August 8, 2012
Kevin Pietersen is in the form of his life. He is desperate to represent England in both Test cricket and Twenty20 cricket. Many a player in recent and not so recent times have been able to choose which forms of the game they continue to play as they get older. Pietersen is now 32 (has a family) and with the volume of cricket he plays, actually a rest from the 50 over form will bring the best out of him in Test matches (as we have seen this week).
By retiring from 50 over cricket, Pietersen has given England three years to plan for the 2015 World Cup in Australia. If he was going to retire from this format, then now is as good a time as any.
Pietersen has always given his all in an England shirt and should be treated with more respect. He continues to entertain crowds up and down the country, and the ECB have sold more seats than if Pietersen had not been around. Despite not being the most popular member of the dressing room he believes that some England players are now in a bullying phase and have even set up a Twitter account to mock him (KP Genius). I wonder if that was ‘the joker’ Graeme Swann, and I also wonder if that had anything to do with him not playing at Headingley. Or, could this be a cunning plan from South Africa’s to get under England’s skin? Anyway it’s fair to say there is plenty happening behind that closed door in the England dressing room. Give KP a break, and he will give you 30 Test match centuries, and plenty of wins.
Despite being a great batsman since coming to this country to earn a living out of our system, this bloke has been a trouble maker. Representing your country is the pinnacle of your career and in any team sport, no player is ever bigger than the team. The Pietersen show needing this England team when he was making his way. His tattoos prove he wanted to be a part of the Three Lions for good. Without England, Kevin Pietersen would be a nobody. And now he has the world at his feet he feels he can pick and choose what games to play in.
He’s in it for the money. He wants to play in the IPL preventing him from playing in certain Test matches. His arrogance has become intolerable within the group and if we are to move forward with a team ethic which had been created, than we make no compromises for any individual.
Much like anything in life we probably need to find a middle ground. Will this happen? I suspect not. Flower and Pietersen live their life in a black and white manor, and hence I believe only one of these men will survive in this England structure in a few weeks’ time. Remember Peter Moores?
The problem Andy Flower has is that Pietersen is a special talent and if the ECB were to say thanks but no thanks, then there will be outcry amongst much (not all) of the British public, who just want to watch him smash the best bowlers in the world.
What I would like to see happen is for compromise from both parties, but definitely more from Pietersen then Flower. Flower should accept that Pietersen is not going to play 50 over cricket, but allow him to play Test and 20 over stuff. And by doing so, Pietersen must commit to England long term. He must make himself available to England as and when they say, and if this means playing two four day matches for Surrey before the first Test of the English summer meaning Pietersen has to leave the IPL early, then so be it.
The 2012 games have been nothing short of spectacular and has galvanised us all. There are so many reasons to celebrate and enjoy these games it’s hard to know where to start. Winning six gold’s on Super Saturday was just incredible. At the end of the athletics we all switched over to watch GB lose on penalties in the football. Why football gets involvement in the Olympic Games is beyond me. The Olympics is about performing at the pinnacle of your sport through desire and honest hard work to get the best out of yourself. It’s not about average, overpaid flops who shrug a defeat off before the real business begins in a couple of weeks.
The BBC will have to have an extended Sports Personality of the Year this year. Two hours with Sue Barker and Gary Linaker is just not going to be enough. Picking winners is not going to be easy but I have given it a go, and this is still 4 months out;
Winner: Bradley Wiggins
2nd: Chris Hoy
3rd: Jessica Ennis
Young winner: Laura Trott
Overseas: Usain Bolt/Michael Phelps
Team: Katherine Grainger/Anna Watkins
Lifetime: Seb Coe
Chris Murtagh 08/08/12