wants to make himself happy. He'll leave blaming the ECB, blaming his team mates, blaming the coach, but in truth he fell in love with IPL. He's not a victim, more like an errant husband wanting his 'wife' to accommodate his 'affair'.

Posted by cloudmess on (August 8, 2012, 1:48 GMT)

I'm worried that the Flower regime is heading into late middle-age, with one-time strengths now becoming liabilities. Where was once steadfastness is now inflexibility. A similar thing happened at the end of Fletcher's reign. Pieterson is an emotional man, he can be indiscreet and impulsive, and he does not fit easily into the English way of doing things. I've always tried to judge him on the quality of his cricket rather than post-match interviews. He has a fine record, and nor is he a slacker: he has played more cricket for England than anyone since 2005. Moreover, he plays the most scintillating and entertaining innnings often when the pressure is really on. Probably the only captain who knew how to handle Pieterson was Michael Vaughan. He recognised that Pieterson simply needed a little extra slack and affirmation. It doesn't seem much to ask for a man who works so hard at his game, who is a serviceable off-spinner... and a batsman touched with genius.

Posted by   on (August 8, 2012, 1:27 GMT)

IPL IPL IPL - The mother of all problems. IPL has destroyed teams and will keep on doing it (See West Indies). KP wants to rest from England but he would play IPL. Where are the priorities? KP has always been a problem child and extremely difficult to handle. Remember as a captain he could not get along with management and had to step down? And these guys make more than enough money. So, I don't want to hear "they have to provide for their family" line. At some point they gotta get their priorities right and KP's priority should be England.

Posted by Jimmers on (August 8, 2012, 1:05 GMT)

Got sympathy with both sides in this - but I feel the ECB should let the bloke do what he feels he needs to do. This logic of "ah! but what if we let everyone do that?" works both ways.. ok, maybe more players would ask for more time off, or maaaaybe more players would stick two fingers up to limited over internationals alltogether: ODIs are well past their sell-by date, only fit for the fortnightly Ind/SL series, and international T20 is rubbish anyway. What if Swann or Anderson decides they've had enough of one or the other and are forced knock all pyjamas cricket on the head? It might well be true that no one player is bigger than the team, but if the team hasn't got the best players in it, what does it matter anyway?

Posted by Rahulbose on (August 8, 2012, 0:52 GMT)

Eng should move on and dump KP. If it had not been for the support from Eng he would still be playing club cricket in SA and would have exactly zero IPL contracts. Eng cricket is much larger than one player and should move forward.

Posted by   on (August 7, 2012, 23:40 GMT)

England will realize soon how Important player is Peterson, he saved them many times and is the only player in current team with whom other teams are scared. and i dont know why ECB have problem with the IPL..I think there are only 2-3 players from the current team, IPL teams want to buy..so other are jealous..and doing conspiracy against peterson. Peterson just has shown his class in 2nd test..he not only saved the test but also given a trust in England team that tey can compete with SA. GOD save so called world's best team which is England...come to India we will give you your own medicine....and England Fans please dont say India can win only in subcontinent...so England too can win only in England...even you are loosing at home too...

Posted by RandyOZ on (August 7, 2012, 23:31 GMT)

The problem is KP is an out and out mercenary. England do not want to admit that their poaching strategy did not work here. It is well documented how ultra thin the talent is in England, but surely have this guy in the team is doing more harm than good.

Posted by anuradea on (August 7, 2012, 23:27 GMT)

Looks like another Gayle vs. WICB issue minus the comments. While the famous saying "No player is bigger than the game" is true in most cases, there are a few instances we have to look at the circumstance that leads to these key players issues that creates dis harmony within teams. We can not treat the great players the same way we treat the regular players as they need to be managed caerfully. In most cases these days, the countries need these great players more than the players needing the countries simply because unlike in the past they earn less money by playing for their countries than playing in other money spinnig leagues whoi are willing to pay big bucks to get their services. Look at professionals in USA, they play for USA purely for the love of the country and NOT for the money (they make plenty with the franchises). It is time for cricket and all the boards also to take a good look at the current system or the paying public will lose out watching many many great cricketers.

Posted by   on (August 7, 2012, 23:01 GMT)

If you listen to his interview, he clearly states-- "It was never about the money. I love playing for England and the fans". He also claims that certain people leaked confidential "closed-door" discussion between him and ECB to the press. If this allegation is true, then the proper action needs to be taken against the involved members of ECB. Leaking confidential info to the press is highly unethical and extremely unprofessional. It is not uncommon for an employee to be in disagreements with his employer. In other places, both parties usually work to resolve the issue or move on. Playing for your national team is different than being slave to ECB. KP enjoys the former and hates the latter. Doesn't England have a players's union like the Aussies? This is exactly the type of dispute that a union is supposed to mediate on.

Posted by   on (August 7, 2012, 22:11 GMT)

Did everyone miss this line "Andrew Strauss, for example, was not obliged to maintain any pretence that he was available for T20 cricket while still captaining the England ODI side. He did not even play T20 at county level." ? Noone said anything about that...

Posted by jamesgreenfield on (August 7, 2012, 22:09 GMT)

Hi, I'd just like to make the point that whilst Pietersen is a candidate for selection in 50 over and 20/20 cricket Strauss would only ever be picked in the longer format due to perceived limitations in his game. Ergo, the two player's situations cannot be compared, Strauss was not picking and choosing, he was simply not rated good enough for 20/20, whereas Pietersen is rated good enough for both formats yet chose to make himself ineligible for 50 over cricket.

Posted by   on (August 7, 2012, 22:06 GMT)

Cricket needs a Bosman Ruling. Let KP go play Test Cricket for any other country which is willing to take him.

Posted by Andre2 on (August 7, 2012, 21:25 GMT)

This story with Pietersen and ECB reminds me of the story - in football - between Eric CANTONA and the French national team. Cantona's demands were deemed unacceptable by the French Federation of football and he was not selected in the French national team. And you know how it ended ! The French team failed miserably to qualify for the 1994 World Cup in the USA and Eric CANTONA became King Eric first in Leeds FC then for Manchester United and overall played more matches in England than in France ! He was more famous in England than in France !

Posted by The_bowlers_Holding on (August 7, 2012, 21:21 GMT)

? Only competitive trophy they have ever won what about winning the Ashes 28 times or is that not competitive then?

Posted by gdalvi on (August 7, 2012, 21:07 GMT)

@ Nutcutlet - have you every worked in a corporate setting? If so, you would realize that all 'star' employees (at least in view of their superiors) - always get special treatment - best offices, choice of projects, exceptions (like more working from home etc.) that manager generally fuss about if non-star employee asks. And if the star employee decides to leave, it is quite possible he will be offered a raise or even a promotion. That is how this world works. Cliches like " no one is bigger than team" or "there is no I in team" is just shallow HR Kool-Aid. There is no I in "money" either, yet everyone want it and no body wants to share it with their team-mates. Please publish.

Posted by Charlesfarsbar on (August 7, 2012, 20:50 GMT)

I'm sorry but what the hell is the IPL ?? This is test cricket we are talking about not some joke competition flash in the pan ... See ya KP enjoy counting the money

Posted by   on (August 7, 2012, 20:17 GMT)

I am English KP should not be able to dictate to the ECB and what he really wants is to be like a footballer ,free to sign anywhere for the biggest budget let him play IPL. But his England career will be over because he will not sign the next central contract, and the central contracts are the best thing to happen to English cricket, it is no coincidence that since their inception England have gone from strength to strength ,Kp is an flamboyant cricketer but i want the English team to win do not care about individuals , a line from a group called utopia something that the mercenaries can not destroy and that is English cricket and test cricket

Posted by bennybow on (August 7, 2012, 19:33 GMT)

Yes Zahidsaltin, cricket is a job. Any other job, if you don't like the terms, you don't have to put up with it. Sorting it out is what a professional manager would do but sadly we are stuck with the ECB. Doubt if Giles Clarke and David Collier's talents are being headhunted atm. Surely, the number one aim is for England to win tests - that means playing your best team. As KP has just saved England from going 2 - 0 down, he has to be first on the list.

Posted by warneneverchuck on (August 7, 2012, 18:44 GMT)

This is the future. ENG can't digest the fact that IPL has gone to another level. They r the inventor of the game but India is the power house of the cricket

Posted by Nutcutlet on (August 7, 2012, 18:37 GMT)

@Sushan Maitra: Sorry, but you haven't got the point. When a player breaks his contract, then resigns from ODIs & International T20s, you don't follow this up by giving him an a la carte menu (the FTP) saying," Here, KP, contracts are not for you, because you are so wonderful - just tell us when you feel like playing for us and we'll accommodate you." Place this in any other work context and the situation immediately becomes clear. No player is bigger than his team, not even KP.The others in the England dressing room would quickly see that what goes for one goes for all & chaos ensues. No employer anywhere would want the sort of disharmony that such an employee would cause in their midst. In effect, KP has decided to go freelance. He has the IPL (with all the adulation that he craves) to go with great monetary reward. The BBL and other such no-mark T20 thrashes, all well paid, will deny him his other craving: cricketing immortality. That's his choice. That is the way it has to be.

Posted by   on (August 7, 2012, 18:32 GMT)

In this issue there really is no one to blame. 1. Peterson has to provide for his family. As it is, questions have been raised by Nick Knight about his place in the side (whilst he is really in red hot form). So he definitely would like to cash in. Also 32 is a good age to start thinking retirementafro a sportsman. Lastly, DD would have expressed their desire to keep KP for the full season given that till he was playing they were excellent. 2. ECB is entitled to it's sponsors (yes the same company that paid millions of pounds for broadcasting rights for the next 5 years). They will not be overly joyed to hear that their star player (they are partly responsible for KP's career growth) is playing IPL during the start of the summer. So I really doubt if allowing KP to play IPL is in ECB's hands.

Posted by Baundele on (August 7, 2012, 18:18 GMT)

Funny that you mention Monty Panesar. He is another example of the ECB bad management.

Posted by cricketeria on (August 7, 2012, 17:43 GMT)

This was very well written, George. Keep up the good work. I'm with KP on this one. Sure he's arrogant. But he's the best England have. Without KP it's stodgers (Cook, Strauss, Trott) or inconsistent, confused talents (Bell, Bopara). Dear ECB, please find a way for KP. Then again, his arrogance is rubbing the ECB the wrong way. Flower recently rested Anderson for whole test. Why can't KP have a rest? Probably because he didn't ask nicely to begin with. If he had, ECB could look the other way while KP went and played IPL. The Indians do it all the time. e.g. Gambhir was "unfit" in the Aus-Ind tests but came roaring back weeks later in IPL. KP should play the 3 Eng-NZ tests in NZ. Then let KP play the IPL in Apr-May and let him miss the 2 Eng-NZ tests in Eng on 16/5 and 24/5. IPL is 3/4 to 26/5. Then decide if you want him to play the Eng-NZ ODIs. Eng have a nice break before the NZ tests and if he misses the ODIs, he has a good long break until the first Ashes test on 10/7.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (August 7, 2012, 17:10 GMT)

For ECB vs KP read WICB vs Gayle-remember that one? Ah, yes it was not until June that we saw the back of that one. Personally I do not give a hoot about ECB. Like most fans I watch KP not some administrator who is there to do his job noiselessly and without fuss. As for the rest of the England side, I would imagine that Strauss has a common sense view of it. in the interview shown yesterday he could not have looked more fed up and bored with the press if he had stood up and announced it.I feell for him. What annpoys me is that we have to go through the same sort of farcical pantomime which denies thesupporters the right to have their best team out., instead of sorting it out asap.Seriously this must not be allowed to develope into a WICB v Gayle type of standoff. if I was West Indian I would be furiojus at the time wasted,and look at the result- Gayle scored 157 on his return and shepherded Powell to his first ton. That is value.

Posted by Zahidsaltin on (August 7, 2012, 16:59 GMT)

Why should he not be allowed to choose the formate, he likes to represent England in. What KP is asking for today, will be a common thing tomorrow. Other english players are jealous only because they have no real value for IPL.

Posted by Zahidsaltin on (August 7, 2012, 16:53 GMT)

Stiff necks of ECB chairman and Ansy Flower will do all they can to loose the only superstar of english cricket. Cricket is a occupation and KP is just wishing to make most of it as demand for his skills is high. IPL, Big bash, SLPL, BPL, PPL and county cricket would all be open for him to make big bucks. In IPL, he will be able to make in one single seasom as much as he makes in 5 years of representing England

Posted by   on (August 7, 2012, 16:40 GMT)

The board should just give him his damn IPL window if it would ensure he plays more games for his country. What is worse- doing without him for one month a year or doing without him at all? Simple logic.

Posted by   on (August 7, 2012, 16:12 GMT)

Without KP, England honestly has absolutely no chance of winning in Lords or in India later this year for that matter. KP's innings in the second test was not just great because of the runs accumulated, but also great because of the approach to the innings. He decided to take the attack to the opposition by summarily dismissing Morkel and Steyn in an imperious fashion. An innings worthy of Lara or Richards. It will be a sad day for World cricket if ECB and a pathetic excuse of their leader, Hugh Morris ends KP's career prematurely. In the end KP being a sportsman has a shelf life. Time is not his friend. Hugh Morris & ECB can continue their incompetence way after KP has retired. But it is a pathetic way to treat a player who gave the country the only competitive trophy they have ever won in their 180 years of cricketing history.

Posted by D_Jardine on (August 7, 2012, 16:08 GMT)

Now then young Dobber. No more mincing of words. Tell us straight - was Bopara's "personal reason" for pulling out of the last test something to do with Pietersen, whom you quote in another article as saying he has "points I'm trying to sort out in the dressing room"?

Posted by   on (August 7, 2012, 15:48 GMT)

It would be such a shame if world cricket loses KP what ever be the reasons. While I understand the sentiments of some of the English fans who argue that KP is keeping his interests (IPL) ahead of the Team's interest, its still an indisputably and irrefutable fact that ECB has not found a way to manage a maverick like KP. They are also guilty of double standards. I dearly hope Test cricket doesn't emerge as a loser in this fiasco.

Posted by liz1558 on (August 7, 2012, 15:31 GMT)

The view that it is the fault of the management team is utter tosh. KP has been involved in at least ten high profile spats with authority figures both in South Africa and England. The common denominator in all of those incidents is the man from Pietermaritzburg. How can it be anyone's problem but his? It's sad to see this happen, but he's as volatile as a dozen monkeys locked in a small cage with only Scrumpy Jack for sustenance. When he makes his new home in the IPL, he will do exactly the same thing there. So long KP, and thanks for the entertainment. Thanks for being English for a brief while; there have been some good times and bad, but it was never dull.

Posted by Alexk400 on (August 7, 2012, 15:22 GMT)

England should play LORD test without pieterson. That will give some reality check for england, If they have talented players , they will like to play IPL. Or they will have disgruntled players in the team. if KP has no demand in IPL , this issue would have never been raised. Either engalnd will be ordinary or talented side depends on ECB,.

Posted by Witty_Cricketer on (August 7, 2012, 15:11 GMT)

These players are forgetting that they get the big money because they represent their country, it may be that they will get the big bucks for couple of years due to their goodwill, but if he is not playing cricket 10 months a year, in couple of years he will be thrown out of IPL too. He will regret his decision, I am with ECB here, they should not bend the rules for one player, no matter how good he is.

Posted by rovar on (August 7, 2012, 15:10 GMT)

This surely can be sorted out, just need to apply common sence & think rationally. He is 2 good player 2 leave like that. He is the only class player in the bunch off highly over rated average puppies. ECB please sort this out for spectators sake, only two people (Flower & Strauss) should not allowed to dictate just because they dont like him.

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