rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Cricket » Pietersen pays the price... for England's failure!

Pietersen pays the price... for England's failure!

Last updated on: February 05, 2014 16:15 IST

Pietersen pays the price... for England's failure!

     Next

Next
Bikash Mohapatra

'To make Kevin Pietersen the scapegoat is an easy way out for the ECB. It is about not accepting collective failure and brushing the reality under the carpet. It is also about taking your best player for granted.'

'It is not that the ECB bosses do not recognise Pietersen's rare talent,' says Bikash Mohapatra. 'It is just that they cannot accept that such genius is accompanied by a temperament that needs to be dealt with delicately.'

'On a day when common sense got thrown out of the window...'

Former England captain Michael Vaughan's tweet on Tuesday aptly summed up the mood in the cricketing world.

A few hours earlier, Kevin Pietersen, England's best batsman and a proven matchwinner, was sacked from the English team for the upcoming T20 World Cup, probably ending his international career.

Thereafter, Twitter went into overdrive (#KPSacked).

'Our greatest ever batsman, still just 33, made scapegoat for an Ashes debacle in which HE was top run-scorer??? Absolute disgrace,' tweeted CNN's Piers Morgan, proceeding to label the England and Wales Cricket Board 'gutless assassins' and 'spineless losers'.

Just days after coach Andy Flower left, the ECB had dumped KP on the pretext of building a team for the future.

It was one more hurtful and unpleasant encounter involving the ECB and KP.

Ever since the South Africa-born Kevin Pietersen made his Test debut in the 2005 Ashes series, he has as often been in the news for off-the-field incidents as much he has been for his swashbuckling batting.

Please click Next to read more...


Image: Kevin Pietersen received support on Twitter after being sacked.
Photographs: Getty Images

     Next

Pietersen pays the price... for England's failure!

Prev     Next
Prev

Next
Bikash Mohapatra

From resigning as England captain in 2009 -- after only five months in charge -- following a breakdown in his relationship with then coach Peter Moores to being dropped during the Test series against South Africa in 2012 for sending 'provocative' text messages about his then skipper Andrew Strauss to the South Africans, to Andy Flower apparently issuing the ECB an ultimatum to choose (between him and KP) following differences during the Ashes series Down Under, Pietersen has often been at the eye of the English storm.

His relationship with the cricket administrators of his adopted country was topsy-turvy. While the ECB did not hesitate in often booking KP for his offences, it was clueless about how to handle the match-winner, something a player of his awesome talent deserved.

Please click Next to read more...

 


Image: Kevin Pietersen, left, with England Captain Alastair Cook, with whom he is said not to have gotten along.
Photographs: Getty Images

Prev     Next

Pietersen pays the price... for England's failure!

Prev     Next
Prev

Next
Bikash Mohapatra

Temperamental he is, but there is no questioning Pietersen's immense talent or many achievements.

A magnificent 158 at The Oval in his debut series not only helped draw the match and consequently ensure England's first Ashes triumph in 18 years, it set the tone for an illustrious career (104 Tests) that yielded 8,181 runs and 23 centuries, most of them landmark knocks like these:

  • His unbeaten 202 against India at Lord's in 2011 -- in what was the 2,000th Test overall and the 100th between the two countries -- set the tone for a 4-0 whitewash.
  • His belligerent 151 at the P Sara Oval in April 2012 earned England a memorable win on Sri Lankan soil.
  • The same year, his aggressive 186 against India in not-so-favourable conditions at the Wankhede stadium set the tone for a memorable series triumph, England's first on Indian soil in 27 years.

Please click Next to read more...

 


Image: Kevin Pietersen set up many victories for England.
Photographs: Getty Images

Prev     Next

Pietersen pays the price... for England's failure!

Prev     Next
Prev

Next
Bikash Mohapatra

If Pietersen's exploits in the longer format have been brilliant, so have been his achievements in the game's shorter versions.

Five of England's six appearances in ICC finals ended in defeats. Its lone success -- the T20 World Cup in the West Indies in 2010 -- came thanks to KP.

Pietersen single-handedly led them to the title, adjudged man-of-the-series.

Two years later, he was overlooked for England's title defence in Sri Lanka -- as a reprimand for the episode involving Andrew Strauss and the South Africans -- and the team failed.

A few weeks later, KP was added to the touring party to India, following successful 're-integration' and he responded by playing a defining role in the series triumph.

Please click Next to read more...

 


Image: Kevin Pietersen's achievements in the shorter form were excellent.
Photographs: Getty Images

Prev     Next

Pietersen pays the price... for England's failure!

Prev     Next
Prev

Next
Bikash Mohapatra

In the recent disaster Down Under, Pietersen was short of his lofty standards, no doubt.

Yet, he was England's top scorer (294 runs) in a Test series marked by English batting catastrophe.

To make him the scapegoat is an easy way out for the ECB.

It is about not accepting collective failure and brushing the reality under the carpet.

It is also about taking your best player for granted.

It is not that the ECB bosses do not recognise Pietersen's rare talent.

It is not that the ECB bosses are unaware that, at 33, Pietersen has a lot to offer English cricket.

It is just that they cannot accept that such genius is accompanied by a temperament that needs to be dealt with delicately.

Please click Next to read more...

 


Image: Ar 33, Pietersen has a lot to offer English cricket.
Photographs: Getty Images

Prev     Next

Pietersen pays the price... for England's failure!

Prev     More
Prev

More
Bikash Mohapatra

Check out this roster: Ian Botham... Inzamam-ul Haq... Shane Warne... Brian Lara... Ricky Ponting... Andrew Flintoff... Harbhajan Singh... Virat Kohli...

All dazzling match-winners, who don't exactly have exemplary behaviourial records off the field.

In most of the personalities above, the respective boards handled them commendably, keeping in mind the team's interests.

Talent, after all, always, always, outweighs temperament.

Performance, always, always, dwarfs shenanigans.

In contrast, the ECB's handling of Kevin Pietersen has been a disaster of Titanic proportions!

And the English team will pay the price.


Image: The ECB's handling of Pietersen has been a disaster!
Photographs: Getty Images

Prev     More