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UK editor, ESPNcricinfo

England's Pietersen dilemma

KP's well-groomed apology not the end

Pietersen's video apologia was immensely polite, and spread love and devotion as only he can, but forgiveness will not be granted easily

David Hopps

August 12, 2012

Comments: 52 | Text size: A | A

Kevin Pietersen made 12 from eight balls, England v South Africa, 2nd Investec Test, Headingley, 5th day, August 6, 2012
Will one video make everything okay between Kevin Pietersen and England? © AFP

It was a mark of Kevin Pietersen's breakdown of trust with the English media, as well as his belief in himself as a very modern man, that when he announced his willingness to make himself available again for England in all three forms of cricket he did it on YouTube.

If HELLO! magazine ever ran a chat show it would look something like this: gentle questions, carefully groomed hair, even more carefully groomed answers. Pietersen did not just apologise to England, as he knew he must do, for his presumptuousness in thinking he could plan his own schedules, he also spoke directly to the people who matter most to him: his fans.

Adulation matters to KP, he draws strength from it, and he returned the favour, telling his admirers how much they mattered. He played to win and he played for them. What was there not to like?

For Pietersen, this was another performance. That is not to suggest that it was dishonest, more a recognition that he had a message to deliver and he needed to deliver it in the most advantageous manner if he was to have any chance of winning the favour of the ECB hierarchy and the England selectors, if not for the Lord's Test then for the T20 World Cup soon to follow

He was sharp enough to remember the exact form of words he needed to use to persuade Hugh Morris, the managing director of the England team, and the selectors, to forgive him. "I want to make myself available for every form of cricket for England," he said. Unfortunately, he omitted to advise the ECB he was doing it. Umbrage was taken. He could not do right for doing wrong.

The mischievous thought occurred that somewhere in the Shires an official of the ECB, a little tipsy after a drinks party, would have received a late-evening phone call and spent much of the night trying to find out what YouTube was.

Even as he expressed the joys of togetherness, fraternity and of being part of a successful England team, Pietersen tweeted the link to his video around the time that Mo Farah was contesting gold for Great Britain in the 5000 metres. It was tempting to draw the conclusion that KP was living inside his own head again, oblivious to the needs and desires of others and to the fact that all eyes in England were elsewhere. But his next tweet was a celebration of Farah's gold. It was a typically unrestrained Pietersen tweet - with Moooo written with a lot more Os than the average pair of lungs can handle. Not entirely selfish after all then.

Pietersen's video apologia was immensely polite, at times sheepish, and spread love and devotion as only he can. His first expression was that of a man who has been under severe emotional pressure, who knew there was only one way out and who had steeled himself to make a voluntary plea for forgiveness that has no comparison in cricket history.

For his countless admirers, that was more than enough. The car crash deserved to be averted at the last minute; it was time to anticipate the chance to watch KP bat again in an England shirt. No England batsman begins to match the excitement he generates. His detractors, on the other hand, will sniff that it was just another Pietersen performance, question its sincerity and believe that the team will be better off without him.

No England cricketer has caused such a divergence of opinion since Geoffrey Boycott - and if you scratch beneath the surface there are similarities. Pietersen and Boycott might be very different characters in terms of personality, and as far as can be discerned Pietersen has yet to develop a lopsided grin or a taste for panama hats, but Boycott was also self-driven to the point where he was often mystified why he had caused offence.

"I am what I am," said Pietersen, another line that fitted easily with him, and that defence was followed by more than a hint of self-revelation. He was emotional, he shot from the hip as a person and a batsman. "I can't change the way I have been born." He has always wanted to be understood but this was the first time he had asked for it so publicly.

To like KP you have to run with the preening and sense of his own self-importance. Perhaps this was a video that would have fit more naturally on MeTube than YouTube.

His most intriguing thought was never entirely explored because this was not an interview interested in delving beneath the superficial. "The stubbornness that I have got sometimes, which is probably not a good thing as well, has led to me trying to believe myself for too long."

It is not for nothing that Shane Warne, who counts himself a friend, calls Pietersen "The Ego". To like KP you have to run with the preening and sense of his own self-importance. Perhaps this was a video that would have fit more naturally on MeTube than YouTube.

But here was a striking admission that yes, perhaps he had been wrong to believe that midway through his England contract he could negotiate his own future; that he had been wrong not to recognise that, however unsustainable England's international programme, his personal wishes should not disrupt the team at a critical moment; and, yes, that he had been wrong to imagine that he could win.

Before the ECB crows too loudly, incidentally, over drawing such contrition from Pietersen, the question of the workload for England's top players remains on the agenda for the Professional Cricketers Association when negotiations begin on the next contract, as does the debate about whether the ECB must work harder to find an accommodation with the IPL. Pietersen, the arch individualist, might one day appreciate the power of collective action.

There are many people on England's county circuit to whom the word Pietersen will still remain anathema. Other South African-born players in the England side have won respect: Andrew Strauss, if he so wished, could easily be an ECB chief executive one day; Jonathan Trott's commitment to Warwickshire is respected; Matt Prior seems so English that his South African birthplace is a supreme irrelevance.

Pietersen will never gain such widespread acceptance because he sees himself as the icing on the cake rather than part of the cake itself. Playing for Surrey in a County Championship match at Worcestershire this season, minutes after getting out, he was tweeting messages of good luck to Delhi Daredevils while Surrey's travails, in the game in which he was playing, did not receive a word. Little social errors, repeated, designed eventually to displease.

That will always be Pietersen's nature. He can be infinitely polite, gracious and charming. The video revealed all those qualities. He is also consumed with the minutiae, as well as the magnificence, of his own life. There is no "I" in team but as all good subs know, there is an "I" in Pietersen. Those tensions will still remain.

"I need to pull towards the team and the team needs to pull towards me," he said. The truth of that is obvious. Whoever he plays for, he remains a great individualist, picking his way through a team environment, applauded as much as he is resented; spreading love as no other England cricketer can in one minute, making a crass, almost childlike, error the next.

Things can become better again, with good intentions on all sides, and if he has looked into himself and grown as a result, it is cause for praise, not for him to be belittled, but the video was only the start. Forgiveness is not about to be granted easily.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (August 15, 2012, 17:36 GMT)

Lets get this straight KP is South African. He is what he is. Any apology he makes is made with financial considerations in mind not because he loves playing for England. Your true love is playing for your country of birth. Time to face facts KP plays for England for the money.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (August 14, 2012, 23:04 GMT)

I am not a fan of test cricket. However, I also believe that international cricket can co-exist with the brilliance of the IPL or any other T20 tournament. Look at international soccer, you have clubs and international friendlies in a calendar year from time to time. Why do everyone simply hate the IPL and then wave their cheer leading flags for other leagues of similar nature ? It's pathetic and hypocritical coming to think of it. I am a proud T20 supporter and will always be. Many Indians including me ADORE the IPL. Many players around the world love playing in the IPL. I am sure if the ECB were a lot more flexible then many English players could play in the IPL and be happy. Why not push the start of the English season to June instead of May ? I think that's possible. It's a win-win situation for all.

Posted by JG2704 on (August 14, 2012, 8:32 GMT)

@rohan024 on (August 14 2012, 05:39 AM GMT) - I'm just speaking from memory. I know Shoaib was an odd guy to deal with , not sure about Saqlain but weren't the Pakistani side renouned for always falling out with each other? Re Flower , I know that he had political issues with Z which led to his retirement. I certainly don't remember any WI,Aus,NZ players choosing county over country

Posted by VillageBlacksmith on (August 14, 2012, 7:04 GMT)

Gawd knows who is advising KP, but he needs some new advisors... between them they have got him into a right old muddle and he is looking bad, and it could be terminal... as the IPL bores say on here correctly for once tho, if he ain't playing international cricket his profile is rapidly diminuished and there will be a new cab off the rank v soon and kp's cash cow will have gone.. Sending 'banter' texts to the oppo mates is OK, esp if you have just smashed them around the park for a big score, but not being able to (or refusing to) answer your employers q's about the content of those texts makes him look a fool and parsimonious with the truth.. ie Not someone to have in the trenches with you so rightly dropped and so come on Jonny.. The ODI team did not miss kp one bit (tho it was only vs hapless aussie) so maybe the test team will not either...

Posted by VivtheGreatest on (August 14, 2012, 5:45 GMT)

@din7,being Indian and supportind Pietersen doesnt mean supporting IPL, if I wanted to stereotype I'd just say thats ur typical English jealousy. Pietersen is a class act who has dominated the worlds best bowlers on all wickets unlike many of the tigers of the IPL including some of our own Indian batsmen. Be a bit more balanced in ur comments. Having said that texting adverse comments about ur teammates to the opposition is just not on and he deserves his punishment

Posted by rohan024 on (August 14, 2012, 5:39 GMT)

@JG2704 - It used to happen. You could check for Test no: 1658 on this site, when Shoaib Akhtar returned to Durham after a 5 wkt hall in 2nd test and he didn't play the 3rd test. I very clearly remember Saqlain did that a few times and so did Andy Flower. In those days, since county cricket was sacrosanct, ECB wielded a lot of power, and few countries suffered from colonial ruled mindset, so these boards didn't have the guts to stand up against ECB. Make no mistake, i do feel that IPL is the start of demise of cricket and i absolutely abhor it, but one part of me do enjoy watching my home board behaving like the way ECB behaved back till 90s.

Posted by   on (August 14, 2012, 4:44 GMT)

Great article, Mr Hopps. As others have said, we so miss someone of Mike Brearley's talents to manage the egos of both KP and the ECB. KPs video really should have been more than enough to get him back in a test side that so obviously needs him. Now, in an already too-short series, we have to miss the chance to see another battle between the best attack and Pietersen. Everybody loses

Posted by   on (August 14, 2012, 3:11 GMT)

@din7 you are spot on.i had earlier commented here that this is he way BCCI needs to deal with sachin.but a few points many have ignored/dont know.This year IPL TRP's were the lowest and the revenue generated was the lowest.there is an apprhension that the product is loosing its sheen and may soon ebb out.IPL helps only one group--PLAYERS...while there is nothing wrong in it wonder how KP will feel if in 2014 no franchise bids for him due to monetary constraints and he has 'retired' from international cricket!!!all international players should keep this in mind,i would sa@rohan024 County cricket used to play 3/4 day matches and they were the moulding grounds for greats till late 90s..cannot compare it with evening slog fest called IPL..and i am from india..contd..

Posted by JG2704 on (August 13, 2012, 21:31 GMT)

@jango_moh -Pretty much agree with all you say. I wouldn't blame IPL as it is entirely a players choice where he wants to play his cricket. I don't know what was supposed to have been leaked on the KP/Moores issue as KP has just said stuff was leaked but did not say what was leaked. It doesn't seem much of a leak if no one knows exactly what was leaked. Anyway , the thing is that ECB have the power here and the only power KP has/had is to decide whether or not to play for England etc which he has tried and failed with (re T20s/ODIs). So I can only see 2 courses of action and that is either to man up and apologise unreservedly and make assurances etc face to face or to take ECB to court and I'd advise the former unless he feels he has a good case.

Posted by JG2704 on (August 13, 2012, 21:30 GMT)

@rohan024 on (August 13 2012, 18:24 PM GMT) I didn't realise overseas players did used to choose county over country. As a Somerset fan I don't remember Joel Garner , Viv , Martin Crowe , Steve Waugh , Gavaskar etc ever playing for Somerset when their national sides were touring. I don't remember any Zimbabweans playing for Somerset and only recall Mushtaq Ahmed as a Pak player playing for Somerset but don't recall him missing a Pak series while playing for Somerset. Also if memory serves me right Somerset would also replace regulars Joel and Viv for the season if WI were touring here

Posted by rohan024 on (August 13, 2012, 18:24 GMT)

I am no fan of IPL and its cheap cricket to me, however i don't understand one thing when it comes to Englishmen. Back in 80s and 90s when pakistanis, and Zimbabweans, cricketers regularly used to miss international cricket to play in county cricket, why didn't it bother them then? Now, when its happening to their players, all of a sudden foreign tournament has become a curse..What Goes Around Comes Back..

Posted by the_blue_android on (August 13, 2012, 17:32 GMT)

What are the South Africans fighting about?

Posted by jango_moh on (August 13, 2012, 16:27 GMT)

I dont think there's enough proof to support either of the two parties here... everything has to be taken into context... if KP sent those texts, then he is in the wrong, but from what i read, the ecb also leaked some private convs with KP which is equally wrong... in an ideal world, u wud want to treat each team member the same way, but its not an ideal world... ive read numerous articles on whether KP shud be dropped at diff times in the last 2 yrs, but not many asking for strauss(who i feel has been given too many chances to fail).... that gives me the idea that there's a lot of pressure on this guy... but i would still wait to make any final comment... BTW, im not the biggest IPL fan... but blaming everything on IPL is now becoming a cliche, and i would take further ipl blaming as pure jealosy for indian cricket and bcci(although im no fans of the bcci)....

Posted by   on (August 13, 2012, 15:02 GMT)

Great article man that was joyful to read!

Posted by roaming_saint on (August 13, 2012, 14:38 GMT)

@din7: I think India is doing a pretty good job of managing their players. When the media got wind of a rift between senior players, it was ended quickly by the management without turning into a circus. If senior players want to take a rest for personal reasons they are readily given a rest, and chances are handed to younger players to gain experience. Sachin informed the management which approved of his decision, so it was all handled smoothly, unlike the ECB

Posted by PrasPunter on (August 13, 2012, 11:35 GMT)

No doubt that IPL has emerged as the unavoidable evil. The game for sure has taken a turn for worse. God save cricket.

Posted by   on (August 13, 2012, 11:08 GMT)

I am from India. But this is how I view this situation. It is possible KP is a highly sensitive player (HSP). Definitely he has some genuine points to tell. If he is HSP, while he would take very seriously what he needs to do in the field, he may find short in being diplomatic. We know he has put up a lot of match winning performances. And the way he behaves now is immature and because of his genuine fears. In that case, if he is listened to properly and taken care of he would do better. Same was the case probably of Botham and flintoff. Rules for HSPs are different and blaming them is going to only backlash at the management. Note that in England once Boycott instead of choosing to play for England chose to rebel tour SA. Why? He himself accepted he chose the lucrative option.

Posted by JG2704 on (August 13, 2012, 10:59 GMT)

@ac_Indian on (August 13 2012, 07:48 AM GMT) Thing is no one on these boards knows what was said behind closed doors or the content in those texts. Re the fact that more players from SA play IPL - You're right but I'm not sure if there have been players who have played IPL at the expense of playing for SA. I actually wonder how SA fans would feel if Steyn or Kallis chose to play IPL over SA? I don't blame IPL at all - it is up to players what they choose to do - there are arguments for and against IPL. Anyway , IPL has nout to do with why KP was dropped , otherwise he'd not have played in the 1st 2 matches.

Posted by JG2704 on (August 13, 2012, 10:47 GMT)

@din7 on (August 13 2012, 10:07 AM GMT) Not sure if Eng have done the right thing or not. Guess it depends on what KP said in texts/dressing room etc. I do feel KP overestimated what ECB/Flower etc thought of him and also thought that Eng would struggle in ODIs without him and Eng would be deperate to have him back and he's be able to dictate terms etc. It didn't work out that way. Obviously something pretty severe has gone on out of the public domain since the last test , otherwise he'd have been dropped before now. Nice balanced post there. I think many on here do feel that they have to stick up for KP no matter what

Posted by din7 on (August 13, 2012, 10:07 GMT)

many of my indian collegues backing pietersen or more importantly IPL (come on guys be honest). I was too big fan of KP until he expressed his desire to play full IPL and retired from limited overs when eng needed him. i thought him of being a honest man who would do anythin for his team but not any more he also wants more money. rather than playin against worlds best bowlers he wants to hit some 2nd class bowlers in IPl and earn name and fame. ECB has done the rite thing now cause cricket is not individual sport, its up to pitersen to do the right thing and give a public apology. this is what bcci needs to do with sachin, make him understand this is not individual sports and ask him to retire atleast from ODIs and leave that SELFISHNESS which he did thruout his career!

Posted by   on (August 13, 2012, 9:59 GMT)

Shows guts from England management. I won't even care if we lose the final test. South Africa outplayed us in the first test and honours even in the second. As it stands, they deserve to win, but a lot can change in one match. Regardless of the outcome, I think England have shown real strength of character and an excellent style of tough and uncompromising, yet ultimately fair management. It also gives a chance for Bairstow and Taylor to 'step up' when England need them most. It's as much as test of their character as it is for England management. If they step up and perform, hats off to them.

Absolutely agreed with ac_Indian though. Mingling with the opposition shows good sportsmanship, not lack of trust in your own team.

Nice to see a few comments on here which aren't just unoriginal and ultimately jealous England-bashing.

Posted by screamingeagle on (August 13, 2012, 8:29 GMT)

Well done England, Now there is the excuse if you lose the No.1 ranking. If England win after all this, hats off. Your esteem will go up in my eyes.

Posted by ac_Indian on (August 13, 2012, 7:48 GMT)

Continuing on my previous post.To some of my English friends: please stop portraying the situation as IPL vs Test cricket. More "stars" from the SA team play in IPL than English players, and yet they are almost no. 1 in Test cricket, and deservedly so. Having said that, as an Indian fan I do believe that IPL format and duration should be altered a little and the schedule should be improved for our team's benefit, but I certainly want IPL to continue and believe that all the three formats have a charm and are here to stay.

Posted by   on (August 13, 2012, 7:45 GMT)

A masterstroke for South Africa to engage him in personal texts, arrange that fact to be leaked to the public, then get the England player they most fear dropped. Genius! Mind you they were doing pretty well in beating us without such tactics.

Posted by ac_Indian on (August 13, 2012, 7:36 GMT)

I don't claim to have access to any inside stories as these journalists can (thanks to possibly leaks from ECB as we read from news) and as some of my fellow readers can (by looking at the comments), but from whatever I hear from news, I don't think Flower and his mgmt has any less ego than KP. I read in a British paper that there was discomfort in the English camp after KP "mingled" with SA players (before the texts). There was similar issue last year when Panesar bowled a few to Sachin in nets when India toured England (not realizing that this would help Monty as well). To me this is pure ego when you can't see your players mingle with opposition. And as it was pointed in Kimber's article on cricinfo, what about mutual trust when guys from english management leak info to journalists. It has become a convenient habit for many people in the English setup to point everything at IPL, without addressing issues among themselves.

Posted by   on (August 13, 2012, 7:29 GMT)

Pietersen is a lot like Lara...fiercely individualistic, astoundingly brilliant. For the sake of world cricket, England have to learn how to handle him. If tweeting about teammates is disallowed, ban cricketers from using social media. Thre is no doubt that he has been handled badly thus far.

Posted by pgkamath on (August 13, 2012, 6:04 GMT)

Cricket boards of ALL countries like to hold an iron grip on the players and make them work like slaves - they have one solitary goal: to make their own living. They dont look at cricketers as professionals. As cricketers age, they should be allowed to choose the format of the game. A cricketer's earning span is 8 to 15 years. They entertain several tens of thousands of people in one stadium but most dont earn like soccer players do. Is this fair? While KP may have wronged, we all need to understand what caused this reaction and not how he reacted. I am with KP on this.

If ECB recognizes IPL, then they MUST allow anyone to play in IPL... make a window for players. Are they jealous of cricketers making a lot when admins dont make much?

Kapil Dev of India was made to write an apology letter in order to earn his Rs 1.5 crore payment! Isnt this highhandedness? Let's not look at KP's actions alone. Let's see boards' actions as well. What about Chris Gayle? He made WCB beg.

Posted by   on (August 13, 2012, 5:35 GMT)

Mr. Hopps, says about KP that no England cricketer has caused such a divergence of opinion since Geoffrey Boycott. Ever heard of Freddy Flintoff?

Posted by satish619chandar on (August 13, 2012, 5:33 GMT)

Well.. KP sent text about teammates to SA folks.. Might be their friends.. But still, it is a breach of trust from the SAfrican players to give it to the English folks and make it a even bigger issue.. Just when KP had some change of heart like thing, he is now pushed back.. Again.. As KP said, it is tough being KP.. Tough being as ECB too.. Leave out the biggest player of your side(though he is a ego) when he himself tries to make peace requires lots of guts.. Good or not good will depend on the future results..

Posted by   on (August 13, 2012, 4:47 GMT)

A LESSON FOR ALL SACHINOLOGISTS--now please dont think i am dragging sachin into every think about cricket but this is how ANY player needs to be managed.Sehwag's tantrums and his issues with Dhoni are inherited from Sachin.can anyone disagree?never.well done ECB a rare thumbs up to any Board..also i am from India and where is that man mountain Chris Tremlet?is he injured/is he not considered.not a word about him in pre selection talks and he is not in team either.i still remember his relentless attack last year...

Posted by RandyOZ on (August 13, 2012, 4:34 GMT)

England have no one to blame but themselves. No money is going into grass roots level and the gaping hole in the talent is evidence of this. Poaching will not help them at all and only brings mercenaries like KP to the team, and how is that working out for you ECB?

Posted by rohan024 on (August 13, 2012, 3:57 GMT)

@Shan156 that's true..though in a country like India, only Indians play for its national team, unlike England where the 2 best batsmen are overseas batsmen.

Posted by Shan156 on (August 13, 2012, 1:57 GMT)

By dropping KP for the final test, the ECB have shown that personalities don't matter as much. We may not win the final test but that would be the case even with KP in the team. I like the reaction of most England fans too. Even if they like KP, they don't blindly support him and consider that he is beyond reproach. In countries like India, a player like Sachin Tendulkar can get away with murder but not in England. That is good to see. Every player should be treated equally whether he is a superstar or a newcomer.

Posted by Mad_Hamish on (August 13, 2012, 1:29 GMT)

@tomjs100 well apart from when Boycott made himself unavailable for selection for England between 1974 and 1977 because he was trying to save his captaincy of Yorkshire. iirc on his last test tour didn't he also abandon the team during a match claiming he was ill but instead played a round of golf? And let's not forget doing part of the organization of a rebel tour to South Africa.,,

Posted by caught_knott_bowled_old on (August 13, 2012, 0:51 GMT)

a balanced viewpoint from David Hopps would have been appropriate. The ECB has not drawn any criticism whereas KP get the entire blame for this situation. Thats unfair. The top brass at ECB are equally guilty. They have placed commercial interests ahead of player workloads and player interests. The simple fact is that cricket boards just don't know how to handle special talents like KP and Chris Gayle.

Posted by ghost_of_len_hutton on (August 13, 2012, 0:26 GMT)

Mr Hopps is entirely correct - there are strong parallels between the Pieterson saga and the behaviour of Geoff Boycott in the past. Boycott made himself unavailable for test selection between 1974 and 1977 for unspecified reasons. Some theorised that it was a result of him missing out on the England captaincy. In any event, this ridiculous stand off needs to be resolved, although if the allegations are true, sending texts critical of your teammates to opposition players is hardly the act of a team player.

Posted by tomjs100 on (August 12, 2012, 23:35 GMT)

If Pietersen averages 50, and someone else averages 40, I'd go with the guy who averages 40 any day of the week. I don't think David's analogy with Boycott works too well tbh - since Boycott scored 48,000 runs (double Pietersen's count) and I can't remember him ever saying I don't want to play cricket.

Posted by   on (August 12, 2012, 21:38 GMT)

As the father of a young family,. Pieterson is right to resist the England schedule, but wrong to have made the announcements he did.

Even so, England's handling of their only world class batsman has been atrocious, and England will slip down the ICC Test rankings as a result.

BTW England's bowling attack was always over-rated - averages in the thirties indicate that the attack is hardworking but not overly able.

Posted by   on (August 12, 2012, 21:02 GMT)

"Pietersen will never gain such widespread acceptance because he sees himself as the icing on the cake rather than part of the cake itself." A perfect description of Pietersen.

Posted by whoster on (August 12, 2012, 20:21 GMT)

KP is a high maintenance player, like a Flintoff or a Botham. The type of players who can do amazing things on a cricket field can be difficult to manage, but it's up to the England staff to sometimes make allowances for the daft things he often says and does. I hope it gets sorted, because he's a special player.

Posted by Kirk-at-Lords on (August 12, 2012, 19:42 GMT)

David Hopps captures the essence of the situation very well in his column. Real success will be measured not just by how KP proceeds and behaves, although this an essential factor, but how ECB plans and executes within the context of central contracts, IPL, player workload, and man management of stars. Despite his prodigious accomplishments, something more is still required of Andy Flower. ECB needs to find a way to back up Flower but quietly obtain some changes from him as well. Alongside this, ECB must come to grips with the YouTube-Twitter culture. That does not mean indulging in it on one hand or squashing it on the other. A more nuanced approach that avoids such extremes is called for. If ECB is truly as clueless as David Hobbs implies, then it needs to seek out players and/or "cultural creatives" to serve as consultants, so that proper and sensible guidelines and expectations can be set and met. Management of KP-sized egos demands more imagination & hard yards from ECB.

Posted by A_Vacant_Slip on (August 12, 2012, 18:55 GMT)

No, this is The End. Pietersen will not play for England again. Goodbye Mr Pietersen.

Posted by JG2704 on (August 12, 2012, 18:40 GMT)

I've just read on Sky that KP still says he wants to play for England. I just kope he is on the right path now and stays on that path and that ECB in time (preferably soon) will show some compassion. I have compared the situation to that with Man City and Tevez before. Few could ever have seen him wearing a Man City shirt again but he came back towards the end of the season and Man City's form significantly picked up on his return. Now I would never trust Tevez as far as I could throw him as he has a proven track record for being difficult and while I don't 100% trust KP , I hope he continues to put full effort towards building bridges and ECB give him a little benefit of doubt too

Posted by ac_Indian on (August 12, 2012, 18:10 GMT)

I think than more than KP or ECB themselves, it is the media (print and electronic) which could do more harm to english cricket. Sometimes issues are blown out of proportion by some journalists, sometimes statements are quoted out of contexts, and sometimes there is a clear bias etc.. etc..And as KP had said, there is always speculation. If media thinks that KP is publicity hungry, in part they are also responsible for that. I think media are enjoying the fact that they get a leak or two from ECB, this gives them something to write about, then KP reacts to it publicly and that gives them some more juicy material to speculate upon. Its a win win for media.

Posted by   on (August 12, 2012, 16:56 GMT)

its one after the other, sometimes i think ECB and KP dont want to live happy, they're like india-pakistan ... fighting each other and when theyre happy tension and expectation of problem is always there :l

Posted by njr1330 on (August 12, 2012, 15:18 GMT)

Aren't the England management paid an awful lot of money to 'manage' people. Managing Cook and Strauss must take zero time and zero effort. The moment someone 'difficult' appears on the horizon, they are like rabbits frozen in the headlights. Mike Brearley seemed able to get the best out of Botham... why don't the 'suits' ask him for some advice?!

Posted by mahjut on (August 12, 2012, 14:58 GMT)

@frozwndilema ... lol, i guess you don't have kids (and KP is a kid) or you would be more acute at recognising the various purposes of making an apology;)

Posted by Oldpunk on (August 12, 2012, 14:55 GMT)

Great decision by the ECB. Makes me proud to be English.

We keep reading about KP's advisers -- who are they? Clearly Pietersen needs to get some good advisers who can read people and situations - in particular the English mindset. At the moment it seems like he being advised by Carlos Tevez and Joey Barton -- it is a circus and Pietersen looks like the clown.

Posted by frozendilemma on (August 12, 2012, 13:51 GMT)

Sure people can be immature at times but if they apologized they should be given a chance...KP`s arrogance is justified most of the times...He has a bit of a Shoib Akhtar streak in him but its all about managing such egos not alienating them to a point where things start getting heated up and there`s a palpable tension on both ends...Hopefully this wont be the end for the 'Switch Hitter' as he`ll bounce back surely the way KP can...

Posted by cloudmess on (August 12, 2012, 13:09 GMT)

All the best entertainers have flawed personalities. We should just accept KP for what he is.

Posted by cricketsportsnews.com on (August 12, 2012, 13:06 GMT)

Sorry David, it might have been too late! England may well have omitted him, people do not forget the past that quickly... This is worse than Vinod Kambli's saga in the Indian cricket...

Posted by AdrianVanDenStael on (August 12, 2012, 12:59 GMT)

"MeTube". Haha very drĂ´le

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David Hopps David Hopps joined ESPNcricinfo as UK editor early in 2012. For the previous 20 years he was a senior cricket writer for the Guardian and covered England extensively during that time in all Test-playing nations. He also covered four Olympic Games and has written several cricket books, including collections of cricket quotations. He has been an avid amateur cricketer since he was 12, and so knows the pain of repeated failure only too well. The pile of untouched novels he plans to read, but rarely gets around to, is now almost touching the ceiling. He divides his time between the ESPNcricinfo office in Hammersmith and his beloved Yorkshire.

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