I’ve left it a few days before writing what I think about Kevin Pietersen’s omission from the Test touring party to India in order to evaluate the fall out from it.
The general consensus within the cricketing media is that he will be back for New Zealand next year and that this continued enforced absence is part of his punishment.
But who exactly is causing this enforced absence?
Is it the ECB hierarchy? Some of the senior players? Andy Flower? Alastair Cook? The Selectors? Some of the above listed? Or a combination of all of them?
Then we have the latest instalment of ECB mixed signals. The 4 month contract offer, the seeking of assurances that Pietersen will waive his rights to any future legal action in employment disputes against the ECB, asking him to pull out of his contract to commentate for ESPN on the World T20, and now just for good measure the opening of contract negotiations on a new 12 month central contract. You just couldn’t make it up.
Just what the hell is going on? There are now more questions than answers with this saga and it is the England cricket team that is becoming the biggest loser in all this.
The failure in management is spectacular here. The allowing of cliques to build up in the dressing room (which apparently involves the T20 captain who should be mature enough to be a leader and put a stop to it). The failure of the other two captains (at the time) to put a stop to it, or maybe they didn’t notice, which would be worse in my view.
The failure of Andy Flower to put a stop to it. I seen an interview with him in which he said he should have nipped it in the bud, so he obviously knew what was going on.
And now with reconciliation in the air there seems to be a massive game of brinkmanship taking place instead, again with no one showing any signs of leadership.
Is it Andy Flower keeping Pietersen out and pushing the agenda by trying to tell Pietersen that he is the boss and a repeat of the Peter Moores’ incident won’t be happening while he is in charge?
Or is it the senior players, Broad, Swann and Anderson telling the team management that they don’t want him in?
And while this is happening the ECB are floundering around, making lame contract offers and then crapping themselves at the thought of being sued for constructive dismissal.
It’s clear to me now that the whole English management structure has failed miserably.
There is also a story doing the rounds that Pietersen still wants the issue with the players he believes were behind the Twitter account resolved, and in a way I don’t blame him. Although for the better and good of all concerned, maybe he should drop this issue, if indeed it is an issue.
This should have been sorted by now. Pietersen has apparently backed down, he humiliated himself on Youtube, and he was a total idiot and was in the wrong to start with.
In general I now believe that they all have a collective responsibility in these failures, and they all have a collective responsibility to put things right.
It has got to the point now where personal feeling have to be put aside. Pride has to be put on the back burner and people have to find some common ground to move forward.
Pietersen is guilty and he has admitted so. Can Broad, Anderson, Swann, etc all look in the mirror and say they have acted responsibly? I doubt it.
Can Flower, Cook, Strauss and the ECB all look in the mirror and say they did all they could to prevent this happening, and then sort this out after they allowed it to happen? I also doubt it.
This is my prediction for what will happen moving forward. England will almost definitely get hammered in the Test series in India, I reckon they would have got comfortably beaten with Pietersen in the side also.
His stock will almost certainly rise if/when England get thrashed, I then believe a lot of these people slagging Pietersen off and wearing their ‘Kevin Who’ T-Shirts at the T20 match against South Africa will all be calling for him to return.
The ECB will panic and will want him back also, especially if they think the team suffering defeats might start costing them commercially.
Let’s wait and see.