Kevin Pietersen versus the ECB

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We spent quite a while writing the previous post, but now we’re having to write this one because all anyone will want to talk about is Kevin Pietersen’s post-match interview:

“I can’t give any assurances that the next Test won’t be my last. I’d like to carry on but there are obstacles that need to be worked out. There are other points I’m trying to sort out in the dressing room.”

How do we feel about this? We feel it’s nothing but a soap opera overshadowing the cricket, which highlights much that’s now wrong with the sport. This isn’t football. We don’t want to read about contracts and transfers and bloody negotiations.

We also feel like both sides have become entrenched knobheads. It doesn’t feel like a disagreement any more. It feels like an argument. Disagreements can be resolved. The only way to end an argument is to win it. After a while, it doesn’t really matter what the argument’s about, all that matters is that you win it.

Comment on this post if you want to, but the previous one’s today’s proper update. That one’s about cricket.


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. England lost a test series to Pakistan this winter. Obviously the correct response to that is to try to emulate some of what has made Pakistan such a fearsome cricketing side over the last ten years or so.

  2. Pietersen’s value to me is as an England test player; he can do what he wants, of course, but I think he might find his stock drops rapidly if he turns himself into just another club T20 bat-for-hire.

  3. I was tempted to say he will never do it as for KP adoration and his legacy are paramount, and he undersatnds the pubic mood enought to understand that they only come from test cricket. I do wonder, though, whether he is trying to engineer an annex to his legacy- a time performing heroically in the wilderness followed by by a triumphant return, a la chris Gale or Geoff Boycott (who are ever paired in comparsions). But i realise I am departing from KC’s point. You are right. We don’t want to know. KP you’ve proved you are a great player, now shut up and do it again. Andy Flower you have proved you are a morally courageous hard arse, now shut up and let him do it.

  4. Does anyone actually understand what the hell is going on? This culture of journalists getting ‘off the record briefings’ and leaks is all very cloak and dagger, but it results in some confusing, obtuse articles which are full of holes. Can somebody please explain in plain English what this is all about? Is it that he wants to play the whole of the IPL but his England contract won’t let him? Is it that there’s too much cricket and he wants to pick and choose which games he plays in? Is it about money?

    KP hasn’t helped the situation with that interview. He’s clearly trying to play games with the management through the media, much as he did in 2009 with Moores, and we know where that got him. This time, asked if he could give any assurances that the next Test wouldn’t be his last, he could just have said: “I’m not getting into that. We’re in the middle of one of the biggest series of our lives and we don’t want to get distracted.”

    Nowthe next week or so will be the KP sideshow, when we should be thinking about how on earth we’re going to win at Lord’s and why we no longer seem to know what our best team is.

    If he quits, so be it. He’s a cracking player, perhaps the best we’ve had since Botham, but no-one is bigger than the team.

    1. Given KP didn’t specify, it’s hard to say what he takes issue with. My guess is that his problem is with some of his team-mates and not with ECB itself. There was a moment (between 4:30 and 4:40 in the cricinfo video) where he claims that it is “difficult being me in this dressing…playing for England”. Quickly corrected himself. A telling moment.

      Remember, you read this conspiracy theory here first.

    2. There’s plenty of the team and support staff he doesn’t get on with. We get the vibe that he just doesn’t much like going to work at the minute.

    3. What? Is it common knowledge that he doesn’t get on with many of his team-mates?

    4. Yeah, pretty much.

      It’s not that they don’t like him, as such. He just doesn’t fit in particularly well. Think friendly communication is prone to being a bit forced and awkward, although it sounds like things might have deteriorated from that now.

    5. I think we need to bring Jason Gallian in as a new batting coach. I hear he gets on famously with KP.

  5. We are interested in your opinions, by the way. We were just feeling a bit tetchy about it all last night.

    1. Don’t know what’s wrong, but we must admit to being a bit worried about Ravi. Hope he’s okay.

    2. There doesn’t seem to be any clue about what it is. Is it an open secret within the media world? When England refused to say what was wrong with Trescothick the journalists all went mad…

    3. We don’t really speak to people about that kind of thing any more, so we can’t even provide hints.

      Maybe they do know. They’re not lynching him or questioning it too much, which makes me think that they do and that they think his absence fair enough.

  6. The beginning of the Pietersen press conference was intriguing. He said something like “I’m not waiting for Strauss”. Not in a friendly tone, either. Are we talking captaincy ambitions here? Then there was that Freudian slip where he started saying “England dressing room” and decided it would be better to say something else. And it is not about (1) Money (2) Timetable (3) Family. And we will know all about it after Lord’s. Frankly, it reads like terminal egomania.

    1. The ‘I’m not waiting for Strauss’ was because normally the man of the match and the captain sit in the same press conference, but they’d already decided that wasn’t happening.

    2. If they’d already decided that was not happening (which I am sure is true) the clipped tone was still surprising. More natural, too, to say: “We decided I’d go in first” or something like that.

  7. Just watched the whole press conference. What a joke. Pietersen is so full of himself. He just says all the wrong things. “It’s not easy being me in this dressing room, playing for England” … “I’m going to make some decisions that are going to make me very happy.” Me, me, me.

  8. Oh dear.

    My natural instincts lean firmly towards the talented maverick when up against authority figures, but in this instance the evidence sends my opinion in the other direction.

    If the England management (and core team) are behaving a bit like knobheads, it is because an uber-knobhead (KP) cannot fail to bring out the latent knobheadedness in everyone else.

    I cannot see this story having a happy ending unless KP backs down and I see little or no evidence that KP is angling to back down.

  9. KP proving the Barbara Streissand effect there… I had no idea about that account until I read the article… now I’m following it. Willing to bet a surge in followers for KP Genius!

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