Pietersen fighting to save his career
If ever a high-profile sportsperson wanted a lesson in how not to go about damage limitation, then they need only look as far as Kevin Pietersen’s attempts to appease his teammates without actually saying sorry at any stage.
Pietersen is a rare and special talent. I have always enjoyed his outrageous stroke play because it has the ability to change a game whilst entertaining the fans at the same time.
But no player is indispensable. No player is bigger than the game.
Yes, England will miss his talent and no, they will not find anyone as good for a short while. But eventually somebody will step up.
The past seven days saw Pietersen accused of sending derogatory texts about his teammates, in particular skipper Andrew Strauss, to opponents and it saw him ‘star’ in an ill-judged YouTube video showing contrition, in which he gave submissive thanks to the Delhi Daredevils, his IPL team, for being so understanding, but no apology to his England teammates.
Now it has seen him dropped from the English cricket team, even after scoring a match saving hundred which has given England the opportunity to stop South Africa from clinching an away series victory against the No.1 Test ranked nation – something the team will be desperate to avoid.
The England and Wales Cricket Board went the extra mile to seek a solution for Pietersen, giving him until the 11th hour to meet their conditions, to provide assurances as to whether he sent the text messages or not. He failed to meet the deadline.
Cricketers of today want the applause, the publicity, the praise from competing in the international arena, but they also demand the riches from the IPL as well.
One of the more amusing claims he has made in all of this is that money is not that important to him.
How can Pietersen say it’s not about the money when the IPL will pay him million plus dollars for six weeks work plus commercial advertising which in India will dwarf his England money?
The IPL is all about money, it’s a simple as that.
Outside of India nobody gives a stuff who wins or loses in the IPL. The money is staggering but Test match hundreds will be Pietersen’s overriding legacy and put him among the greats of all-time.
Whether you agree or not with the decision, there is no doubting the bravery of the move by England to dump Pietersen for the final Test. If he had not played the second Test against the Proteas, the scoreline would read: SA 2, ENG 0.
The skipper Strauss and coach Andy Flower must be convinced of the power of team unity, otherwise this move to drop KP could backfire and cost them England dearly.
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