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Bumble backs the ECB's approach to the Pietersen saga and asks if his Test career is already over?Back to story
The idea that KP can simply be dropped and 'easily replaced' because 'the team goes on' is a nonsense. Look at the difficulties England has had in finding adequate no 5s and 6s. Just how long would it take for a rookie newbie to get good enough to provide even something approaching the average that KP provides - let's say, early 40s compared to KP's 50-or-thereabouts - let alone his matchwinning (and series-swinging) prowess? Batsmen who can do it at Test level in the top 4 of the order are rare finds, let alone someone with the matchwinning X factor like KP. Bell, for a very very long time, nearly didn't make it in terms of being accepted as good enough (and look at just how good he is for periods, when on song!). Bopara is a flunkie for England (average in the low 30s or late 20s or whatever it is, is just not good enough). For every couple of others England have tried, they haven't made it. England basically only has 6 people who can bat properly at international level, including KP - Strauss, Cook, Trott, KP, our wicketkeeper Prior (who is much further down the order but bats quite well) and Bell although Bell is not always reliable and quite often in danger of being dropped unless he turns it round. The point here is - and it's a shocking truth - England just don't have any others than those 5 or 6. Take KP out of the equation and we are removing a massive cog - not only one of the only batsmen in England who makes our list of 5 or 6 adequate batsmen, but the one who can change games or series and quite frequently does so. How long till we found a replacement who is even approaching his calibre? it's not going to be within a few years - where's the miracle find going to come from? It might take 5 years till someone turned up who was good enough to be something 'approaching' KP, it might well take 10 years.
Posted 20:22 9th August 2012
Just tell KP to start the car.
Posted 12:14 9th August 2012
I have been following cricket since i was a kid and have never skipped a game played in Mumbai. I really agree with bumble on the KP row. Its simple. You represent England. If there is an activity planned by the ECB to improve the test squad in anyway and if it overlaps with the IPL, it is KP's choice whether to choose to stick with the test squad or go for IPL. he should then be dropped from the squad and ECB should just move on. I am an Arsenal fan and have seen a lot of players leave, but the same logic applies to the England Squad; No player is ever bigger than the Team...
Posted 12:13 9th August 2012
Good as KP is, on occasions, he is not bigger than the team. If he continues to think that he is, then there is only one answer, very familiar to Bumble,..........start the car!!
Posted 10:50 9th August 2012
Great article Bumble. I have 2 comments, first one is that I would sack KP now great bat but cannot upset the dressing room. And secondly I was on the Western Terrace on sunday but it was only half full!. Don't know if you saw Bananaman or Captain America but I was with them!!
Posted 09:11 9th August 2012
England is his national team and the DD are a club side so the analogy is all wrong. It's like Rooney wanting to take a break from England to play for Man Utd which he has every right to do.
Posted 08:52 9th August 2012
It would be nice to think it was like this - a simple matter of KP needing to accept or reject the ECB's set-in-stone terms and thus decide whether he is 'with them' or 'against them' (and therefore walking away). But the huge number of opinions on places like the Guardian blog should indicate there are a lot of people out there who are sympathetic to KP's position, and see it a different way. Let us acknowledge first of all that the management are the management - and in normal circumstances they have the authority that everybody thinks they should kow-tow to it. But clearly it is not quite like that in this case - or everybody would be anti KP's position. There is a feeling out here you see, Bumble, that the ECB management's position is a bit too inflexible, a bit too knee-jerk 'we can't accept any change to what we're offering because that's what we're offering in nature'. I think KP is someone who reacts very quickly and very contemperaneously - perhaps too quickly for comfort on the part of an employer, but, in fact, he is picking up on the key things of the moment. When he got sacked as England captain, it was for recommending that to move on, England should dispense with the services of Peter Moores. In the event, he was right: once Moores had gone, that is when England progressed as a team. But he got sacked because it was too much for the ECB management to handle so soon into his captaincy - KP was sharp, but uncomfortably so. Now, we have a similar situation: KP is raising a lot of pertinent issues, like the amount of cricket that England players play, and if players over the age of 32 should not be allowed flexibility over their appearances (a key point which conveniently tends to get left out of the analyses by critics of KP's position). These points resonate with other international cricketers - eg Australians have said they can't understand the ECB's inflexibility. But again it is uncomfortable for ECB.
Posted 01:11 9th August 2012
Totally agree Bumble. It would be very sad if Kevin did not play test cricket again, but the England management cannot have different rules for Kevin. It seems to be a stalemate. England say they will decide when players play or rest; Kevin says he wants to decide for himself. I can't see it working if he is not contracted and plays occasionally by invitation. What I don't know is if this is affecting the dressing room. Is England's slight drop in standard connected to this on-going story?
Posted 23:41 8th August 2012
There's no I in team as they say. There are two in his name. Rather than pull out of T20 at the beginning of the year he waits until the World Cup squad is established and into a programme and pulls out. Then instead of waiting until the end of the Test Series he raises dooubts before the last test. I have no problem in him earning the big bucks in the IPL but he needs to remember who put him in the limelight. International cricket is about the team and the country and he has let both down. Egotistical, selfish, pathetic. the selectors should have the guts to drop him now and get on with winning the test. When he fails he will put it all down to the pressure put on him anyway. Time to go
Posted 22:03 8th August 2012
Sparkling innings albeit very spasmodic and a complete absence of a team ethic. Enough is enough. The epitome of a "Plastic Brit.". Drop him now.
Posted 18:10 8th August 2012
I couldn't have put it better than Bumble. The one point that does irk me is that Pieterson should have kept his powder dry until after the 3rd test. There was no need for that press conference after the game at Headingley. It was highly unprofessional and divisive to his team mates and management. It's all about the Kevin Pieterson show with cricket being incidental. I have lost respect for KP as a person, as talented a cricketer he may be. South Africa must be thanking their lucky stars that they didn't have to manage him.
Posted 17:37 8th August 2012
Bumble you mentioned IPL and it being stumbling block. And England cannot allow KP to do as he pleases. But you have failed to mention how ECB/counties are continuing to influence players from Ireland first they got Morgan now Rankin. You guys have big problems with IPL and yet don't seem to have any sympathy towards Ireland cricket. Ashley Giles who is ECB selector wanted Rankin to quit playing for Ireland, imagine if some IPL franchise asks any player to do the same. KP wants to do what is best for him and England should do what is best for them.Why bring IPL into picture.
Posted 16:51 8th August 2012
KP - great batsman but sadly with a great big head. The team is always more important than the individual so maybe its time to say goodbye and KP can get another million or two in India.
Posted 16:41 8th August 2012
I've been a vociferous supporter of Pietersen since he was first caled up to the England team but he's testing my patience. I agree with Bumble he can't pick and choose test matches long term but Strauss did set a precedent when he missed a Bangladesh series. There might be a compromise to be had but one of the strengths of both Flower and Pietersen is that they DON'T compromise. I fear this does not end well.
Posted 16:29 8th August 2012
I think the ECB should catch a wake-up, whoever decided to leave Swann out of the last match has lost the plot completely! It is a very short sighted view to leave KP out of the side, look at what happened to the West Indies when they left Gayle out of their side! I foresee the ECB sacking KP, ENG having a horrible performance in the T20 world cup, KP achieving top runs scorer of IPL2013 and the ECB and ENG fans begging him to come back. Its happened before with the South African politicians and it will happen again with the ECB, its just the type of character KP is, let him go at your peril ENG seletors!
Posted 15:51 8th August 2012