England cricket is in a shambles
You couldn't make this ‘Kevin Pietersen versus the England and Wales Cricket Board’ stuff up. KP scores a rampant 350 not out and the ECB successfully continue to be the laughing stock of the sporting world.
England cricket has succeeded in yet again over-complicating the situation and shooting themselves in the foot. This has been another public relations disaster of note.
The ECB have made it very clear following Andrew Strauss's first press conference as their Director of Cricket that their most destructive batsman and leading run scorer, who is clearly in superb form, is not in their plans this summer. That after the incoming Chairman of the ECB, Colin Graves, said: “Get runs at county level and you will be considered.”
Can you name any other sports team on the planet who would not pick an in-form star player when the team itself is drastically under-performing?
Managing the mavericks is an essential component of successful elite sporting teams. Those superstars within teams are nearly always different and must be managed within the environment to get the best out of them for the betterment of the team and its results.
KP is definitely no angel in all of this. He has deceived teammates previously via both text and book and clearly caused other ructions and that is a far from ideal situation.
However, in these dark days of English cricket winning is what is required. Whoever will be announced as the permanent coach will surely want the best players representing England. If Cook does not want that, should he be captain?
Strauss has stated on one hand there are massive trust issues with KP. Then the next moment he revealed he offered KP an advisory role in the one-day set up. Doesn't that duty involve huge trust? That is the talk of someone who is seriously confused.
By the way, how can Strauss bang on about trust issues when he himself described Pietersen in a most despicable and public manner not so long ago with a 'live' commentary microphone in hand during a Sky broadcast? Am I living in a parallel universe?
Personal difference of opinions should not be a part of this process. The future success of the England cricket team is all that should matter and getting the disillusioned English supporters back on side is of paramount importance. With this latest announcement regarding KP the ECB have just alienated millions of people from their product.
In these situations it is always interesting to consider the thoughts of the opposition. I have no doubt that both of England's opponents this summer, New Zealand and Australia, will be absolutely delighted with this latest development as a major threat has been instantly dissolved.
Why does England cricket make everything so dramatic? We are talking about sport. That’s all. Pick your best available players and just get on with it.
It is not that hard.