Going by England batsman Kevin Pietersen’s press conference at the end of the second Test against South Africa at the Oval, the flamboyant cricketer could be playing his last game for his adopted country at Lord’s next week.
And that, like Pietersen admitted on Monday, would be a “huge shame”. Sure, he is an attractive one-day player, but he oozes of class in a more emphatic way in the longer version.
Pietersen appears mighty bitter with the powers than run English cricket. He also indicated that the dressing room is not a happy place although his captain Andrew Strauss assured the media that all is well.
The English media and former players, like their Australian counterparts, thrive on stories about rifts in other teams. This time, the shoe is on the other foot!
The South Africa-born player has been open about his views on the state of the game and was brave enough to put his England career on the line by his refusal to play 50-over cricket. That he will not be a part of England’s T20 squad in next month’s world event in Sri Lanka is because of his country’s weird policy.
Instead of being targeted, his views on the hectic schedule needs to be taken sportingly by cricket administrators and should be viewed as a warning that other players may opt out of the 50-over fray if this form of the game is not scheduled better.
The English will be quick to draw up their own conspiracy theories and Indian cricket lovers and administrators shouldn’t be too surprised if the Indian Premier League is blamed for Pietersen’s premature exit from the international scene. Luckily, the man himself has said that his reluctance to continue playing for England has nothing to do with money.
Indian cricket followers will remember Kevin Pietersen’s Test tenure well. If it hadn’t been for his positive vibes as captain, the England team would not have returned to play a Test series after the November 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai. No other England team would have done it. But then, Pietersen is one of a kind!