England’s ICC World Twenty20 hopefuls are free to discuss Kevin Pietersen, and his controversial absence from their campaign, whenever they want — but rarely feel like doing so.
Eoin Morgan yesterday dismissed the suggestion that he, for example, might be tempted to mull over the whys and wherefors of Pietersen’s non-selection for England’s defence of their only International Cricket Council (ICC) trophy to date.
Pietersen is not, Morgan points out, “like Voldemort” — the menacing, unseen character in the hugely popular Harry Potter books who is so feared even his own advocates dare only refer to him as ‘You-Know-Who’, ‘He-Who-Must-Not -Be-Named’ or ‘the Dark Lord’.
Asked if the aforementioned is covered much in conversation by his erstwhile colleagues, Morgan said: “Not at all really. It’s probably out of sight, out of mind.”
Pietersen may not stay that way for much longer, given his agreement to work as a television pundit during the three-week tournament set to get under way on Tuesday.
Should he become uppermost in anyone’s mind at that point, however, he will not be a banned subject. “No. It’s not like Voldemort. It’s all right,” said Morgan, who understandably prefers to talk about people who are actually part of England’s Sri Lankan venture.
Specifically, Jos Buttler and his 10-ball 32 not out in Wednesday’s win over South Africa just before England flew east, brings a smile to his teammate’s face.
“It was absolutely brilliant,” he said. “It gives everyone else belief that he can perform at any given time.
“I’ve been watching Jos train for nearly a year now, and he’s phenomenal.
“The guy is brilliant — and we’ve all been waiting for this to evolve.
“The fact it has now is awesome, great for the team.”
Within hours, Buttler appeared to be struggling to come to terms with Colombo conditions in a spinners’ net during England’s first practice of the tour.
“There were a lot of contributing factors to why he didn’t have a chance to go out and play the way he could — it is very timely he has now,” added Morgan.