Pietersen and the ECB, it’s time to put an end to it all.

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. 

Pietersen parody Twitter account is closed

It is with great sadness tonight that I have read on the Telegraph website that the Kevin Pietersen Twitter parody account has been closed.
Why? It was a bit of banter for goodness sake. Pietersen is a big enough man to withstand a bit of piss take, isn’t he? Instead of taking it, he instructs his lawyers to close the spoof Twitter account.
In my view Pietersen would have helped his wavering public image if he had just played along with the joke. Retweeting some of the tweets (which I believe he had occasionally been doing), or exchanging banter with the account.
I know it is slightly different, as it was a personal grudge, but Pietersen was more than happy to stick the boot into Nick Knight on his account, but when he gets a bit of piss take aimed at him, he instructs lawyers to get the account closed.
Absolutely ridiculous in my view, a sense of humour seems to have gone missing somewhere.  
Before I go on, I would just like to stress that I have been a massive supporter of KP on this site. Feel free to check back and apart from his last outburst at Nick Knight, I doubt very much you will find any KP criticism on this site.
On the serious issue, Pietersen’s stand off with the ECB seems to be heading for a stalemate in my view. I can’t really see where there is much wriggle room for either party now and both seem to be dug in fairly deeply and are not showing much sign of backing down.
I can sympathise with Pietersen wanting to play the full IPL and maximize his contract, who wouldn’t? And for this I don’t blame him. I also don’t blame him for being annoyed about his conversations with the ECB having been leaked out, that sounds out of order to me.
Without knowing the facts, I’m forming an opinion here – and that is if Pietersen has become that unbearable and is causing that much trouble in the camp, or is that disliked by officials and/or players that they no longer want him – and as a result of this the ECB are trying to force him out by allowing these leaks, then I’d prefer it if they just booted him out instead and revealed why they have done so.
Whatever the reason, these leaks are wrong.
I also understand the ECB’s position here. They are trying to protect the 50 Over game in my view. They know that most Englandplayers regard Test cricket as the pinnacle and if they are going to dump a format, it will be 50 Over cricket. Like it or not, in my view that is why they have brought in this ruling.
I also can kind of see the ECB’s stance on treating all players the same. The point is though that all players are not the same.
There now needs to be more flexibility in the approach of the national board. Like it or not, the IPL is here to stay. Instead of fighting it, the ECB need to work with it.
It could be too late in the case of Pietersen as the ECB won’t want to be seen to be backing down to him, but for the future they have to try to work in some sort of flexibility to give the players some more licence to go and earn at the IPL, otherwise this situation is only going to continue to arise again and again.
I’m not suggesting it will be easy, as I’m sure it won’t be. There is also the possibility of other tournaments such as the Big Bash taking off as well, what do we do then? Create another window for players?  
In theory there could be T20 competitions all over the world all year long taking the best players. But at the moment it is only the IPL, so surely that is all that the ECB need to deal with. Worry about the others if or when they arise.
In the meantime, if they think Pietersen is worth keeping in the side, they need to do more and sort this mess out. Stop being stubborn, and get it sorted. It’s the ECB’s job to manage situations or prevent them from occurring at all, and in this instant they have failed miserably and are not doing a good enough job of sorting it out.
But conversely, if he has become a disruptive influence and is no longer welcome or wanted in the team, then just boot him out and stop this stupid PR game.

Pietersen’s latest childish twitter remarks

I never criticise Kevin Pietersen’s batting or cricket in general on this blog. I think a lot of the stick he has come in for over the years is wrong, and that at times in the past he has carried England’s batting almost single handed.

I’ve also been criticised in the past for saying this – but I really do believe that we owe him big time.

At the same time I’ve mentioned it on here before about Pietersen’s twitter comments, they have been stupid and childish in my view and are getting worse.

That’s why I am delighted to see the ECB give him a kick up the arse over it.

I really don’t see where he is going with his what seems to be bitter vendetta against Nick Knight, Knight is hardly an outspoken commentator who rubs people up with outrageous views, he’s certainly no Geoff Boycott is he?

Singling out Knight in this manner seems daft. It’s making Pietersen look somehow jealous or bitter. Is there something Knight has done to Pietersen that is really that bad? Or is this just as stupid as it seems?

It’s not just Knight either, as in the past he has had a swipe at Dominic Cork and Kepler Wessels.

Come on Pietersen, time to grow up and get the chip off your shoulder.

Stealing a Living

As the more astute readers of this blog might have noticed, I have added a cricketers twitter feed to this site. It is intended to give an insight into the world of cricketers, as opposed to seeing drunken tweets from dropped England players slagging off Geoff Miller late at night – only to be removed by the morning.

A tweet addressed to Shane Warne from Kevin Pietersen caught my eye on Monday about someone on the Sky Sports commentary team. Any thoughts who?

Pietersen made the remark to Warne who is rejoining the commentary team for the remaining three tests, KP claimed Warne is replacing the guy who steals a living.
Assuming someone isn’t leaving Sky for the next few weeks, ie, Mikey Holding returning to West Indies, it sounds to me like the comment is directed at Mr Nick Knight.
Knight is generally the floater who will probably be pushed aside for Warne’s return, consigned to the Sky Sports scrap heap with Bob Willis. At least in Knight’s case it will only be a temporary demotion, he will be back when a series with New Zealand or Bangladesh next comes along.

Cricket Betting Blog on Facebook

I have finally succumbed to the other social media scurge and created a Facebook Page to go along with my rarely used Twitter Page.

If I use Facebook as often as I do my Twitter account, then it is hard to know why I have bothered – but good intentions and all that, so lets see how it goes.

I’ve had a look around the facebook site and it has shown just what a social media dinosaur I am, I haven’t a bloody clue how to use it.

Anyway, first things first, and apparently I need 25 followers to get a username, including my misses I have only a pathetic 4 at the moment. I haven’t a clue what having the username entitles me to do, but getting one sounds pretty basic so I don’t want to fail there.

So come on Stani Army, Tracerbullet, BP and my 4 or 5 other followers (I think I might have), get your acts together and give me an honorary follow, at least get me into double figures.