Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Why KP should go

Those wicked guys at The Spin, are they really Englishmen? Bad enough they support Kevin Pietersen, but in the face of such incontrovertible evidence? After everything that has happened, The Spin argues that England needs to find a way to keep its only consistently genuine star as happy as possible ahead of the Ashes. But why? And at what cost?

The Spin will do well to remember that it operates from the land that introduced the wonderful game to all of us. The one game that embraces defeat as much as, if not more than, victory. It’s about playing the game, ain’t it? It’s about the spirit of the game, did I hear you say? Sign up here for an ECB life membership.

Look at what KP has done. Forget that he gave up his native South Africa and agreed to represent the English. Forget that he averages 51.09 after 50 tests and 46.65 after 91 ODIs, with a strike rate of 87.24. Mere numbers these. Even if they are better than that of any English player on display today. Playing the game is not just about batting and batting well, is it? The English of all people ought to know this better.

Look at what KP has done. He is bestowed the ultimate honour of the land, the English captaincy (rated above the knighthood in certain quarters) and he gives it up for petty reasons as conviction and not seeing eye-to-eye with the coach. So what if he still scores a century at the next opportunity? Hardly proves he is a team man, just plain a selfish one.

Look at what KP has done. He actually wanted to go home for a couple of days between two test matches. And when denied, he turns petulant child and punishes the West Indies with yet another century. Come on now, even the benevolent Englishmen can’t ignore this taunt.

Look at what KP has done. He speaks his mind, even if it is not the same mind as the wise ones who run the game. At the end of a tiring tour, he actually complains of tiredness. Surely he should know better? Surely he realises that cricket is not all about batting, not even batting better than any bugger in sight? It’s an all-round game, especially off the field.

The Spin’s argument is so self-serving it’s pathetic.

Yes, Pietersen contradicts himself; yes, his stream-of-consciousness interview technique throws up headlines; yes, he puts his foot in it. But, boy, can he bat: England's only hope of surprising the resurgent Australians is if he is in the right frame of mind.

What if England, God forbid, win the Ashes? How will they justify it?

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