“We are in receipt of Kevin’s apology, but further discussions need to take place to establish whether it is possible to regain the trust and mutual respect required to ensure all parties are able to focus on playing cricket and to maintain the unity of purpose that has served us so well in recent years. Critically, those discussions should take place behind closed doors, rather than in the media spotlight.”
These are the words of Hugh Morris, England Managing Director. In this whole sorry episode there has been awful lot of hypocrisy, notably from the England and Wales Cricket Board.
There has also been a lot of talk about ‘unity’ and ‘trust’.
Far better writers in far higher places have written at length about this. The obvious and sensible conclusion is that the ‘trust’ has been broken.
It was broken in 2009 when Pietersen’s stint as captain was ended when his private musings on the coaching ability of Peter Moores were aired publicly. By the ECB.
No “behind closed doors, rather than in the media spotlight,” here.
Again, when Pietersen spoke privately of a desire to restructure his international commitments. By the ECB.
Pietersen hasn’t always handled himself with any great level of dignity or decorum and it’s easy to see why there are those within the corridors of power who have it in for him.
His press conference in the wake of last week’s Headingley Test was extraordinary in its timing and content. His YouTube apology was equally as bizarre. It’s also very difficult to feel any sympathy towards anyone personally associated with Piers Morgan.
It’s been a weird week, but at least the video apology was an apology. At least Pietersen reaffirmed his commitment to England.
The ECB has only reaffirmed its commitment to putting him in his place.
Pietersen is sidelined for the Third Test commencing at Lord’s tomorrow thanks to some texts that he sent to chums of his in the Proteas dressing room. At the same time the world was gripped by a parody Twitter account. The world had gone mad.
The whole episode has demonstrated the ECB’s complete inability to deal with superstars. This brings us back to that other oft mentioned word, used above by Morris; ‘unity’.
It implies, as has frequently been muttered, that the team comes first, no one is bigger etc etc. Yet Pietersen has been and is handled differently to the others.
Stuart Broad’s denial of involvement in the offending KP parody Twitter account was accepted by the ECB. This despite his interaction with said account and the running of it by a close friend. He surely must have known about what was going on. Same goes for Alex Hales, the first follower of the account.
It would be ridiculous, even by the ECB’s standards, to drop Broad for a few Tweets. So it must, therefore, be equally as ridiculous to drop Pietersen for a few texts. Which are private. Unity?
Broad has also been tolerated despite regular on field tantrums and displays of petulance. His attitude towards umpires was also ignored early on his career.
Other practitioners of the ‘spoilt brat tantrum’, namely Graeme Swann, Ryan Sidebottom and Jade Dernbach have also gone unpunished.
Or have they? Certainly, nothing has ever been leaked about them…
Like him or loathe him – and there are justifiable reasons for either attitude – Pietersen has been treated differently and often been left bereft of support. No wonder he has felt isolated.
It is time the ECB used the same stick in house as it does with the players, or at least starts using them same stick for all players.
All for one, one for all!
By Miles ReucroftTweet
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