8000+ runs in the Test format, 4000+ runs in the ODIs & another 1000+ runs in the T20s . To sum up the figures, a mammoth 13797 runs and an all time leading run scorer for Englad. There comes a forgettable series, where your team has won just one match among 13, which also includes a 0-5 defeat in the prestigious Ashes test series. You are again the highest scorer for your team with 294 runs at an average of 29.40, which is obviously low. But the point is, it was still the highest and that`s how bad the English cricketers were.
So what happened next wouldnt even be in the nightmares of cricket fertinity or fans. The player gets dropped from all forms of the game. Well, its not actually a drop, its an axe. Kevin Peter Pietersen, England`s all time great, has been sacked by the England Cricket Board (ECB).
Let me remind this, KP was not sacked for his poor show with the bat in the Australia. Actually, it still unclear as to why the legend was axed. This is due to the fact that ECB issued two statements and in both of them, there was no clear reason for the decision they took. Infact, both the statements were contradicting each other. The first statement said ECB wanted to build a team for the future and had decided to move without Pietersen. The second statement said ECB wanted to build a culture around Alaister Cook, where he gets the support & trust of all his players. Its also worth reminding, the second statement came only after there were agitations, accusations on the ECB of internal politics, demanding for a reason.
Kevin may be a difficult personality to deal with but when you have a team 15+, there are bound to be people with different thought processes, ideologies & ways of working. And that`s the reason we have managers, coaches and captains, so that they manage the team & bring the best out of them. Just because there`s a player with a different approach, you don`t sack him. By doing so, you only prove to the world, you are a terrible manager. Now let`s say there are five peolpe like KP in a team. Does the manager sack all five or sack himself?
As I see it, Pietersen, 33 years old, had at least three more years of international cricket in him. With World T20 in a few months, ODI World Cup scheduled the next year and England needing a rebuild, ECB have dug a grave for themselves by not picking their best. It was KP, because of whom England won their first major ICC trophy – World T20 in 2010. It was due to KP`s efforts that England won a test series in India after 28 years. Why oh why can`t the managers set aside their egos, their differnces and take steps in the best interest of the nation & fans.
Being a die hard cricket follower, its saddening to me and to numerous fans out there in the world that Kevin Pietersen won`t be seen in any international fixures from now on. He is one such such player whom I loved watching play, even if he scored big against India.
But its not all over and there is some respite in form of T20 leagues. KP is set to play for the Delhi Daredevils in the IPL and who knows, in many more T20 leagues.
I am very keen on how the England cricket shapes up in the coming couple of years. As without Pieterson, it will surely be difficult for them, untill and unless they have secretly found the next KP.