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The Long Handle

The Kevin Pietersen I've never met

A random selection of the world's most prominent personages give us their ten cents worth

Andrew Hughes
Andrew Hughes
Vladimir Putin, Minsk, October 10, 2014

"It is one of my biggest regrets that I retired as an England player before he debuted"  •  Getty Images

Kevin Pietersen's revelation that he didn't always get on with his former team-mates has gripped the entire planet. So whose side are you on? We invited a random selection of the world's most prominent personages to give us their ten cents worth.
Vladimir Putin
This handsome, occasionally bare-chested man is misunderstood. He is clearly responding to the naked aggression of his neighbours. For years, the other players had been encroaching on his half of the dressing room, mocking him by their proximity. A man can only take so much of Stuart Broad's smelly kit bag before he has to defend himself. In annexing Graeme Swann's reputation and assassinating Matt Prior's character he is showing admirable restraint in the face of severe provocation. History will prove him right.
The Dalai Lama
Life is suffering. This is the first noble truth. From where does this suffering arise? From being picked to play for England. What is the nature of this suffering? A Twitter parody account. How can this suffering be prevented? By publishing a book dishing the dirt on your enemies whilst going easy on anyone who might still be in a position to facilitate your return to the England team. This is the path of Pietersen.
President Bashar al-Assad
Andy Flower? I do not rate him. What kind of dictator gets fired after five years? Mr Giles Clarke, on the other hand, I have a lot of time for. I have a portrait of him hanging in my bunker. Look at his proud glare and defiant chins. That is a face that says I will continue to cling desperately to power long after my sell-by date. My kind of leader.
René Descartes
Does Kevin exist? We think he exists, because we see him on the television a lot lately. But what if we don't watch chat shows or the sports news? And what if he doesn't have a book out? Then we don't see him quite so much. So perhaps our senses deceive us. Perhaps we only thought we saw him score all those hundreds for England. Yet, on the other hand... (continues for several more volumes).
Former president George W Bush
I like this Pietersen dude. Dick tells me he's a fighter. I was a fighter too. I just didn't have to do any actual fighting. That's one of them there paradoxicals. I'm telling you, don't misunderestimate this Pietersen. He's kind of tall. I like that in a basketball player. Thing about them hoops is, they're way up high. You need to be tall to reach them with your racquet. No, I'm with Kevin. He's tall, he's loud, he's stupid, he's practically a Texan.
The late Enver Hoxha, general secretary of the Albanian communist party
It is clear that this Pietersen faction represented a dangerous subversive element and had to be dealt with. It's not for me to tell the ECB its business, but personally, I would also have burnt down his house and arrested his whole family. It's best to be thorough.
Maria Sharapova
I'm sorry, who?

Andrew Hughes' latest book is available here and here. @hughandrews73