KP is his own worst enemy
In my previous column I was waxing lyrical about the batting ability of Kevin Petersen. His obvious talent with the bat has never been in question. He is unpredictable but he will always deliver at some point during an international series. It is such a pity that the way he manages himself off the field will eventually lead to the premature ending of an excellent international career.
For the life of me I cannot understand how the impasse that currently exists between Pietersen and the ECB has been allowed to progress to a point where it is clearly almost untenable. It is a fact that a player who has a strong personality and strong opinions has every chance of falling foul of the cricket board he represents at some point during his playing career.
Most of us have been there. There is always only one winner and that is never the player. One of my closest Australian teammates and an Aussie legend told me in his best native tones that 'you cant beat the establishment mate'. Never a truer word was spoken. Pietersen will lose this battle unless sensible heads prevail and a compromise is sought.
This is not like the old days where a player had no representation to assist him when these sorts of problems arose. These days player associations are strong, agents and managers can assist and in general there should never be a situation that cannot be resolved.
The fact that this battle is being fought in the press doesn't help matters either. The British media is lapping up this controversy at a time when the only focus of team England should be on saving the current test series.
Perhaps an even bigger problem is the fact that it is common knowledge now as well that there are unresolved issues between Pietersen and some of his teammates. This is not good news. It is one thing to be fighting with the governing body but quite another to be at loggerheads with the players in your team as well.
Unless something changes soon, it is inevitable that Pietersen will be given his marching orders. Cricket may be an individual's game within a team framework to a point, but in the end no individual is bigger than the team. The situation will arise shortly where all concerned with English cricket will take the attitude that having Pietersen in the group is counter-productive, irrespective of how good he is.
This will be a great shame. Pietersen went to the UK, fought his way through huge obstacles and became a cricketing superstar. If he goes into the international cricketing wilderness, chasing the lucrative T20 circuits around the world, it will be a waste of his talent and team England will be worse off as well. I guess most sporting careers end in tears and it seems big Kev's career is heading that way.