On the surface it would appear a pragmatic decision to allow Kev more time in the middle to regain touch but events and egos soon spoiled any benefit when Kev’s hastily deleted and incomplete tweet was circulated.
Selector Geoff Miller seems most offended and although he hasn’t demanded an apology his public utterances leave no doubt that one is expected before KP is forgiven.
While this yet to be resolved public spat is very amusing, indeed heartening from an Australian perspective, the voice of reason is whispering that Kev is the sort of bloke who thrives on proving his doubters wrong and that could be calamitous for Ricky and his Rollers come November.
There seems little doubt that Kev is hurt by his dismissal. Among the many things that must cause ache is that he will be playing Pro40 and County fixtures instead of lining up for Bangalore in South Africa over the next three weeks. The Champions League was a wonderful success for players and fans alike last year and I’m reasonably certain that the ECB edict preventing him from playing was strengthened by the need for him to play for England first and foremost. We shouldn’t forget that the financial rewards of the tournament are also very generous.
Another concern could be how he fits in with his new temporary Surrey team-mates. After a long haul the team have fought their way to a semi-final in the Pro40 and now Kev has arrived at The Oval a batsman who has helped achieve this opportunity will now be dumped for the business end of the season. That can be the way in professional sport yet in my experience few warm quickly to the situation. Add KP’s aloof manner and sense of entitlement, in addition to a young hyphenated captain with a whiff of nepotism and it could be recipe for instability.
Personally, I think Kev has been treated rather shabbily by his masters these last few years. They gave him the captaincy and then publicly humiliated him when snatching it back, they moralised over his IPL and desire for Champions League involvement and now they’ve dropped him and berated the man in the press when others like Paul Collingwood are in worse nick.
Perhaps come November Geoff Miller and crew will be proved correct in their treatment of their star batsman but it would seem from afar that the administrators have taken advantage of the situation to pursue a personal agenda. It’s no secret that they only tolerate Kev because he is a fine player and now that the team is strong they are reminding him with a sledge hammer of his place in the scheme of things.
Even so, a couple of late season county games for the team languishing near the bottom of the Second Division three months out from The Ashes is hardly going to be of assistance when facing a fit Hilfy and an at home MJ on a ‘Gabba greentop with 40,000 baying spectators cheering maniacally for his wicket.
I’ll end with a retort about KP from a former Yorkshire captain that was spluttered during a conversation at the Bellerive Members bar during the last Ashes in Australia when I opined that KP may be the best English bat since David Gower.
“Pietersen! English!”, he scoffed. “Only while he’s scoring runs he is. Only while he’s scoring runs.”
Twenty20 squad Paul Collingwood (capt), James Anderson, Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Steven Davies, Craig Kieswetter, Eoin Morgan, Ryan Sidebottom, Graeme Swann, Luke Wright, Michael Yardy.
One-day squad Andrew Strauss (capt), James Anderson, Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Paul Collingwood, Steven Davies, Eoin Morgan, Ajmal Shahzad, Ryan Sidebottom, Graeme Swann, Jonathan Trott, Luke Wright, Michael Yardy.