Rumours are like ripples in a cornfield. They are ephemeral, but they do indicate which way the wind is blowing. SUSAN J. PALMER, Aliens Adored
That the ECB had enough of Kevin Pietersen´s off field behavior are not a rumours anymore. Kevin Pietersen has been informed that he is no longer part of the future plans of the English cricket team.
The new managing director Paul Downton held a series of meetings with Alistair Cook and Ashley Giles before making the controversial decision. What a first week in office for him!!
According to a statement released by ECB, the decision was unanimous and the statement read: “Kevin Pietersen has been informed by the England and Wales Cricket Board that he has not been included in the England squads for the forthcoming tour of the Caribbean later this month nor the ICC World Twenty20 to be held in Bangladesh in March.”
The batsman himself released a statement saying: “Playing cricket for my country has been an honour. Every time I pulled on the England shirt was a moment of huge pride for me and that is something that will live with me forever.
“Although I am obviously very sad the incredible journey has come to an end, I’m also hugely proud of what we, as a team, have achieved over the past nine years.
“I feel extremely fortunate to have played at a time of great success for England cricket alongside some of the best cricketers the country has ever produced.
“I want to thank everyone for their fantastic support and I wish the team the very best of success going forward.
“I believe I have a great deal still to give as a cricketer. I will continue to play but deeply regret that it won’t be for England.”
Petersen’s career spanned over 104 tests in which he scored 8181 runs with 23 centuries at an excellent average of 47.28. His 136 ODIs reaped him 4440 runs at an average of 40.73. His prowesses with the willow in the hand are never in question and he probably would have played for a few more years for England if not for his falling off with the people that matter in the English cricket.
It is a well-known fact in English cricketing circles that Pietersen had troubles tempering his attitude right from in Nottingham cricketing days. What some people saw as confidence was seen as arrogance unlimited by others. The fact that he had incredible amount of talent masked all other deficiencies. His debut series was against Australia in 2005 when England famously won back the Ashes. His magnificent hundred at Oval that won the Ashes cemented his spot in the team.
Pietersen and ECB always had an uneasy relationship. He was sacked in 2009 as a captain after he questioned the abilities of then coach Peter Moores. In 2012 he was dropped over sending texts to South African cricket team. It is ironic that it is the same Alistair Cook who today is thought to be responsible for ending the career of KP, persuaded the ECB in 2012 to let Pietersen back in the team for his first tour as a captain to the subcontinent.
The question that is asked by everyone right now is: Is KP being made the scapegoat of what happened at the Ashes?
We might never know the answer to this question. Most of us are not privy to what has happened in the English dressing room. It is easy for everyone to be happy and all the deficiencies are masked when a team is winning. It is only when a team is losing that things pop up and although the ECB has not revealed of any disciplinary transgressions in Australia, there surely must be something, which justifies this controversial decision taken by the ECB. Reports after the Ashes finished indicated that Andy Flower, then coach of the test team, wanted Pietersen out of the team as a precondition for his continuance. He later denied this and has resigned from his post. The ECB also confirmed that Flower was not included in the consultations.
Although the knock out punch has been delivered by ECB, one has the feeling that it is the English cricket, which is the looser today. It will miss this maverick magician who had the ability to win games on his own and on his day was as good as any of the great players that have graced this game.
The news of Pietersen’s end as English player must have brought quite a few smiles among the franchise owners of different IPL teams in India. His new life as free-lancer T20 mercenary is about to begin. Make no mistake; a royal treatment is awaiting him in India, come summer time.