Photo by Sarah Ansell
He’s got to be doing this on purpose, hasn’t he? Surely?
In truth, much of what Kevin Pietersen says in his interview with Cricinfo makes perfect sense.
The gist is that there’s much to be gained from players going out together, but they also need to take responsibility for their own actions and any impact on their performance as cricketers.
Sensible stuff really, but come on, Kev – show a bit of self-awareness.
We wrote about the art of being a team player Pietersen-style back when he was sacked. It’s not as mocking as you’re probably thinking. We saw an independently-minded man with good intentions who went about things in a godawful way.
There’s a parallel here with Ben Stokes. For all his flaws, it’s impossible to imagine KP laying into a couple of blokes in the street as Allegedly Stokes did in that white-trainered footage, but both men seem to share similar faulty logic. They apparently believe that if you begin an argument in the right then everything that follows is undertaken in the name of righteousness and therefore perfectly acceptable.
There’s a story about the Stokes altercation that he started off defending someone – maybe a couple of gay men who were being subjected to homophobic abuse. Now you can certainly accept that a person might find a way to intervene in such a situation, but in the video of Allegedly Stokes, the scuffle goes on long after that. By the end, he can be seen advancing on a fella who’s backing away with his hands up in fearful surrender.
Not okay. Today’s lesson is that a person can still do wrong things even when many will accept that they started off in the right.
Although we’re not talking about physical conflict, it’s clear that Pietersen has a similarly simplistic view of disagreements – even when he’s sober. He says that team spirit was an issue on the 2013-14 Ashes tour (on that at least, he and Andy Flower will agree). However, much of what followed was just him taking issue with the team environment to such an extent that it knackered up that team environment even more.
You probably had a point at the outset, Kev, but you lost perspective. It wasn’t The Guys in the Right Corner against The Guys in the Wrong Corner with every subsequent action of yours entirely justified.
England would have a far better cricket team if their best players understood that righteousness can only ever be borrowed not owned.