February 5, 2014

'Ultimately Kevin Pietersen found himself friendless'

ESPNcricinfo staff
The cricket world reacts to the ECB ending Kevin Pietersen's England career
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"They've distanced him - he fielded at fine-leg for the whole [Australia] series. I thought he could have been managed in a better way. England lost 5-0 and need a huge scapegoat. He didn't have a great series, by his own record, but the ECB need to explain what he does that they can't manage any longer. You have to be able to manage mavericks. You can't have clones around."
Former England captain Michael Vaughan

"He was quite outstanding. Many people enjoyed watching him bat - a box-office cricketer - and now sadly it has all come to an end. When we were winning, we didn't hear anything. When we lose, everyone is pointing fingers at KP - and I find that unfair and unjust."
Former England captain Alec Stewart

"[Alastair] Cook and [Andy] Flower haven't been able to manage him and have to accept some responsibility. He was an individual; I was one [as well]. You can be an individual within the team but not an individual full stop - take it or leave it. They've taken it for long enough and now they've said they'll leave it."
Former England batsman Geoff Boycott

"It's time to move on. A line in the sand has been drawn. Captains and team directors have all suffered because of Pietersen's behaviour. No man is bigger than the game and England have decided Kevin Pietersen got too big for his boots."
Former England bowler Bob Willis

"It's a bold move when you go without one of your best players … so there must have been things that were happening behind the scenes that Flower and Cook weren't amused with."
Nasser Hussain, the former England captain

"It was coming, I think. There was a unanimity of views there from the people that count, so ultimately I think Kevin Pietersen found himself friendless. He had no allies amongst the management, the hierarchy and the senior players as well because Paul Downton [the new ECB director] would have been taking soundings from them at the end of the Ashes tour. It was a pretty horrific Ashes tour and there have been a few victims along the way, but I think he just found himself friendless and with no allies."
Michael Atherton, the former England captain

"Can't believe what I'm hearing and reading tonight! Sad day for English cricket fans, Love or hate him, KP is still the best player we've got! The only people who are losing in this whole situation is the England fans! [Giles] Clarke statement yesterday and this today shows poor management!
Steve Harmison, the former England fast bowler on Twitter

"No KP for the Caribbean tour later this month against West Indies? That's really sad for English/international cricket! Don't let the fans suffer. Was really looking for the hype of having KP in the Caribbean, would be big tickets sales for us. #Sad - Learn to MANAGE Big Names!"
West Indies batsman Chris Gayle on Twitter

"That's a big call regarding a big player, a big-ticket item. He is a guy who believes in his own ability as much as anyone I've ever come across and he outwardly expresses that unashamedly. That does divide opinion. Some people think that's too brash and too arrogant and it's not the way you go about being in a team sport. For me it's a personality better suited to an individual sport, [but] there is a lot of those qualities and traits required in cricket."
Adam Gilchrist, the former Australia wicketkeeper

"KP no longer English property but will remain hot property on the T20 circuit around the world. #IPL #CPL #BBL #RAMSLAM to mention a few!"
Tom Moody, the former Australia allrounder, on Twitter

"Can't believe what's happening with KP! Stay strong boss!"
West Indies batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan on Twitter

"I think he is [a loss to international cricket], he was their highest run-scorer, a world-class player, but we don't know what goes on behind closed doors and in their camp, so we can't talk on their behalf ... I know through playing with KP at Delhi, he likes to encourage the other guys coming through. His door's always open if you want to ask him a question, or if you need to work out a plan for the next game, say you're playing Malinga and you're a young kid, he'll give you advice on how to approach that. He's always been helpful to me."
Australia batsman David Warner

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on February 7, 2014, 11:47 GMT

    when i frist saw this news about kp i can't believed my eye. becous kp is the best t20 plyer.

  • Daniel_Cartwright on February 5, 2014, 23:39 GMT

    okay, so NZ gets a 4-0 victory and appearantly strike form out of nowhere against India, INDIA. Bangladesh got to keep the hosting of the asia cup. so i am guessing at the end of the day, each one of the members will get some sort of a uhm, whats the word I am looking for(going to look for it on indeigogo right now, wait), PERKS!, so each one of the full members get their fair share and give a go ahead to the big three proposal. So by the way things have been going, the proposal itself has already been put into effect, before being made official. Ultimately, this is leading towards cricket being a very comercialized sport, similar to the NBA, where things HAVE to be staged to deliver what the fans that pay want! Oh, I am such an excellent analyst of cricket. =)

  • JAH123 on February 5, 2014, 22:43 GMT

    Reading the comments, it's interesting to see that those personalitites who are a bit more eccentric, different or even arrogant themselves - such as Vaughan, Gayle, Harmison and Boycott - are in full support of KP, while the more traditional, dour guys - like Atherton, Willis and Hussain - seem to be backing the decision. I think that says it all.

    England appear to have this weird mould that its players are expected to fit. If they don't, the ECB doesn't know how to handle them. KP might have been a pain in the neck at times but that's not a reason to drop someone, especially when they are clearly still trying to give their all for the cause. You have to wonder what sort of careers guys like Shane Warne, Brian Lara or Jeff Thompson would have had if they'd played for England. I suspect they would have found themselves in the same boat eventually.

  • abparmaa on February 5, 2014, 22:27 GMT

    in school one is punished, so other dont commit same mistake. is this the example for Eng11 or new players to behave properly with ECB ??

  • mrjanjua on February 5, 2014, 20:51 GMT

    He is the certainly the best current English batsman, a great player with outstanding ability. This is not the way you treat your senior, best players. The Ashes lose was more so due to Flower, Cook, The ECB management and the team not working well enough under Cook's captaincy. It was not only Pietersen fault. English cricket needed Pietersen. Who one earth is going to replace him?. The changes that should have been made are: -Flower should have been fired (which has been done) -Cook should have been replaced as Captain - The ECB management should have been changed. -Graham Onions and Nick Compton should be in the team.

  • Cpt.Meanster on February 5, 2014, 19:41 GMT

    Sod the ECB and their horde of 'YES' robots. KP was a genius and obviously they couldn't handle him. He was a HUMAN being and not some android or robotic entity that was supposed to behave according to a set of directives. Fine, if his 'behaviour' was that bad, can you kindly come out in front of the world and say what was so bad ? How about some transparency hmm ? I care less. As a non-English cricket lover, I am more than happy to see England go down the drain. It was KP that made a force to be reckoned with. Without KP, they will be back where they belong - no.8 or 9 in the ICC rankings.

  • Batmanindallas on February 5, 2014, 19:41 GMT

    So everyone excluding current English Cricketers like him. He was very popular with fans and could pull in audience which cannot be said of single other current english cricketer. So let us sack him who needs audience let us get couple more Cooks and Trotts or maybe we can watch paint dry...:(

  • Insightful2013 on February 5, 2014, 19:36 GMT

    The hypocrisy is shameful. Punters love the personalities. We identify with them easier. Bob Willis and Boycott have never had a fan base because they were BORING! Can you imagine if McEnroe was an English cricketer. He'd be sent packing, despite his ability. Who cares? Sportsmen are entertainers and not role models. KP was an electrifying Freddie Mercury type and we loved him for it! Jesus was he good!

  • on February 5, 2014, 19:23 GMT

    Hopefully Michael Clarke is next.. cant wait to see the back of him, simply CANNOT wait.

  • on February 5, 2014, 19:04 GMT

    Ecb I request please do allow him to play test. We have lost sehwag, we can't lose u. U both changed the history of how test matches can be more interesting. It's gonna be old school again. Make a deal with bcci we have many slots open.

  • on February 7, 2014, 11:47 GMT

    when i frist saw this news about kp i can't believed my eye. becous kp is the best t20 plyer.

  • Daniel_Cartwright on February 5, 2014, 23:39 GMT

    okay, so NZ gets a 4-0 victory and appearantly strike form out of nowhere against India, INDIA. Bangladesh got to keep the hosting of the asia cup. so i am guessing at the end of the day, each one of the members will get some sort of a uhm, whats the word I am looking for(going to look for it on indeigogo right now, wait), PERKS!, so each one of the full members get their fair share and give a go ahead to the big three proposal. So by the way things have been going, the proposal itself has already been put into effect, before being made official. Ultimately, this is leading towards cricket being a very comercialized sport, similar to the NBA, where things HAVE to be staged to deliver what the fans that pay want! Oh, I am such an excellent analyst of cricket. =)

  • JAH123 on February 5, 2014, 22:43 GMT

    Reading the comments, it's interesting to see that those personalitites who are a bit more eccentric, different or even arrogant themselves - such as Vaughan, Gayle, Harmison and Boycott - are in full support of KP, while the more traditional, dour guys - like Atherton, Willis and Hussain - seem to be backing the decision. I think that says it all.

    England appear to have this weird mould that its players are expected to fit. If they don't, the ECB doesn't know how to handle them. KP might have been a pain in the neck at times but that's not a reason to drop someone, especially when they are clearly still trying to give their all for the cause. You have to wonder what sort of careers guys like Shane Warne, Brian Lara or Jeff Thompson would have had if they'd played for England. I suspect they would have found themselves in the same boat eventually.

  • abparmaa on February 5, 2014, 22:27 GMT

    in school one is punished, so other dont commit same mistake. is this the example for Eng11 or new players to behave properly with ECB ??

  • mrjanjua on February 5, 2014, 20:51 GMT

    He is the certainly the best current English batsman, a great player with outstanding ability. This is not the way you treat your senior, best players. The Ashes lose was more so due to Flower, Cook, The ECB management and the team not working well enough under Cook's captaincy. It was not only Pietersen fault. English cricket needed Pietersen. Who one earth is going to replace him?. The changes that should have been made are: -Flower should have been fired (which has been done) -Cook should have been replaced as Captain - The ECB management should have been changed. -Graham Onions and Nick Compton should be in the team.

  • Cpt.Meanster on February 5, 2014, 19:41 GMT

    Sod the ECB and their horde of 'YES' robots. KP was a genius and obviously they couldn't handle him. He was a HUMAN being and not some android or robotic entity that was supposed to behave according to a set of directives. Fine, if his 'behaviour' was that bad, can you kindly come out in front of the world and say what was so bad ? How about some transparency hmm ? I care less. As a non-English cricket lover, I am more than happy to see England go down the drain. It was KP that made a force to be reckoned with. Without KP, they will be back where they belong - no.8 or 9 in the ICC rankings.

  • Batmanindallas on February 5, 2014, 19:41 GMT

    So everyone excluding current English Cricketers like him. He was very popular with fans and could pull in audience which cannot be said of single other current english cricketer. So let us sack him who needs audience let us get couple more Cooks and Trotts or maybe we can watch paint dry...:(

  • Insightful2013 on February 5, 2014, 19:36 GMT

    The hypocrisy is shameful. Punters love the personalities. We identify with them easier. Bob Willis and Boycott have never had a fan base because they were BORING! Can you imagine if McEnroe was an English cricketer. He'd be sent packing, despite his ability. Who cares? Sportsmen are entertainers and not role models. KP was an electrifying Freddie Mercury type and we loved him for it! Jesus was he good!

  • on February 5, 2014, 19:23 GMT

    Hopefully Michael Clarke is next.. cant wait to see the back of him, simply CANNOT wait.

  • on February 5, 2014, 19:04 GMT

    Ecb I request please do allow him to play test. We have lost sehwag, we can't lose u. U both changed the history of how test matches can be more interesting. It's gonna be old school again. Make a deal with bcci we have many slots open.

  • sudhir98 on February 5, 2014, 18:30 GMT

    @TRAM he seems to have a problem with English teams only- maybe it is a cultural thing. some players seem to belong to the inner circle *cough* broad *cough* Anderson and some players like bopara look like they don't fit in. Maybe the players need to be mature and function like a professional work unit. Maybe bullying should be left to the school yard bullies.

  • NalinPerera on February 5, 2014, 18:12 GMT

    This is how English do things, They want others to be perfect when there are still not perfect. KP you must come back to South Africa.

  • TRAM on February 5, 2014, 18:00 GMT

    "Captains and team directors have all suffered because of Pietersen's behaviour" .... heck, what IS that behavior, can some one please reveal? David Warner says he is helpful to players. So, his behavior is seen as problem by the captain/administrators only? If certain behavior is unacceptable it should have come under some clause of disciplinary codes right?? What is that behavior ??

  • sudhir98 on February 5, 2014, 17:57 GMT

    Another escape goat? He should be glad to be off the burning ship. Unfair decision without a concrete explanation. He will be a 20/20 gladiator but the game is poorer without him.

  • lovecricket.com on February 5, 2014, 17:16 GMT

    why is everyone so shocked? bob willis said it perfectly!

  • godshand on February 5, 2014, 17:01 GMT

    It's time the England's media highlights this internal FEUD within their team. Cook is an ordinary player, always hyped for medicore performances as well. Compare KP and Cook or Strauss etc, KP stands tall amidst pedestrian performers some of whom have mental fatigue as well, when they play abroad !!! KP - We are confident you would do wonders in IPL. It's a pity to see such a good talent go waste due to politics.

  • on February 5, 2014, 16:31 GMT

    Put your hands on his head and say: "I pass my failures on your, dear Scapegoat."

  • csr11 on February 5, 2014, 16:27 GMT

    @whereistheempire - the empire is dead and gone.. And by the looks of it..English crcilet is in fast pursuit...

  • on February 5, 2014, 16:06 GMT

    A guy who scores 8000 test runs at an average of almost 48 is a liability? It was one thing if KP was having run ins with the law or not conducting himself in a professional manner none of those things seem to have happened. Guy was an Ass but was brilliant with the bat huge loss for English fans.

  • PrasPunter on February 5, 2014, 16:06 GMT

    Even Aus had too many characters - Senior Waugh, Warne, Ponting, Gilly who didnt exactly see eye-to-eye but they all were managed very well by the Aussie Management. Mickey failed in that and got the boot. How things changed once Boof was in !! Warner, the alleged rivalry between Pup and Watto - all these have been handled pretty well unlike what the English have done !!!

  • USIndianFan on February 5, 2014, 15:41 GMT

    Poor leadership by the English establishment keeps extending itself. A reorg of the management should precede the team. Look to a 2-4 year English rebuilding cycle. Cook should be removed from captaincy and a new management team and coaching team brought in and team leadership refreshed. KP did much for English cricket and this shows the paucity of leadership and management spine.

  • SanjeevDatadin on February 5, 2014, 15:10 GMT

    So sad to see KP go ... no one can doubt he was a class act ... one of the players who truly dominated the modern game in all formats at various times ... surely there must have been a way for someone of his enormous ability (and ego) to be managed in a way to make him a part of the team ... we in the Caribbean were looking forward to seeing him play here ... sad day for cricket fans everywhere !!

  • on February 5, 2014, 15:02 GMT

    Not sure how much longer he would have play on anyway, nine years of playing 3 formats has begun to weigh KP down. I honestly wonder how fit he was in Aus, I think he wanted to play because it was the Ashes and he wants 10,000 test runs.

    The management must have felt there was no choice, there must have been things going on that the viewing public doesn't see. England have lots of spots up for grabs in their top order they didn't need to dispense with KP to give opportunity's to young players.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on February 5, 2014, 14:57 GMT

    I guess we'll never fully know or understand what went on behind closed doors and in dressing rooms etc. No one player is bigger than the game of cricket, and no one player should be bigger than the team he represents. Tendulkar knew this; Lara knew this; Gilchrist and Warne knew this. At times, KP gave the impression he did not, and/or refused to accept this. Alas, he will go down in history as an 'interesting player that has done great things for England' - and not as a 'great player, period'. No matter which side you take, one thing I reckon we all can agree on: English cricket will be very different without KP (and you could add Swann here too). It's a sorry day for cricket. Cricket does need the right balance of individuals/personalities to prosper.

  • TheChap on February 5, 2014, 14:55 GMT

    Is anyone actually getting the reason why he has gone?? I'm astonished they haven't.

    Ask yourself the question - why has Pietersen effectively been cut adrift like this...so abruptly and so decisively...?

    Anyone who knows English cricket properly (and I know the county circuit pretty well), knows this has been on the cards for quite some time...

  • niazbhi on February 5, 2014, 14:34 GMT

    England did not play him in ODI and T20s they probably made the decision before the ODIs. What if he won the ODI or T20s for them? He averages 37 at strike rate of 140s in T20s. They were better off keeping him in ODIs and T20s; resting him for the test team. KP was not the problem. Broad was the only bowler performing well. Anderson turned into a support bowler. England needed Swan. England did not take Onions to know whether he could translate his county performance. Ballance and Stokes would become wonderful cricketer. Bell and Cook would probably survive. England would be better off with two more years of KP. It set a bad example.

  • Akhter786 on February 5, 2014, 14:33 GMT

    England cricket is going from shambles to hell. Sea of mediocrity, ECB. Cook, u lost whatever small respect as a neutral fan i gave u. I will never ever support England team ever. Root and Stokes can't save u when u r throwing the best out. It was only KP who could have got them out of this mess but now GOD only knows what would happen to England team. Nomore frenzy crowds nomore gutsy heriocs nomore KP. English cricket RIP.

  • 11_Warrior on February 5, 2014, 14:21 GMT

    ECB will cry for this one.

  • Hrolf on February 5, 2014, 13:58 GMT

    Just heard a great interview with Ian Chappell. As captain he wanted the best talent, and he saw it as his job to mould them into a team. I have to agree with him there - the sacking of KP is an admission of the failure of all the management. He is clearly England's best batsman, and if captains and coaches can't work out how to use him what good are they? IMO Swann and Anderson have had a much more insidious affect on team attitude. Too many people in management learning how to tick boxes to promote their own career.

  • Rutie2011 on February 5, 2014, 13:42 GMT

    We don't need or want him Michael Gray!

  • Mipixx on February 5, 2014, 13:14 GMT

    Am I the only one to notice that Bob (faces both ways) Willis was recommending Pietersen be made vice captain for the forthcoming summer's Tests during his TV punditry?

  • St0rmbringer on February 5, 2014, 12:42 GMT

    KP is worth all the men who dropped him taken together his guts and gumption is known to bowlers all over and he does give his team mates a shield from even more intimidation than they would face without him in the team. First bowlers around the world must be sniggering at this delightful display of English management decision making.

  • haqster499 on February 5, 2014, 12:30 GMT

    No Monty, No Trott, No Swann, No Prior and now No Pietersen....just after 1 tour? Reminding England fans they won the Ashes last summer!!!

  • on February 5, 2014, 12:25 GMT

    No wirries I think time waisting is over kp. Enjoy with the ipl and other t20 league s Bad luck ECB.

  • SridharKalyan on February 5, 2014, 12:23 GMT

    It is well known that the White-establishment in RSA (and the region) did not take opinions lightly - which is what led to KP going to England in the first place. Now you bring on Andy into England - and what else did you expect? KP should have gone the last time around - and ECB selectors did not have a stomach to do it. Now they think they have Root and Stokes lurking around and so can ride the storm. Good Luck to them. Delhi Daredevils/IPL will be happiest at this development.....

  • Yog on February 5, 2014, 12:22 GMT

    The Ashes debacle caused the exit of KP but as a Scapegoat.... Cook and Flower should have taken more accountability.... Throwing out KP and diverting the attention was the only way left for Cook to save himself....

    Poor management and EGO..... Engalnd team are in shambles..... Without KP england team will be back to similar 90's trend..... Ashes will not be intresting....

  • Duidelik on February 5, 2014, 12:17 GMT

    The only player in the England team that we, as Saffers genuinely feared was, funny enough, an ex-Saffer, KP!! No Englishmen could turn the course of a test match within a matter of 2 hours like he could. Having been born in SA, maybe they will bring him back into the Proteas side, like they did with Kepler Wessels, who knows? After all, we need a solid No.5 in the middle order!

  • Yog on February 5, 2014, 12:15 GMT

    With Trott gone,Graeme Swan retired,Matt Prior dropped, KP is the last of the non england born players to be dropped....

  • dollymark2 on February 5, 2014, 11:45 GMT

    What ever are they thinking about dropping K. P. match winning enterntaining player, he has been.

    I think we need to know why this decision was made!

    Hazel L. Tricker

  • on February 5, 2014, 11:44 GMT

    With KP they lost 5-0 to OZ. Without KP they will lose 5-0 to Zimbabwe. He 's the only Englishman around who can play some cricket.

  • on February 5, 2014, 11:44 GMT

    How long till he's eligible to play for South Africa?

  • TheCricketEmpireStrikesBack on February 5, 2014, 11:43 GMT

    The Tall Poppy Syndrome strikes again. Removing players who stand out also means removing outstanding players.

    "KP found himself friendless". So the way to be selected is to have friends in high places, rather than having talent and runs on the cricket field? Sounds more like an exclusive men's social club than a cricket team.

    When Cook became captain he had the strength and leadership to bring KP back into the team and was repaid with some great innings. Where are these qualities now among the collective management?

  • cheeseburgers on February 5, 2014, 11:38 GMT

    ECB is blackberry(traditionalists) and KP an Apple(Read # Switch hit)!!

  • 2929paul on February 5, 2014, 11:32 GMT

    It's not the case that you always put your best XI on the field. You put your best team out, which might mean an extra bowler, two spinners and drop a seamer, a batsman/keeper rather than your best keeper who's not as good with the bat etc. for better or worse, the ECB has decided that they can do without their best attacking batsman for the sake of an improved overall team performance.

    This might be the best decision the ECB has ever made for the benefit of the team's results, if not for those who will miss watching KP perform once or twice a series. With the change in regime, the England team might now play in a totally different fashion, if not with the skill of KP..

  • amar_rdy on February 5, 2014, 11:18 GMT

    Not sure what happened between KP/Cook/Flower and ECB but definitely this is going to be a huge loss for England team and fans all over the world.

  • Mutukisna on February 5, 2014, 11:15 GMT

    It is a sad day for English Cricket. Managing one of its best players should have been the responsibility of the English management team! KP is known to speak his mind and has probably done so in the best interests of English Cricket and more importantly, Cricket in general. He has also been magnanimous in defeat. I recall in 2006 when the chat show host Michael Parkinson in particular in the Daily Telegraph was vilifying and scathing about Muralitharan and his bowling action, KP called Murali a genius after he had bowled Sri Lanka to victory against England. That is the measure of KP the man! Long may his career continue in the T20s.

  • smudgeon on February 5, 2014, 11:14 GMT

    The more I think on it, the more I feel this is about two things: finding a scapegoat for the whitewash, and finding it in a man who has probably never been popular among the English players and management. So, one thing, really! Will be interesting to see how England go without Pietersen there in the middle order. Very interesting comment from Warner there, reminds me of the role Ricky Ponting played in his final years: despite his unpopularity in the dressing room - real, or imagined, it doesn't matter - they've lost a guy who not only has tremendous confidence, but someone the new kids can tap for advice and guidance. Like him or not, KP is one of the greats of England, and I can't help but feel the English team are in for a bumpy ride without him there. At the very least, they will be much less entertaining and opposition teams will find them far less threatening.

  • OneEyedAussie on February 5, 2014, 11:12 GMT

    Is it really any surprise? People perform better when they are happy. KP clearly makes a lot of people unhappy. It's not hard to put two and two together. What kept Pietersen in the team was his run making - well, he's averaging less than 40 over the past two years. The penny had to drop sometime.

  • geoffboyc on February 5, 2014, 10:50 GMT

    We don't know all that goes on away from the middle but it looks like a scapegoating from the outside. Sometimes managers have to manage difficult individuals, especially when others in the team have played even worse. This decision puts even greater pressure on players like Cook and Bell because if their form doesn't improve we'll think they get picked not on ability or performance but because they toe the line and always do as they are told. Will Mr Downton be compensating the WI Board for the inevitably reduced ticket sales this spring? Or maybe they left KP out to give the Windies a winning chance and boost attendances that way? Giles and Paul generous to a fault aren't they?

  • Sir_Francis on February 5, 2014, 10:32 GMT

    And we still have no idea what he has specifically done to get sacked. Cowardice from the english to sack him without reason. And, until 'real' reasons are given it is without reason.

    I bet Shane Warne did far worse and was feted. I guess the poms never trusted Pietersen. They wouldn't have won in 2005 without him.

    However I'm glad they didn't sack before the Ashes. 5 X 2 days tests would have been boring.

  • py0alb on February 5, 2014, 10:26 GMT

    I've got a far better idea, lets sack everyone except for KP, the most exciting batsman since Trumper. Talk about killing the golden goose.

  • roook on February 5, 2014, 10:19 GMT

    It was a team failure blaming it on one player or sacking him for that is wrong. If ECB wants a new team go for it as India did after humilating 5-0 Australian tour. They get rid of sehwag, gambhir, dravid, laxman. If you want to sincerely rebuild team then get rid of cook first he was even worst than Peterson if not people will keep on pointing why him why not others?

  • jackiethepen on February 5, 2014, 10:16 GMT

    It's not a good basis to build a cricket team on. We still do not know why KP was sacked. A bust up with Flower and Cook? Maybe he said what everyone else was thinking, maybe that was unacceptable to their pride. But much worse than KP's behaviour was Flower claiming to be the coach to build a new era without accepting responsibility for the damning failure of the Ashes and his own management. That was unprincipled. He blamed his players while sparing his favourite, Cook, who had performed very poorly with bat and as captain. In time he will be judged by history. He was the cause of all the mess, KP was not one to be bullied. Flower has got his revenge. Cricinfo was exemplary throughout this whole charade. Congrats to the team, especially the combo of Dobell and Kimber. Dobell was the first to break the silence of the media and tell us the truth about the unfolding disaster. He deserves recognition for his writing. KP wasn't friendless: Bell, Prior, Bopara and even Broad at the end.

  • steve48 on February 5, 2014, 10:12 GMT

    Breaking news; in the interests of 'team philosophy ' and the gaping hole left in morale by the retirement of swanny, kp is being replaced by Jimmy Carr. Doesn't play very well but the boost he will give to morale will give Cooky at least 2 more scoring strokes ( making a total of 4), add 10mph to Bressy (making him a lively medium pacer) and will stop Broady using all our DRS reviews and bowling slow long hope when he isn't 'fired up'. Michael Vaughan is right, we need to know why England are better off without our one game changing batsman.

  • on February 5, 2014, 9:20 GMT

    As a fan, there was only one reason to watch an England game. Now there is none.

    As an opposition, there was only one reason to be cautious and wary of England. Now there is none.

    As a team, there was only one player who could single-handedly win or save a game. Now there is none.

    Just for an argument, let's agree to whatever is said against KP is true. But, as a selector, one's job is to send the best 11 players from his country to the field. And, managing the best player is his job. If Cook/Flower/ECB are not able to manage their best player, how can they manage a team?? Pathetic!!

    Sacking KP (the best among the 11 players) sends out a message that, England would never field their best team for a game.

    Paul Downton had mentioned "rebuild team philosophy". So, here goes the new English team philosophy "Never to field a best team!!"

    Congrats, Downton and Cook!!! Way to go!!

    (Sure, this is a difficult period for KP, the player and the person)

  • neiljturner on February 5, 2014, 9:20 GMT

    A few years ago, Mike Atherton used hs column in the Times to argue that Kevin Pietersen was a better player than Jacques Kallis. Well, they've both retired now - I wonder if he still feels the same way?

  • VinayShraff on February 5, 2014, 9:14 GMT

    It is saddest I have felt on any player's retirement even though I am an Indian team supporter. I am unable to come to terms with not seeing Kevin Pietersen again in an International Match. The English team management and Board owe an explanation to not only the English fans but to the Cricket fans all over the world. I was at Eden Gardens & Wankhade on Tendulkar's retirement and felt sad and cried also but I am absolutely jolted on Kevin Pietersen's sacking.

  • TheOnlyEmperor on February 5, 2014, 8:50 GMT

    It's a shame that lesser mortals terminate the career of a flamboyant personality with a popular fan following. It's clear their egos can't permit greatness to pass by as it seeks to overtake them on its journey towards super stardom! Presents the English thinking in incredibly poor light, but what's more... KP's axing has cooked the English goose!

  • danishsyed88 on February 5, 2014, 8:50 GMT

    Don't know what's been happening in the dressing rooms, behind the camera, but leaving KP out is definitely a great blow to English cricket. He has been the backbone of the English lineup, and a match-winner for them.

    I don't see any player with similar talent for England for the foreseeable future

  • Harlequin. on February 5, 2014, 8:39 GMT

    @Masud Rahman - some of us 'so called POMs' aren't even going to support the ECB anymore. Shocking behavior by them, spitting in the faces of the fans because their army of support staff can't be bothered to do their job.

  • csr11 on February 5, 2014, 8:37 GMT

    If this pans out the way it looks like it is going to, this is a great loss, not just for England cricket, but for world cricket. KP in IPL cannot in no way compensate for KP in whites. This is one english player who could strike fear in the opposition, not by trash talk, but by pure unadulterated aggressive batting and still command their respect. I can almost feel Kevin Pietersen's pain. perhaps this is a fate written for all mercenaries (and i do not use that word loosely or pejoratively for KP). they can never be loyal enough, and have to always stand to higher scrutiny than the other guy. For whatever its worth, you are a champion, and one of the reasons english cricket flirted briefly with greatness. Posterity will know that.

  • on February 5, 2014, 8:36 GMT

    I think England cricket has pressed self-destruct button. He is larger than life player for English. Full Stop. There is no way a replacement is going to be found. His relationship issues aside, he was such a fine asset. The 180 + innings in Mumbai against India changed the whole complexion of the series that England won. In fact it was that sort of an innings that was required to turn the tides and no other batsmen from England could have managed that. He still averages nearly fifty and to judge a 100 test cap player based on one poor series is totally unjust. There was no player who had a convincing Ashes from this lineup anyway. KP is player of utter flamboyance and carries an aura about himself that many cricketers are not blessed with. At the time of soul searching England should have continued with its core group of players without disruptions and should have aimed for transistion in a phased manner. It is sad to see England will be without his services for T20 and 50 Over WC.

  • on February 5, 2014, 8:28 GMT

    If KP yeah he himself did not perform like others but if he called and questioned the technical stuff of Flower and inadequacies of Cook then he was a burden. LOL. It will take the English team a lot of years to come to the level they once were at. Strauss, Flintoff, Trott etc. were once in a generation sort of players and the current crop of players are pretty average to say the least.

  • on February 5, 2014, 8:22 GMT

    @Terry, the difference between Pietersen and Ronaldo is that Ronaldo is still playing well and playing as a part of the team. Pietersen is playing rubbish and hanging around like a bad smell. His last great innings was a year and a half ago. His behaviour in the Strauss texting saga was utterly despicable and it was only through the magnanimity of Cook that he was allowed back. That may have been a good move then, but now it's time to go.

    Wherever Pietersen goes, he's the story. I think they can do without the bravado and the grandstanding at the minute. Get back to being a proper cricket team, with everyone playing for his teammates. He played great cricket for us in a great era for English cricket, but it's time to start again under a young captain who is allowed to make the team his own (as Strauss was allowed to in 2009!).

  • on February 5, 2014, 8:03 GMT

    England cricket board will realize soon when they will loss Caribbean series and also loss in group matches in World T20

  • on February 5, 2014, 7:55 GMT

    no player is bigger than the team yeah right messi just got sacked from barcelona and ronaldo is gone from real madrid for having a big ego fans pay money to watch genius well bring on the ipl iwill enjoy watching pietersen the way isee it the captain goes down with the ship cook you are a failure resign and be done with it

  • amclean on February 5, 2014, 7:48 GMT

    Deciding a guy doesn't 'fit' after over 100 Tests does seem pretty unusual. In truth though, it was only Cook's generosity that gave him and extra season in the side. Very few managers would have let him back in after what he did to Andrew Strauss (and indirectly) to Andy Flower in 2012. Pietersen's main problem is that he does not appear to have a single bone of humility in his body and, as such, 'reintegration' was akin to Fraser and Ali going a 16th round in Manila. The only bonus is a new definition for the Oxford Dictionary: Reintegration - a one-time sports team selection strategy tried in England for a person of unusual character and immense skill.

  • on February 5, 2014, 7:46 GMT

    England has left out their only match winning batsman. Although they have two more decent bats in Cook (yes even after the Ashes down under) and Bell. But KP is the one who can win a match single handedly and take it away from the opposition in only a couple of sessions. Dropping him in Tests is a big blunder. Soon England will be competing with teams like WI and Bangladesh. It is bound to happen when you promote mediocrity over meritocracy.

  • itsjustagameboys on February 5, 2014, 7:45 GMT

    What I don't understand is the total destruction (never mind burning) of the bridges. Why didn't they just drop him and keep their options open for a future recall? Any strategist will teach that one should retain as many options for as long as possible. Anyway, I think we can see the core of a new England side emerging from Australia. Although well beaten, there were some promising performances from new players, and this side will evolve over the next few years into a good team again. The action has been so decisive, the management obviously feel that the presence of KP will be detrimental to the new team.

  • kokapitt on February 5, 2014, 7:33 GMT

    if you can't manage a maverick,what's the whole purpose of the so called TEAM MANAGEMENT...The one player in the current england team who can counter-attack any bowling attack..England will definitely suffer a huge amount of followers all around the globe..

  • on February 5, 2014, 7:16 GMT

    OK, we have a problem somewhere in the knee, time to cut off the neck of ECB. Surprised - only one series lost and then started cutting the best off. Who is going to support ECB now, other than so called POMs.

  • CUPULW on February 5, 2014, 7:05 GMT

    The question now is who will take KP's place. They can't find a proper opener to parnet Cook at 2. They can't find a proper anchor to replace Trott at 3. Now they dropped their sole attacking batter KP at 4. Maybe a recall for Morgan, Bopara, Keiswetter, Wright? love the Tweet from Gayle. dejavu is it CG? LOL

  • on February 5, 2014, 7:03 GMT

    This mismanagement is the primary reason England lost. If you cannot manage big egos, then you should not be a captain. I think it is Cook who needs to go, not KP. If KP has posed really big problems then ECB should come out in open and call a spade a spade.

  • on February 5, 2014, 6:56 GMT

    KP sacking is shocking!!! Dfinitely, He's the best player england has at the moment. Remember NO ONE PERFORMED IN ASHES. I'll not follow english cricket from now on.

  • DaisonGarvasis on February 5, 2014, 6:55 GMT

    Boycott says - that have been taking it for so long and now the left it!!! Haaaaa??? Taking what? All the runs he scored? And just dropped him because they cant manage him? Look who all had problems with KP - Cook, Flower, Strauss and so on. None of them were or never will be a player of KP's caliber!!! FULLSTOP.

  • nickvegas on February 5, 2014, 6:49 GMT

    Non England teams are the only ones to benefit from this. He is still one of the ten best batsmen in the world.

  • on February 5, 2014, 6:42 GMT

    Great Loss for World cricket .What a player, No issue , We Indians never miss him ,because he is one of our asset of IPL .Go KP Go .............Settle in India . Hey IPL franchise ,Right time to hire him for big Amount ................

  • simon_w on February 5, 2014, 6:32 GMT

    Chris Gayle didn't realize that KP was rested from the WI tour about three months ago, then?!

  • tjsimonsen on February 5, 2014, 6:22 GMT

    No Nassar, it's not bold. It's unbelievable! It has absolutely shocked me. Not sure I will care to follow English cricket anymore....

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  • tjsimonsen on February 5, 2014, 6:22 GMT

    No Nassar, it's not bold. It's unbelievable! It has absolutely shocked me. Not sure I will care to follow English cricket anymore....

  • simon_w on February 5, 2014, 6:32 GMT

    Chris Gayle didn't realize that KP was rested from the WI tour about three months ago, then?!

  • on February 5, 2014, 6:42 GMT

    Great Loss for World cricket .What a player, No issue , We Indians never miss him ,because he is one of our asset of IPL .Go KP Go .............Settle in India . Hey IPL franchise ,Right time to hire him for big Amount ................

  • nickvegas on February 5, 2014, 6:49 GMT

    Non England teams are the only ones to benefit from this. He is still one of the ten best batsmen in the world.

  • DaisonGarvasis on February 5, 2014, 6:55 GMT

    Boycott says - that have been taking it for so long and now the left it!!! Haaaaa??? Taking what? All the runs he scored? And just dropped him because they cant manage him? Look who all had problems with KP - Cook, Flower, Strauss and so on. None of them were or never will be a player of KP's caliber!!! FULLSTOP.

  • on February 5, 2014, 6:56 GMT

    KP sacking is shocking!!! Dfinitely, He's the best player england has at the moment. Remember NO ONE PERFORMED IN ASHES. I'll not follow english cricket from now on.

  • on February 5, 2014, 7:03 GMT

    This mismanagement is the primary reason England lost. If you cannot manage big egos, then you should not be a captain. I think it is Cook who needs to go, not KP. If KP has posed really big problems then ECB should come out in open and call a spade a spade.

  • CUPULW on February 5, 2014, 7:05 GMT

    The question now is who will take KP's place. They can't find a proper opener to parnet Cook at 2. They can't find a proper anchor to replace Trott at 3. Now they dropped their sole attacking batter KP at 4. Maybe a recall for Morgan, Bopara, Keiswetter, Wright? love the Tweet from Gayle. dejavu is it CG? LOL

  • on February 5, 2014, 7:16 GMT

    OK, we have a problem somewhere in the knee, time to cut off the neck of ECB. Surprised - only one series lost and then started cutting the best off. Who is going to support ECB now, other than so called POMs.

  • kokapitt on February 5, 2014, 7:33 GMT

    if you can't manage a maverick,what's the whole purpose of the so called TEAM MANAGEMENT...The one player in the current england team who can counter-attack any bowling attack..England will definitely suffer a huge amount of followers all around the globe..