Wednesday, 5 February 2014

We need to talk about Kevin

I'm sure you will all remember where you were when you heard the news. KP has been canned. Booted. Got the tin tack. His P45 is in the post, do not pass go, do not collect two hundred pounds etc etc. No player divides cricket as much as Kevin Pietersen, but what everyone would like to know is what exactly has he done? Definitely not sacked for cricketing reasons, England's leading run scorer of recent years will never again play for his country, and yet again he has split the nation. Should we get rid of this 'Pietermaritzburg Prick' as one chap referred to him on Twitter recently, as he is a bad apple in the dressing room? Or has he been made a scapegoat for England's Ashes failure, and will English cricket be a poorer place without one of the finest players to don the England shirt? The cricket world is divided.

There is no doubt KP has been disruptive. From his early days in South Africa he rowed with his coaches, at Nottinghamshire he had a huge off with Jason Gallian before pissing off to Hampshire and then to Surrey.  From Peter Moores to Andy Flower and being a mate of Piers Morgan, which is enough to make anyone lose friends, KP was as popular with some as Harold Shipman on a Saga holiday. Even though he was one of our best players ever, the public didn't warm to him as much as others who have played for England from South Africa, such as Robin Smith or Allan Lamb, yet his stats were far better than these two excellent cricketers. Maybe it was because he plied his trade in a different era? The money he has made from the game, the tattoos, the pop star (if you can call her that under the Trades Description Act) wife, the arrogance and egocentrical personality have all defined this modern day superstar cricketer. Nine years in the England team has also earned him some serious wonga. No Twelve Years a Slave, if you include qualifying periods, when We Need to talk about Kevin.

Then there was Textgate. Chatting with opposition players who were from the country of his birth allegedly how to get people out made him seem a traitor to us. Dismissed as "just banter" by Pietersen, the chasms were deep and this was the start of the problem in the England dressing room, in our opinion. Did he do for Strauss what he did for Moores, and what he would do for Flower in getting rid of them? No cricketer has got in so much trouble texting since Warnie did his bit for promoting the NHS when he was at Hampshire.

Whether Boris or Mitchell...KP tangles with the Johnsons

On the other hand England will be weaker without him that is for certain. Nearly 14,000 international runs, the ability to light up arenas, his knock at the Oval in 2005 was series defining. His hundred in India last year was one of the best I have seen in my forty three years, whilst certain trademark shots such as the 'switch hit' or the 'flamingo' have brought the fun back into cricket in an era where so many are cut from the same monotone cloth. KP will be missed by the public, if not by those in his own dressing room, or the cricketing paparazzi for whom he was always quoteable and the source of many a headline. On and off the pitch, he was gold dust and would empty bars. English cricket has not had a personality like him since Ian Botham, yet not one as divisive since Geoffrey Boycott.

Our view is KP hasn't been canned for his on the pitch efforts. Why would you get rid of our leading scorer in the Ashes and second highest last summer? Still only 33, he could be the leading light to glue the youngsters together over the next few years. He has done something naughty, and under EU Employment Law has no doubt gone under the banner of gross misconduct. You can't just sack someone these days without going through a proper process. Neither are the grounds of being an arrogant wanker, a firm basis for dimissal. Rumours of him offering to chin Cook in Sydney during the 5th Test abound, whilst this column is aware via certain sources that Swann's retirement was down to Pietersen, even though it has been denied. Swann wouldn't be the first sportsman to tell a little porkie, and this one is about as believable as an Arsene Wenger, "I didn't see it" or a Harry Redknapp denial of a transfer target. Moores and Flower were both victims of Pietersen's ways, and the ECB as usual, have kept everyone in the dark. Something has definitely happened on this tour, so just bloody well tell us.

A turbulent start to the new job

The ECB have to clear this up, or they are taking the piss out of every English cricket supporter. Everyone who subscribes to Sky to watch the national team, everyone who buys a ticket for a Test match, or everyone who follows England. We deserve answers boys. Paul Downton is an ex stockbroker, and has just entered a bear market for English cricket, where the stock of many assets in the national portfolio is dwindling. Canning the bullish Pietersen was an extremely brave move in choppy waters such as this and if he has done so because KP is a pain in the arse, just bloody well tell us.

Cook also has obviously been a major decision maker in this ugly and sorry process. I should imagine then, so has the new coach who must be already in place. Surely? The questions are seriously outweighing the answers at the moment.

Flower, Moores and KP...all three eventually lost their jobs

Ex Liverpool and German footballer, Didi Hamann eloquently summed up the situation on Talksport this morning, "Cricket is a team game but with individual flair. Cricketers are judged on individual stats and figures, and on that basis, English cricket will be a poorer place without KP".

The only worry is if KP spelled TEAM, TIEAM as many have suggested. However, no sportsman has had more individual flair than Kevin Pietersen in recent years and the country is split on whether it is the right or wrong thing to do. Personally I am torn myself. Great player, cock of a bloke. I don't think this will be the last we see of him though, and he will become one of the modern players trawling the T20 competitions globally, adding to his already vast bank account.

One thing is for certain. His value in the IPL auction has just gone through the roof.


  1. Too many lawyers involved in writing the ECB press releases these days. One wrong word and KP will pounce for a wrongful dismissal claim. I can't believe that the dozens of media guys on the tour don't know anything either. (Maybe they are ineffective without their well practiced hacking techniques to fall back on).
    It seems nobody has the balls to spill the beans.

  2. I can't believe it either Fred. Out of the 25 odd players, and 20 odd backroom staff, having been followed around by over 100 UK journos that no one has got to the bottom of this. Get 'em back hacking in the interests of good journalism, that's what I say!

  3. It's not been the same since Percy Morgan hung up his hacking phone.

  4. It's interesting they have 'dropped' him before the coach is appointed. So what if the coach wants him to play but Cook not to skipper? That'll be a fun meeting

  5. KP loves the mirror, whereas PM no doubt hates the Mirror these days! They must have appointed the coach already Mike.

  6. Is it just Downton trying to make his mark??????

    Seems to me that when England were winning, KP was a talisman of huge talent and one of the greatest players to wear the shirt. However, When we lost, and he questioned the decisions of the captain and/or coach he then became disruptive. When a team lose it is vitally important that senior players stand up and say if they think something is wrong.

    This decision will send England back a generation and we can all look forward to playing for the draw.