Posted by: nestaquin | September 1, 2010

Kevin Pietersen Dropped!

England announced their squads for the approaching Limited Overs Internationals against Pakistan yesterday with the biggest surprise being the axing of Kevin Pietersen.

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.

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Responses

  1. That many baying spectators? I find it hard to believe the Barmy lot will only get 2000 in!

  2. This was only a matter of time; the KP/England love affair was doomed from the outset. I’m surprised only that it has taken so long.

  3. Yet another installment that in the slow motion train crash that is KP. Normally I’d have an amused little chuckle at this, but for some reason I just don’t have the heart. I almost feel sorry for him.

    “…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.”
    I think he’s being trying to prove his doubters wrong for sometime, but with very mixed results so far. And I couldn’t think of a team better able to play on someone’s lack of confidence than Australia.

  4. He’ll be back. It was stupid on his part and he has been treated shabbily in the past, but he does need some less intense cricket at domestic level.

    As ever, he’s one to make a drama and carries rather more of the blame than I’m usually prepared to allocate to him, but he’s too good a player not to be back.

    Missed him at The Oval as I was (and am) travelling back to London.

  5. Hi Nestaquin,

    Think you have pretty much sumed up my views on this. I put on my blog when I heard the news that I bet the Aussies are pissing themselves at this.

    KP should have got over the Moores affair by now, but clearly he hasn’t, and I agree he was treated badly over that.

    This could go one of two ways. He will come back stronger than ever, determined to prove people wrong, or he will see it as yet another humiliating snub from England, and who knows, maybe one too many this time.

    How must he feel after watching the selectors stick by Alastair Cook and Paul Collingwood for all this time?

    Cook has had technical flaws for years now. With the exception of series against Bangladesh & West Indies, he basically plays one innings a series and it is enough to keep his place in the team. It’s a joke.

    Pietersen actually scored more runs than Collingwood in the Pakistan series. And no one has so much as mentioned Colly’s crap form. His place in the side is a given, no matter what.

    I’m now coming to the opinion that this isn’t a cricket decision. I wrote as far back as a year ago that England are becoming more a team of personalities (than talent) under Strauss and Flower. They would appear to rather have a dressing room full of solid characters in the mould of Cook and Collingwood, as opposed to more eccentric people that actually score runs.

    If KP stews over these sort of facts during his stint at Surrey then this move will probably backfire badly.

    I’m also amazed at the amount of KP knockers just queuing up to stick the boot in, and say he should be dropped.

    Where are all these knockers when Cook is edging to 2nd slip with a rigid straight front leg, or when Collingwood is playing on, or chasing a wide one and giving slip practise?

    And if the selectors believe that Ravi Bopara is the alternative answer, then I might as well cancel my sky subscription come mid November. The more I think about this, the more I think it is a joke of a decision.

    And I agree, it is harsh on Surrey imposing an out of form player on them like this at the business end of the season.

  6. Although my thoughts above are sincere my motivation for writing this piece was purely for the title. I’ve been waiting five years to write Pietersen and dropped together. I’ll never be convinced that shadenfreude isn’t a wonderful emotion where English cricketers are involved.

    More seriously, doubts will remain over KP when he arrives in Australia and I’m sure that the South Aussies and the Second XI will be doing their very best to ramp up the pressure during the warm-up matches.

    I doubt that the thought of ending Kev’s Test career will escape Punter and so we already have a delicious sub-plot to anticipate and were still 85 days away from the first over.

    With the integrity of international cricket tattered and torn, probably forever, I haven’t given up hope that the oldest and most romanticised series is still fought hard and without outside influence.

    That said, if England conspire to throw a few Tests I won’t necessarily mind. The Rollers form and selection policy suggests they’ll need all the help they can get!

  7. Not a great year for Kevins.

    He hasn’t been replaced by a red-headed Welshperson by any chance?

  8. It’s all part of a plot they started when they dumped him as captain: treat him so badly that even the Aussies start feeling sorry for him.

  9. Pretty much agree with most of this. We are in some sort of crazy denial with Collingwood. The one occasion he was dropped from the test team (Headingley 2008) you would have thought the Queen Mum had been assassinated. He is such a good “team man” they said. A few backs against the wall efforts (to avoid defeat, not win) at which he specialises have given him another couple of years tenure. No-one mentioned his lack of runs.

    As for KP, he’s been “Englished”. Told what he can’t do, slagged off for being good and knowing it, told he’s been irresponsible when he’s got out after scoring runs, and now booted when he is down. Scoring runs in the 2nd Division of cricket is like preparing to sky dive by jumping off your doorstep. He scores runs, it is down to poor quality bowling; he fails and he is even further in the mire.


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