A summer to forget for Kevin Pietersen. The England batsmen has been at the centre of a texting scandal where he sent derogatory text messages about his team mates, most importantly captain Andrew Strauss, to several South African players, who were touring England at the time. A series that England eventually lost and were replaced by their opponents as the number one test ranked team in the world. But what now for England’s most talented batsmen.
After the series, Pietersen was exiled from English cricket. Sending messages behind Strauss’s back caused him to be dropped from the third test. But after the series, Strauss retired from all forms of cricket. With the captain gone, a chance had emerged for Pietersen to return. But not without a lot of remorse. KP has had a lot of meetings with the ECB to make a way for him to return. He knew he done wrong and has since apologised to Strauss. Pietersen, after several meetings with the board, coach Andy Flower, captain Alastair Cook and senior members of the dressing room, Pietersen was recalled to the England team and placed in the squad for the tour of India.
In the short while KP was in exile, England were in Sri Lanka to play in the the 20/20 World Cup. A tournament where England entered as the holders, but left wondering what might have been if Pietersen was involved. In 2010, England won the tournament with Pietersen opening the batting. With stunning performances, Pietersen was named player of the tournament. This time round, England struggled against the better teams and needed someone of Pietersen’s ability at the top of the order to get England off to a good start. With Kieswetter failing, Pietersen would of been the player England needed most.
Before the third test against South Africa in August, rumours were strong that Pietersen was going to retire from International Cricket. A clear desire to play a full IPL season and make a lot of money. A player of Pietersen’s calibre can fetch a lot of money in the auctions. He currently plays for the Delhi Daredevils, who forked out 650,000 dollars to get Pietersen on board. Pietersen was also heavily wanted by franchises in Australia’s Big Bash until his decision to make himself available for all forms of cricket for England.
…send derogatory messages…
With the whole Pietersen saga dominating headlines in English cricket, it would be easy to understand if his fellow colleagues turned their back on him. To send derogatory messages behind your captains back is not a good way of going about business. But several players have come out and welcomed the return of Pietersen. Both Stuart Broad and James Anderson have said that Pietersen would be welcomed back into the dressing room. But for captain Alistair Cook and Andy Flower, they have to let grudges go as they need Pietersen on board in the sub continent if they are going to get a result against India. They both know, it’s a results business. If they don’t get results, pressure will build on them. But to get results, you need your best players and Pietersen is certainly that.