Pietersen deserves the treatment meted out by the ECB
Let's accept it!
Kevin Pietersen is a classic example of the man who hits his own leg with the proverbial axe. With one foolish action he has ruined his glittering career for England, which was still going great guns as Pietersen himself is at the peak of his prowess as a batsman at the moment.
He deserves the treatment -- or call it the punishment if you will -- he has received from the English cricket officials. There is something called loyalty to your team, your country.
Pietersen's latest off-the-field actions, particularly the "provocative" text messages to the rival South African players that were not in good taste about some of his English teammates, did not go down well with the authorities of his adopted country.
There is now a big question mark against KP's loyalty
Not only did Pietersen reveal secrets of Andrew Strauss and company's technical drawbacks but also showed ways to capitalise on them.
As if that were not enough, he hinted at having been felt suffocated in the English dressing room.
For all his talents and achievements, Pietersen gives the impression of having put on the English cap along with a mask all these years. He may still have tattooed the Union Jack on his arms but the mask has now fallen.
While he may never have betrayed England on the field, and always tried to give his very best, even when playing against South Africa -- like in the first two Tests of the just-concluded series -- there is now a big question mark against his loyalty.
English authorities have shut the door on KP
With everything clear as crystal now, Pietersen himself admitting to having sent unfavourable messages (though he later described them as "banter between close friends") about his teammates to the South African players, all the English cricket authorities had to do was to drop him from the national team for the crucial third and final Test at Lord's.
With more deliberations and taking into account many factors and serious issues, they shut the door on him from England's squad for the next month's World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka.
Pietersen, who recently made himself available again for all international cricket after retiring from One-Day Internationals, was also left out of England's team for the forthcoming one-day and Twenty20 series against South Africa, starting in Cardiff on August 24.
Pietersen's career is almost over now
Explaining Pietersen's omission, England's national selector Geoff Miller said: "Kevin Pietersen's future involvement is still being determined and he was therefore not considered for selection in either squad."
The logic is that with his questionable loyalty and unfriendly relations with a couple of players, including captain Strauss, Pietersen may be a bad influence in the English dressing room.
The message is loud and clear. It does appear that Pietersen's career for England is almost over now.
Pietersen has never underperformed for England
Doubtless, his batting is champagne stuff.
But you cannot shed tears for Pietersen just because he is a champion bat. He must remain eternally grateful to England, which welcomed him with open arms when the South African cricket authorities were not interested in him, but see what he has done.
England has a glorious history of supporting to the hilt those players who adopt it as their beloved country. Before Pietersen, many foreign cricketers, including some from the Caribbean, have represented England with the utmost dedication and loyalty.
Let it be reiterated that Pietersen, too, has never underperformed when taking the field wearing England jersey, but his recent uncalled-for actions and candid confessions have tarnished his image forever.
England authorities should not change their stand
Pietersen should have learnt a thing or two from the great Basil D'Oliveira, a black South African who represented England with exemplary loyalty and dedication.
The whole of England was proud of this gifted all-rounder. D'Oliveira was a member of the England team that was scheduled to tour South Africa in 1968-69. But when the South African government refused to allow entry to D'Oliveira in the rainbow nation, the English authorities cancelled the entire tour. (Nemesis fell, international sanctions were slapped and South Africa was isolated from the world for well over two decades.)
It is hard to imagine the England authorities changing their stand in Pietersen's case. They should not.