The fact that there is a fairly important Test match due to start on Thursday seems to be going largely unnoticed at the moment such is the furore over the Kevin Pietersen text affair.
According to reports, Pietersen contacted the ECB on Tuesday and apologised over the text messages as he wishes to put things right before it’s too late for him to be named in the World T20 squad.
Personally I hope that this apology will put an end to things and see Pietersen reinstated into all three sides and a line drawn under this whole sorry affair.
I’ve heard and read so many contrasting views over the last few days, such as the ECB were out to get Pietersen and the texts were all the ammo they needed, he needs to apologise over the texts, why should he apologise for the texts, they were just banter, it’s all KP’s fault as his ego is too big, the other players are jealous, etc ,etc.
For me I think if the ECB stand firm over this and don’t pick him, they may well see public opinion start to turn against them if results on the pitch go wrong.
There are plenty of different interpretations of what has happened here and there are also plenty of past incidents that don’t seem to have been treated with the same level of firmness by the ECB.
Stuart Broad may claim he had nothing to do with the parody twitter account set up by his friend. It may also be impossible to prove he knew anything about it (unless he gets grassed up by his mate who ran the account), but people will draw their own opinions on this.
If he is guilty, it’s a very bad misjudgement by the captain of the T20 side, and could it be argued a possible sacking offence?
Either way, people could interpret it as one rule for Broad and one rule for KP. Pietersen was certain a (so called) team mate was behind it, and for it too be a good buddy of a team mate, says enough too me.
In the recent past it could also be argued that Graeme Swann was allowed off the hook when he publicly criticised his team mates in his book. It would rightly be argued that he didn’t slag them off to the opposition during a game, but even so, it wasn’t clever and he could and probably should have been disciplined over it.
Again, is this one rule for Swann, and one rule for KP?
The ECB have also allowed all these leaks over the Pietersen affair. They also watched him back down in humiliating style on Youtube last Saturday, before dropping him and further humiliating him.
The South Africans have played down the texts as banter, the ECB haven’t requested to see them. By not doing so, they are surely leaving themselves open to the accusation of judging Pietersen without all the facts.
The ECB need to be careful here, all these incidents could eventually make them look to be the bad apple in all of this.
My own personal view on the ECB is that they have managed this in an appalling manner. Their job is supposed to be to manage and I don’t see where they have managed here. Prevention is better than cure and they have failed miserably to stop this getting out of hand.
That’s not to say Pietersen is totally innocent, as I don’t believe he is. I’m just trying to present a balanced argument here, as we don’t appear to be getting one at the moment.
Pietersen’s camp must have behind the persistent rumours that he was going to quit 50 Over cricket for the 12 months or so prior to him doing so. Who else’s interest would it have been in to keep spreading that story around?
He also can’t quit ODI’s one minute, and then say he wants to play the next. His press conference after the 2nd Test was stupid, the text messages (banter or not, and I don’t believe they were banter) were totally brainless.
He is far from innocent in all this. But the point I’m trying to make is, he’s not the only one.
So it’s for these reasons that I hope the ECB see past all the crap and just get back to selecting the best side for England. If Pietersen can come back into the fold and be professional, then why can’t the others be professional and accept him.
They don’t have to like each other, just respect each other and play as a team again.