If press reports are to be believed then it is possible that Kevin Pietersen may have already played his last game for England.
John Etheridge, the Sun’s cricket correspondent said on Twitter last night (Friday) that it is his understanding that the selectors met at Edgbaston on Friday and couldn’t decide whether or not to include Pietersen in the squad for the 3rd test at Lord’s.
He claimed that the selectors wanted to find out more about the contents of the text messages Pietersen is alleged to have sent to South African players during the 2nd test, before they decide whether or not to pick him. It is rumoured that the texts were less than complementary about Andrew Strauss and Andy Flower.
If this is found to be the case, I get the feeling that could be it for KP. Why else would the selectors be undecided? After all, this England side generally picks itself.
Even if Pietersen is picked, I still think it is a stay of execution. The situation has a very terminal feel about it with neither side showing any signs of backing down.
Although I can see Pietersen’s gripes – his wish to play IPL, his unhappiness at the leaks about conversations – I don’t believe he has done himself any favours in the way he has handled things.
I’ve also said it before, I believe that the ECB need to be a bit more flexible when it comes to IPL, they are also out of order with the leaks. But I also have to ask myself why has this been allowed to happen?
Are the ECB totally incompetent? Personally, I doubt it. I get the feeling that the leaks are more deliberate than incompetent.
This leaves me to believe that Pietersen must have been behaving like a right pain in the arse lately, otherwise why the hell is England apparently trying to force him out? It seems senseless to hang your best player out to dry (as it looks like the ECB have done by releasing these leaks that are damaging Pietersen’s reputation).
Maybe I’m guilty of buying the ECB’s story? I don’t know. But they didn’t send the texts, and they didn’t make the inflammatory remarks last Monday.
Even taking Pietersen’s gripes into consideration, I now find myself questioning his approach towards resolving them. Things aren’t always as we would like them, sometimes in life we have to accept things we are not comfortable with.
In the past Pietersen has done this, like he did when he was sacked as England captain. But in the past he has also left Natal, Nottinghamshire and Hampshire under a cloud. According to Jack Bannister, he was also not signed by Warwickshire as a youngster because of his temperament, when they wanted to sign him on his ability.
A lot of people can be wrong and one man right, that is not impossible, but it is highly unlikely.
If this is the end, and I really hope it isn’t, then that will be a ridiculous way for his international career to end. Both England and Pietersen will be worse off for it, and cricket in general probably will be. There will no doubt be people who will disagree because he can play their beloved IPL, but I think 6 weeks of Pietersen a year, compared to seeing him playing international cricket all year round, is crickets loss.