'A distraction we could well do without'

Current and former players react to the situation that has led to the omission of Kevin Pietersen for England's third Test against South Africa

ESPNcricinfo staff

August 13, 2012

Comments: 41 | Text size: A | A

England's batsmen wait for a net, The Oval, July 17, 2012
Kevin Pietersen: not currently the most popular player in the England dressing room © Getty Images

"Frankly, as players, all this has been a distraction we could well do without as we approach a massively important final match at Lord's, one we must win to retain our hard-earned status as the No 1 ranked side in world cricket ... Kevin talked about having issues within the dressing room. What's frustrating is that this was, literally, the first we knew about it. Kevin has mentioned nothing to us."
James Anderson with the view from the dressing room before the squad announcement

"Over the last week, Kevin has acted like a child who does not know what he wants and, as any teacher will tell you, you only need one unruly kid in the class and the whole structure of the classroom can come crashing down."
Nasser Hussain thinks Pietersen isn't acting his age

"How can Kevin say it's not about the money when the IPL will pay him £1.3  million for six weeks' work plus commercial advertising which in India will dwarf his England money … This episode is all about money."
Geoff Boycott questions Pietersen's motives

"The message to Pietersen is clear: he has to be a team man, fully committed and nothing less."
Jonathan Agnew, BBC cricket correspondent and former England bowler, believes Pietersen must be the one to compromise

"What I'm hearing is that England players are now sick and tired of hearing about Kevin Pietersen in what is one of the biggest series England play."
Former England fast bowler Dominic Cork on the continuing distraction

"Kev speaks his mind a bit and you'd like that to be refreshing but it often falls the wrong way for him."
Geraint Jones, former England wicketkeeper, on Pietersen's capacity for getting into trouble

"IMO leaving KP out this week is the right decision.. Clearly 2 many issues that can't be resolved in a few days but will be in time.."
Michael Vaughan tweets his opinion on the axeing

"Much depends how Pietersen reacts to this. If he takes his punishment and keeps quiet, then there is a chance he will come back. If he reacts badly to this and he has a history of falling out with people then there may be a permanent falling out and breakdown in relationships."
Michael Atherton on what may happen next

"Put simply - cricket lovers around the world will miss watching KP's serious talent and skill on the international stage.. Also... If KP didn't play second test v SA the score line would read SA 2 ENG 0.. SA ranked number 1 test team in the world, need I say more.."
Friend and former team-mate Shane Warne tweets his verdict

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (August 15, 2012, 15:06 GMT)

@drlimpel: Good example of our Pakistan there. Though ironically team Misbah is more united than England is looking nowadays. Even Afridi can't pick a fight with him. Seemingly no one can. I think people should just believe what the great Imran Khan said. Cricket isn't about coaches (or directors in this case). Cricket is all about the captain, who's the manager, XI selector, mentor, strategist, EVERYTHING. All Flower's powers should be with Strauss. Flower comes across as a tyrant somehow...And even if he isn't, he should never have been allpowerful.

Posted by loudmouth on (August 15, 2012, 5:16 GMT)

I can't BELIEVE they've dropped KP for the 3rd Test. KP is just one more player in a long line of controversial match winners - Warne / Flintoff / Botham / Symonds / Afridi. Sure he's a big kid who is totally self absorbed but what an entertainer! He's the Usain Bolt of the English cricket team!!! The ECB clearly have no idea of how to give KP the freedom he wants to express himself. Let him go play IPL during the next NZ series. Let him text his SA mates. Who cares? He won the T20 World Cup for England / he saved the 2005 Ashes. He saved the Headingley Test match. Shane Warne did similarly immature things for Australia and still won games for his country. Flintoff used to warm up with a couple of pints on the balcony @ Lords. If the ECB want to kill off public interest in Test cricket then they're going about it the right way.

Posted by CrickFan82 on (August 15, 2012, 1:13 GMT)

well, as i said earlier, England would have lost the ODI series to West Indies if not for Bell. They were quite close. Without Pieterson good luck to them, :). As an Indian fan i would be happy not see KP in England side when they come over to India, cos all these years i have seen him do well in Indian conditions better than his team mates. Every other team must have nerds like KP. My verdict is that POMS will drop from a better side to a good side without KP. and am also thinking KP might think of migrating to OZ try to play for them,:) i say thats not impossible.

Posted by JG2704 on (August 14, 2012, 21:09 GMT)

@thebrotherswaugh on (August 14 2012, 05:31 AM GMT) Yeah , cos your boys showed exactly what we've got coming to us in the ODI series recently. I've actually stuck up for Australia in alot of posts but folk like you make me wonder why I bothered

Posted by JG2704 on (August 14, 2012, 21:02 GMT)

@Daniel Powell on (August 13 2012, 13:50 PM GMT) Come on , be fair here. If KP hadn't made all those runs Eng could have been trailing by 150-200 runs after the 1st inns and we've seen how are batsmen have coped when under pressure. If they couldn't cope in the 1st test then why are you so sure it would have been different this time. Also KP even gave England a shout of winning the way he pushed the game forward. Maybe Prior could also do that but no other Eng batsman.

Posted by MattyP1979 on (August 14, 2012, 19:58 GMT)

Alot of Aus fans counting chickens before they have hatched, bold predictions, band wagon jumping and fortunes of Eng sudden demise on the world stage. SA are a very good side (as is PAK on their day). I predict that Eng are no.1 in nearly all formats of the game, Ashes holders and proud 'stuffers' of our next 2 opponents (with this team...dont mention 57 years ago). Wait a minute this is FACT. LOL. Eng to win at lords and these boards to be empty, now that is a better prediction.

Posted by jb633 on (August 14, 2012, 13:04 GMT)

@DocBindra- the media may write headlines like that but most English fans will agree that we have come up way short of a good SA side. The difference between India and England is that English fans will acknowledge good cricket of the opposition and appreciate what we are seeing. Shane Warne and Brian Lara are two models constantly propped up by English coaches and we have great admiration for them. Indian fans tend to become very bitter and resentful when they lose and make weak comments like "wait till we play you at home". Granted England will most probably lose the no 1 status and deservedly so. There is no excuses just simply that SA played top cricket at the Oval and gave us nothing. Well played SA.

Posted by   on (August 14, 2012, 11:06 GMT)

He causes distractions, & yet is the only English batsman to score a century in the previous test. And picks up wickets with his off spinners. Tells you the mental capacity of the other English players. Dropping him for the final test was not the solution. Their first priority should have been to win the final test at all cost & then deal with the Peterson issue. Dropping him now does nobody any good. Suddenly the English batting looks jittery & too thin.

Posted by DocBindra on (August 14, 2012, 10:02 GMT)

Typical stiff upper lip mentality...I'm sorry isn't KP the same guy who single-handedly just save England from losing the series in the second test when 50 or so from Prior was the only score of significance? Wow, talk about ingrates. If ECB, Flower and Strauss think that KP is such a problem child, don't include him in the future tour to India or it will smell of hypocrisy. I can see the headlines after the SA series that England lost the series due to KP and his distractions. Please.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (August 14, 2012, 9:47 GMT)

It's very easy to separate these reactions to the sound bites above. Those that don't care about English cricket want KP to be forgiven for his crass behaviour & allowed to play on, regardless of the tensions & lack of cohesion in the England dressing room that he causes (in fact these problems delight pro KP-ites, because the thoughts of mayhem in the England dressing room makes them happy, true Schadenfreude). Then there are the England supporters (note: I do not say 'English') who understand the inestimable value of a united team & realise that KP is destructive of that unity - as he has been in every club he has joined: Natal, Notts, Hants, & now England (for the second time). Last time he dragged down Peter Moores with him, let us hope that Andy Flower does not get similarly mired in yet another of KP's mega-tantrums. As it is, he must have thought: do I want more of this? I'm meant to to managing the England cricket team, but one player takes up 90% of my time, energy & patience.

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