When I read colleague Alec Swann’s assessment that Andrew Strauss’ appointment as director of cricket was a major plus for English, I wholeheartedly agreed.
Until last night.
Having sacked Peter Moores as England’s cricket coach on his first day in office, Strauss used day two to drop a huge bucket on England’s Ashes campaign by telling Kevin Pietersen there was no chance of him being selected this summer.
“It’s a matter of trust,” was Strauss’ bigoted, petty, and way out of court explanation to the 34-year-old.
If trust is the key word, how about the incoming chairman of the ECB Colin Graves publicly saying last month if Petersen was scoring runs in county cricket, the Test selectors can’t ignore him, opening the recall door to end Pietersen’s banishment from the England side that lost the last Ashes series 5-0 in Australia.
Pietersen took Graves word as law, pulled out of his lucrative IPL contract to settle down with Surrey and get back among the first class runs.
Among the runs?
Last night Pietrsen cracked a career-best 355 not out for Surrey against Leicestershire at The Oval, the sixth highest individual score in county cricket history.
So Pietersen has done evrything asked of him by his chairman, who is Strauss’ boss, only to have Strauss tell him his services will not be required for the Ashes series for reasons other than cricket.
Having said that, Strauss then offered Pietersen an advisory job on England’s ODI committee, to which Pietersen understandably told Strauss to stick it.
Have the inmates taken over the asylum?
Strauss will never recover from his stupid decision for English cricket, nor airing his personal vendetta against Pietersen who now more than likely will retrieve his IPL contract and not play another first class dig in England.
Serves Strauss right, he has committed cricket suicide.
Strauss’ next major decision will be to anoint Moores’ successor as England coach.
Australians Jason Gillepie and Justin Langer are on the short list, and you can bet your last dollar both would welcome Pietersen’s return with open arms.
For the record, the five higher county cricket scores than Kevin Pietersen’s 355*:
Brian Lara’s 501* for Warwicxkshire against Durham at Birmingham in 1994.
Archie McLaren’s 424 for Leicestershire against Somerset at Taunton in 1895.
Graeme Hick’s 405* for Worcestershire against Somerset at Taunton in 1988.
Neil Fairbrother’s 366 for Lancashire against Surrey at The Oval in 1990.
And Robert Abel’s 357* for Surrey against Somerset at The val in 1899.