Kevin Pietersen retires from the shorter international formats but not from Tests or the IPL

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It took him 42 minutes to get up again after this

With his finishing school posture and his languid prancing, Kevin Pietersen always looks fine when he’s ambling around the outfield. But who knows what’s going on inside those 30-something limbs?

Maybe he’s got age-related shitty knee. You need to rest your stupid, failing joints for longer as you get older. That’s far from easy in the modern cricket world, as we said yesterday.

Every time Pietersen makes a reference to a 1980s TV programme in the changing rooms, he’ll be reminded that he’s surrounded by a bunch of idiotic slavering bairns. This will be all the more apparent when it’s one of the two pyjama teams. ‘Sod this,’ he’s clearly thought. ‘I’d be better off spending my time popping ibuprofen and watching The Fall Guy on my settee.’

But how do the fans feel about this? Well, if we’re in any way representative, they’ll be largely unarsed. The Twenty20 World Cup’s semi-important, but he’s already won us one of those. The World Cup’s fully important, but won’t take place for a few years. Everything else is neither here nor there.

If we were him, we’d approach this Pakistan-style. We’d return to one-day internationals a few months before the next World Cup. What’s he going to learn before then anyway? Nowt. Plus it gives England a chance to try out a few more middle-order batsmen. Once we’ve concluded that they’re crap, KP will be welcomed back with open arms.


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  1. Oh, and Hugh Morris’s comment about being disappointed because it’s less than four months until the Twenty20 World Cup is just stupid. It’s pretty much always less than four months to *something* – that’s entirely the point.

  2. Really not sure how to feel about this.

    On the one hand, nobody should be free to pick and choose what games they play in and no one person is bigger than the team.

    But on the other hand, meh.

  3. The more we think about this, the more we’re in favour.

    If every big name England player were to retire from one-day internationals, the 14 50-over matches this season would seem so much less appealing to Sky TV. These matches are only played because of TV contracts, so maybe the next contract might be a little less intense.

    Actually, that’s pure wishful thinking. They’d only make up the difference with some other shit.

  4. Cricket isn’t unique in having different formats of itself, but it is unique in attributing a similar degree of importance to all of them. Senior England Rugby Player Quits Sevens Rugby wouldn’t be an especially notable headline.

    So in sticking with test cricket, KP is stating explicitly that he considers this form of the game to be preeminent. In a time when every other cricket editorial is debating The Future of Tests this has to be a welcome thing. Good on him.

    (I suppose there is an outside possibility that he knows that in this country only test cricket provides the publicity he needs to win those million dollar IPL contracts, but that is being overly cynical surely.)

    1. No-one can deny that KP is keen to secure maximum IPL coinage, but he’s probably reached the point where his Test endeavours aren’t going to add an enormous amount to his value. Auction prices are as influenced by one-day performances as Test ones, after all.

      We’d guess he’s genuinely seeking Test glory, safe in the knowledge that it’ll do his IPL value no harm either.

    2. “We’d guess he’s genuinely seeking Test glory, safe in the knowledge that it’ll do his IPL value no harm either.”

      Fair enough. I actually think this is true. All the evidence points to KP being a genuine team player, and I think that contributing to a few more Ashes wins would please him no end. And besides, while the IPL does wonders for a player’s bank balance, it does nothing for his ego. Not in KP’s home country of England at least.

    3. But it cant be as simple as just the IPL remuneration. KPs made it clear that he would play 20/20 for England if he could, so it seems he considers both Tests and 20/20 as more preeminent than ODIs.

    4. Doesn’t everyone?

      Hell, I think the Birmingham Cricket League is more eminent than ODIs.

  5. I’m in favour I think. Great that he’s still playing tests and fair enough to earn what he can while he is still able.

    And anyway – really why couldn’t he just play 20/20s! They have too much cricket to play anyway.

  6. England’s ODI and T20 close affiliation is outdated, and as a result is depriving England of the best T20 batsmen in the world.
    Also, he was moulding into a T20 opener in Pakistan (I think).

    But ODI’s, meh.

  7. Good on him. It’s a daft rule of linking the two.

    Greg Chappell refused to tour at all for a time in the 80s. It’s hardly in that league.

  8. He could have just deliberately smash his stumps down first ball in the first bunch of ODIs so they dropped him from that format.

  9. Luke Wright should replace Pietersen in the ODI and T20 squad, as well as a large helping of Samit Patel and Ian Bell.

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