Kevin Pietersen and the lost specifics

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Granted, we work for them, but we’ve been very impressed with Cricinfo recently – specifically with regards to their near-refusal to report on the latest ‘Kevin Pietersen situation’. They’ve pretty much restricted themselves to one ‘it’s being reported that senior figures are to meet on Tuesday to decide the future of Kevin Pietersen’ article, when they could easily have produced daily non-news on the subject, adding to the general nowtstorm that’s been raging of late.

If you don’t know what’s happening, you’re not alone. Even those of us who have been foolish enough to try and follow this saga don’t know what’s happening because there have been very few specifics.

The Guardian has been most guilty, churning out article after article dotted with ‘it is thought’ and ‘there is a belief/feeling’ with very little in the way of actual detail. It’s been infuriating to read. When the writer appears to know something, but feels they cannot put it across using specifics, it’s immensely frustrating.

We’re not sure whether it’s a sign of a journalist being disconnected from their audience, assuming they’ll pick up on whispers and allusions in the same way as their press box pals, but it makes for bad writing, lacking in value, in our eyes. Perhaps there’s a narrative to the writer, but from the reader’s point of view, hearsay has been repeated until a point at which it is then presented as fact.

A vague overview of the situation

Sorry, it can’t be anything but vague because as far as a non-journalist is concerned, dramatic things are happening for no clear reason.

  • ‘Poor behaviour’ from Pietersen has been mentioned
  • Being ‘high maintenance’ is another of the charges
  • Pietersen is said to be ‘a bad influence’ on younger England players
  • Alastair Cook, Ashley Giles and Paul Downton are apparently meeting today to decide whether Pietersen should be ejected from the team


Even if there does turn out to be some major issue that precipitates the end of Pietersen’s England career, it won’t negate criticisms of earlier coverage of the story.

When you were a child, there was probably an occasion when some other kid claimed to know ‘a secret’ and wouldn’t tell you what it was. They hinted and mocked you, but wouldn’t relent. Eventually, a third party whispered in your ear and everything became clear, but that didn’t mean that the first kid hadn’t been acting like a complete dick.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


Why risk it when it's so easy to sign up?


    1. Think it’s LV= who sponsor the County Championship. Not sure why that’s relevant though.

  1. I’ve been wondering how best to express my frustration with all this for a while. Your final paragraph nailed it.

  2. Journalism is never more annoying that when you get a series of “We know something you don’t know, do-dah, do-dah” articles.

    Especially as whenever one of the plebs that doesn’t, you know, do it for a job dares to question them on twitter/below the line and they get all indignant.

  3. What it comes down to is one of two options.

    1. Someone within the England set-up is giving off the record briefings to journalists. Most likely someone who doesn’t get on with KP

    2. The journalists are making it all up.

  4. Pietersen’s the first kid, right?

    I jest.

    The one that winds me up is Agnew. He’s completely full of it, and whenever anyone tells him that on twitter he gets in a huge fuss and threatens to leave, then inevitably doesn’t. Complete drama queen.

    1. Mike Selvey has expressed similar sentiments, saying he no longer wants to respond to comments on his articles because the comments section “is just insidious. And I’m out of it.”

      The internet will always throw an idiot your way from time to time. When a large number of previously reasonable people all turn against you simultaneously, perhaps there is more to it.

    2. I’ve ‘talked’ to Selvey on twitter a few times. He and Charlie Dagnall are pretty good at responding.

      I pretty much disagree with Selvey on everything, though.

    3. Don’t get us wrong, we still think he’s all right and we still like most of his stuff. That’s precisely why this thing grates so much perhaps.

  5. It’s getting really pathetic in the GUardian. Someone just pointed to this from a previous article from Mike Selvey:

    This says:
    “Pietersen, as far as anyone can tell, and certainly by his own admission – and why should we not believe him as readily as anyone else? – did not push his grievance into the public domain but tried to do it in private, first with the ECB chairman, Giles Clarke, and then with the managing director of England cricket, Hugh Morris. Only when it became a public issue did he go public in his column in the News of The World and that was scarcely inflammatory.”

    And preciously, this:
    “Personally, I think he has been stitched up twice,”

    Yet, in the recent article, Selvey claims:
    “His gauche attempt, while England captain, to challenge the authority of the England coach Peter Moores resulted in both of them losing their posts.

    When he attempted to dictate to the team director Andy Flower the types of matches in which he was prepared

    And when someone pointed this out, that post was modded.

    I guess Guardian has entered a zone where they want to peddle only their version of the truth and are ruthlessly removing anything that proves their version is not really the all-encompassing truth.

    Wasn’t sure where else to put this sorry piece of a comment – such is the muddled state of affairs.

    England Cricket fans surely don’t deserve this?

    1. It’s got to the point now where I don’t even click on Selvey stories about Pietersen. Which is surely the exact opposite of what they want.

      This is coming from someone who will click on a story about a celeb I have never heard of on MailOnline.

    2. The recent story was amended? Have they changed the ‘gauche attempt’ bit?

      If they have, that seems less sinister than methodically rewriting the past to fit the present. That would basically be the same work as carried out by the Ministry of Truth in 1984.

    3. That takes the cake. I am not lying, KC. The gauche bit was there in the article. SOmeone actually pointed out that it is in contrast to Selvey’s previous article. That comment was removed. I prety much posted the above comment noting that Guardian is removing traces of its culability. That was also removed – note, not modded but simply removed; it vanished in thin air.
      Thankfully, I managed to copy paste it here before the changed the main article itself!

      Someone better than me with Google Cache should be able to get the previous version

  6. If KP’s presence in the dressing room is having a negative impact on the performance of his colleagues, then there is only one answer. Simply make it a requirement of being an international cricketer that you aren’t so pathetically precious that you can’t ignore one of your colleagues when he’s being an arse.

    But of course, this assumes that any of this has anything whatsoever to do with KP the player, his performances, or the team’s performances. It doesn’t. There’s a group of people who simply despise him and who will concoct any old cock-and-bull story to get him out while maintaining the fiction that they are acting “in the interests of the England team.”

  7. It is widely believed that Selvey, who reportedly once fought a great white with naught but a pen-knife and came out the victor, was allegedly intoxicated when reporting the incident after what is widely assumed to be a brawl of sorts in a shady part of town when he assumed to have heard some passers-by remark deprecatingly about his bald head comparing him unfavourably to an oyster.

  8. The Sun’s man:

    “If you want to know what Kevin Pietersen’s future holds, suggest you keep a close eye on twitter and @TheSunCricket”

    Christ. They’re just shameless.

    1. Or we could just wait until a grown-up’s filtered everything and written about stuff that’s actually happened.

    1. Used to have a housemate who was a very left-wing Guardian journalist, but said she would think seriously about working for the Heil. It’s not just the money, apparently – you get the time to do proper investigations, and it hasn’t suffered the huge headcount reductions that all the other papers have over the past 20 years. This was four or five years ago, so may have changed.

      You do of course have to lie quite a lot.

  9. If the uncommitted Pietersen has been dropped, I can only imagine it’s for one of the two batsmen who have played more for England – but is it going to be Stewart or Collingwood? Exciting times!

    I’m glad we never had this problem in the past and only ever had players like Gooch and Boycott who were always fully available for selection and never had any dispute with any other England players.

  10. You should all be following Suave on twitter if you aren’t already. Most amusing today. I don’t think he likes Selvey very much.

  11. Absolutely insane. I would be pretty pissed off if I was English. I’m not, and I’m still pretty pissed off.

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