Here at G4G we don’t just focus on football. Apart from the ‘beautiful’ game I enjoy cricket, rock climbing, cycling and running. Dave likes to branch out from day to day football by playing Football Manager (he’s of a fair complexion and struggles in anything approaching natural light.)
In the desolate wasteland left by Kevin Pietersen and Giles Clarkes’ ego- war, few men have survived. Well obviously they did all actually survive (as far as I know) but very few of them came out of it looking better or even as good as before.
While the ECB (and Andrew Strauss) preached about the need for talks and potential reconciliation to take place behind closed doors, the official position was undermined by a steady and systematic series of leaks. The governing body may feel that they have justified their stance through the release of information regarding Pietersen’s misdemeanours, but public opinion seems to have swung quite significantly against them given the hypocrisy of their actions.
“What’s really, really disappointing is that our best player is not playing in our most important test match for many years. That’s disappointing. I’m not saying it’s KP’s fault, or the ECB’s fault, but it shouldn’t have happened.”
This is the sad reality we are now faced with. Spectators and fans have been denied the opportunity to see the batsman of a generation battle it out against a genuinely world-class pace attack which he recently smashed around the Headingley ground like he was batting against my ropey leggies. When it comes down to it, this has very little to do with right or wrong; it’s just a crying shame.
I don’t care if Kevin Pietersen thinks Andrew Strauss is a ‘daft c**t’. I don’t even particularly care if he texts his mates about it, though I can see why Strauss might when those mates are in the opposition camp. But what I do care about is that my country’s greatest batsman, and only true cricketing superstar, has been alienated to such a degree that he’s now not playing for England.
This article was originally intended to highlight those people who have come out of this looking better. Matt Prior has been revealed as the one member of the England dressing room who thought it might be a decent idea to talk to Pietersen about his distance from his teammates, rather than having a little whinge about it in a newspaper column/book/press conference. And then he went out and batted like he so often does for England: resiliently, imaginatively and selflessly. Meanwhile, Pietersen’s replacement in the test, Jonny Bairstow, batted like an absolute champion in both innings and looked like Paul Collingwood with more shots, which can only be a very good thing indeed. It’s not all doom and gloom for England, and there are some very simple things (stop dropping catches, stop letting Stuart Broad near the new ball) that they could do to quickly return to form. But it would be a lot easier– and more importantly a lot more entertaining – with Pietersen on board.
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