Tag Archives: kevin pietersen

KP’s summer blockbuster bust

The announcer reads out the list of Surrey players. One name gets booed. He has played over 100 Tests. Won four Ashes. A World T20. Scored match-winning hundreds around the world. But if Surrey were going to have a player booed, it wasn’t going to be Gary Wilson, was it?

It’s KP’s first big day of the summer. He’s been floating around The Oval. He turned up at the IPL. And even made his way off to the CPL. That is 25 matches. Spread around England, St Kitts, Cardiff, Dubai and India. And one fifty.

A 58. In a losing cause. 14 innings ago. This from Mr Box Office. The man for the big stage. The man who saves his best work for when people are watching.

The only thing more horrible than KP’s treatment by the ECB has been his form.

So there he was on his first major stage of the UK summer. The ECB’s premier domestic cricket day. The cameras are here. The crowd is here. The press are here. And KP walks out on a pitch that Jason Roy has just used to hit Rikki Clarke into small pieces. The chase is big. A place in the final is there for Surrey. The whole thing might have scripted by his PR crew. Piers Morgan probably had his hands on his smart phone waiting to tweet “told ya so”.

KP makes 13. Off 16 balls.

He hits one six. It should have been caught. He doesn’t look in form. He doesn’t look in charge. He doesn’t really look that KP.

A full straight ball from Boyd Rankin is squeezed through his legs. His head is not balanced, he’s not immediately sure where it has gone. Boyd Rankin appeals like he hasn’t hit it. A couple of balls later he’s smashed on the pads as well. It’s not out, but he’s not near it. His loft towards long on looks forced. He watches the ball the whole way, and then nervously smiles and fist bumps Steve Davies as it just drops over the rope.

That drop is almost half his score.

There has clearly been some kind of conspiracy. The old, great, wonderful KP has nobbled. He’s been slipped some ketamine. He’s been handcuffed by invisible chains. The ECB have put a curse on him. Where is Big Time Kev. Where is the arrogance? Where is the swagger? Where are the runs?

He looks old, he looks tired, and he doesn’t look like he’s anywhere near the T20 batsman Jason Roy is.

While KP faces Jeetan Patel, Jimmy Anderson walks around the ground. The crowd rise for him. They cheer his name. They sing the “Oh, Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy Anderson chant” as KP blocks the ball and gets no run. The crowd doesn’t chant for KP. He gives them no reason to.

Ateeq Javid takes KP caught and bowled. The crowd cheer, almost as loud as Javid screams. The mid-innings spoiler has defeated the international star. KP leaves the crease. He doesn’t speak to the incoming batsman. He doesn’t talk to anyone in the dug out. He sits down quietly on the front bench. Then he gets up and moves to the back corner. A long way from a starring role.

Advertisements
Tagged

Hiding from KP

Right arm around the wicket. A little rough. A dry pitch. And three deliveries. That was all it took for Nathan Lyon to look more dangerous than Ashton Agar. It also resulted in Alastair Cook being very nearly taken at slip. And most importantly of all, it showed that Lyon could effortlessly move Sky’s rev counter into the red. For those of you who’ve never seen it that reveals he gives it a rip.

After the next 11.3 overs, Lyon was still wicketless, but wicketless for 23 runs. England had barely scored off him. But Lyon hadn’t yet bowled to Kevin Pietersen. Lyon, not being a left armer, is not the sort of spinner that is supposed to trip up Pietersen. Really, any spinner can trip him up but more often they end up as puddles of damp mass at the bowling crease.

There is no way Lyon wouldn’t have known what was coming. He probably owns a TV. Pietersen was giving signs of his mood as well. He’d danced down the wicket to Shane Watson – to Lyon he might want to camp mid-pitch. He also had that Pietersen stride of completely arrogant ownership of every blade of grass beneath him.

The first ball Lyon delivered showed how unworried he was to face him. It was outside off stump, and Pietersen just yawned it to mid-on for a single.

The next over Lyon started around the wicket. If it had any impact on Pietersen, it was that it inspired him to make a wild west charge of dominance followed by a mishit of petulance. It went close enough to mid-on for the bowler to share knowing looks with people, but that was all.

By the third, Pietersen was ready to dine on Lyon. When Pietersen charges down the wicket he wants to score; when he stands in the crease and swings he scores. It wasn’t timed, or in any way poetic, but it did fly away to the rope. But Lyon wasn’t ready to be taken down just yet, and the next ball stopped Pietersen in his tracks. Later on he refused to be fed a decent ball and ran at Lyon, getting to it on the full, before only hitting it to midwicket for no run. Then he took a pause.

It was for a bit of excess dirt somewhere in the middle of the pitch that no offspinner would ever hit. But it wasn’t for the dirt. Pietersen wanted Lyon to wait, because Pietersen wanted Lyon to wait. He couldn’t have made it more clear he was in charge of the situation if he had hired a skywriter to write “KP” above the ground.

The next over began with an optimistic lbw shout by Lyon. Pietersen looked annoyed by the question. His response was to come down the wicket and crunch a six over long-on. The next ball went over long-off, an even better shot. Lyon was still holding on though, his next ball floated up again. Pietersen was confused by this, expecting the quick, short reply and he almost dragged it back on to his stumps as every limb he has did something different.

It wasn’t a real victory, maybe not even a moral one, not even morale saving. But when you’ve been hit for two straight sixes, even a four seems like a moment of respite. Lyon survived the over.

Next over Pietersen played Lyon’s first ball to mid-on so easily that it seemed like he could have down it blindfolded after been spun around four times. It brought Ian Bell on strike, who helped himself to a beautiful six. Clarke had seen enough, it was Lyon’s last over of that spell.

Pietersen was 55 when Lyon was taken off. He would make 113. And would face another ten balls from Lyon in that time.

During the 65-80 over mark is when your spinner most pays his way by resting your seamers for the new ball. Lyon bowled one over.

The treatment of Lyon wasn’t brutal in a Xavier Doherty kind of way. But that was only because he wasn’t kept there for Pietersen to feast on. Pietersen would have kept whacking Lyon as long as Lyon was in front of him.

Lyon is clearly the better spinner than Agar right now. But Clarke was allowed to hide him today. As Pietersen has learned is his dealings with the media, no one can hide forever. Today it was just 19 balls of Pietersen being Pietersen that send Lyon away from the crease. At some stage in this series, if Lyon is to be Australia’s spinner, he won’t be able to hide behind a few good revs and his seamers.

Tagged , , , ,

KP, Trust and Unity

It’s a shame, that at least for the short term, the ECB and Kevin Pietersen aren’t together anymore. They do seem to deserve each other right now.

One party drops certain players based on derogatory private texts they haven’t seen, and another releases a hammy video the night before selection decision instead of just making a call, or sending a text.

Right now the sticking point seems to be that KP may or may not have sent a derogatory text to the South Africans. He’s not publicly stated that the texts weren’t derogatory. And the ECB have had enough.

And as Hugh Morris says: “The success of the England team has been built on a unity of purpose and trust.”

Trust is the key word there.

When KP walked into meeting after meeting with the ECB only for his private communications to be leaked to the media, where was the trust then? Where was the unity? What was the purpose?

No ECB employees or board members were dropped for their behaviour.

And I’m no KP sympathizer. KP has played this as badly as he has ever played any left-arm finger spinner. Publicly, he’s looked like a buffoon. Privately, he’s whinged and moaned. And in meetings about his future he’s been naïve and bullish (if you believe the leaked information). Almost every piece of action he has taken has been easily mocked by his critics. And this is a man of many critics.

Yet, for all his faults and missteps and badly premeditated actions, the reason for him not playing in this next Text is a private communication between him and a friend. A member of the opposition, perhaps, but a member of the opposition that he smashed around the park last weekend.

KP has essentially been suspended for doing what every single one of us has done in our life, complained to a friend about our boss.

It seems about as petty a reason to drop someone as you can find. He didn’t break the law, he didn’t publicly abuse anyone, and he performed at the absolute maximum of his abilities, he just also had a private sulk.

What of other private communications? Should Giles Clarke, Andy Flower and Hugh Morris state publicly that in no conversations with anyone, via text, email or over the phone have they ever said anything derogatory about Kevin Pietersen? Trust.

Or should they just announce that in a show of good faith they are instigating an independent inquiry into who leaked the information?

We all make mistakes, and both sides have made a meal of this consistently, so why not just have a meeting with the aggrieved parties and let them chat about it. Keep the details of the meeting private. Let those upset by possible naughty texts explain why. And let those who feel that he can’t trust his employers to confront them, and perhaps even apologise for being a bit of a tool at times.

I doubt he’s the only player in this English team to complain about Strauss, Flower, Giles, Morris or the selectors. Has anyone checked Graeme Swann’s phone to see what he told his friends after being dropped for the last Test? Or did he even test the trust of the team when he released an autobiography that criticised Samit Patel and Pietersen?

The treatment of Patel in Sri Lanka was not exactly all about trust and unity, now was it?
Maybe even Strauss, in a moment of madness and completely out of character for him, said a mildly derogatory not expletive-laden comment to a friend about KP over the last week.
Strauss and Flower are proud and intelligent men who have succeeded in life and lead men well.

Are they really so easily upset by the fact that their most enigmatic and highly strung player might not always love them?

There isn’t an office, art collective, acappella group, or community farm in the world that doesn’t have people who at one time or another don’t get along. It’s what happens in jobs when more than a few people work together. You’re brought together to do a job, it’s nice when you make friends at work, but regardless of what Christian ads from the mid 90s showed, we don’t always get along. What people generally do is work around personalities and just get the job done regardless.

Let’s not say that sport is different. Shane Warne openly despised his coach; there was no need for texts. Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant hated each other as they won three straight championships. Their hatred even has a wiki page. But they made it through. And Victoria Pendleton hasn’t always pleased her team-mates.

The ECB has to recognize that it’s their job to manage their players, KP’s failure is their failure too.

The ECB has decided to put the personal squabbles first. Only they know how bad this rift is, until they leak it. But by overlooking their own mistakes and focusing on the real or imagined ones of KP it is leading their team into a must win Test match without their in-form match-winner.

It’s not just trust in Morris’ sentence. It’s unity of purpose as well. To be the best in the world. And because of their own and KP’s actions, the lack of trust has led to them abandoning their best chance of winning this Test and staying on top of the rankings.

The ECB want to be No. 1 in the world, KP wants to be a legend. Surely they’re both more likely to do this together than apart.

Tagged ,

KP to divorce his parents

Recently I heard Michael Holding say that the players are the children and boards are the parents. It had nothing to do with Kevin Pietersen or the ECB, but was about the disastrous relationship the WICB have with their senior players.

Cricket Boards are usually run by older people, those with business or sports administration backgrounds. That, and their role as employer of the players, gives them a position an authority.

So when these very same people then spill the secrets of one of their own players for political or personal reasons, they should take the toughest fall.

KP has often been a bit of an idiot. He’s an egotist. He likes money. Thinks of himself and his own interests more than most in a team environment. And does things on instinct. The ego, instinct and even the selfish nature of KP are part of what makes him a great batsman. He’s far from the first great selfish batsman, in fact many of the greatest batsmen have obvious selfish tendencies. As many of the greatest cricketers have amazingly big egos. And instinctively doing things is how many athletes live.

But when KP walked into the ECB to speak about anything from captaincy issues, his future in the game or taking time off, no matter how stupid he was, no matter how insane and egotistical his claims were, he was within his right to believe that they stayed with his employers.

They haven’t been. Over and over again, KP’s words have been fed to the media and not by the deputy deputy assistant to the travelling secretary, but by people in high positions that should know and act better. Perhaps we should give them the benefit of the doubt, and say that the leaks are accidental. It’s just that they happen over and over again, and so it’s either unprofessional accidental conduct, or a personal campaign against their own player.

While it’s true KP is trying to – in his words- maximise his opportunities, its not new. Money has always been a factor in cricket. Cricket’s laws were founded on gambling. Amateurs were often paid more than professionals. Cricketers used to retire to get real jobs. Kerry Packer and rebel tours came about because of vast sums of money. And the latest instalment is when a player retires from test cricket, or international cricket, to play in the IPL. If anything, KP is following in the footsteps of more than a few greats of the past.

Players have missed tours or tests for resting, rehab, depression, family reasons, and even pantomimes. In the past, players would miss Tests just because they didn’t want to go to the sub continent. Rodney Hogg liked being 12th man because he got paid the same and had more time to drink.

Even the rift in the changeroom is nothing new. England changerooms were segregated between amatuer and pro, and old and new players. Big game players who cause a rift are not new either. Shane Warne openly didn’t rate his coach and had a private feud with his vice captain Adam Gilchrist. All players, regardless of their ability, need to be treated differently. The star of Swanny’s diary is probably treated differently than Tim Bresnan.

Of recent times I’ve seen KP’s two greatest hundreds. A hundred in P Sara that gave England the chance to draw a series from behind. And this hundred at Headingley. There is no back up player that England have, or even current player, that has the ability to change a game so violently or anywhere near as fast. KP is something special.

He’s also a professional athlete who only has so many years to make money from his trade. A young dad who wants to see his son. A cricketer who doesn’t like ODI cricket that much. And a rash human being who makes his fair share of mistakes.

KP is not unique, he’s just acted like a spoilt teenager who has been betrayed by his parents.

Both sides want what is best for themselves. Both sides have made mistakes. Both sides have egos and pride. I mean it’s hard to say KP’s ego is the only factor when the other side have Giles Clarke. What needs to happen now is a series of meetings with those inside keeping the information to themselves and trying to find a solution, not make scapegoats.

If KP stops playing for England, he robs himself of glory, the ECB rob themselves of a champion player, and the fans are robbed of something special.

KP leaving Test cricket for good is the worst situation for everyone involved, so why would anyone want that?

Tagged ,

The boring early middle overs

You know that point in Test cricket where everyone is enjoying themselves and then suddenly Mike Hussey, Paul Collingwood or Virender Sehwag comes on to bowl the 72nd over. I hate that bit.

I love it when random bowlers come on for a tactical reason. No one can hide their smile when watching Graham Gooch bowl, and angels giggle through giddy excitement every time Sachin bowls his off and legspin. It’s fun and different, and makes cricket at any level feel like it’s being played in a park.

But it feels like enforced fun gone wrong when in the last eight overs before the new ball anyone is thrown the ball and told they just have to get through their over’s as quickly as possible so the real cricket can resume.

 

Apparently I am on the only one that thinks Michael Hussey hurrying between overs is a bad thing.

The ICC like it so much they have brought it into ODI cricket.

In a random attempt to make sure that the boring middle overs are less boring, the two moveable Powerplays are now being forced between the 15th and 35th overs.

I can see why some in charge would do this. ODI cricket is constantly being airbrushed and changed to make it a little more exciting and marketable. Australia put a pause between innings to make it more exciting domestically, giving the batting a team a chance to bat slowly for the break.

Administrators are looking for a way to make the game just that little bit more exciting. And the second and third Powerplays were being used generally in the least imaginable way by teams around the world.

It’s just that no one thought this new move to make the game more exciting would result in Ravi Bopara bowling the 12th over of an ODI, with a ball that is six-overs old.

You’ve got to admire the game of cricket for its ability to make any potential improvement into a bad thing so quickly.

Today Kevin Pietersen was used in this period.

Some people will see KP’s one over as something to be cherished, others will pine for Ravi Bopara.

You can’t please everyone.

Tagged , ,

The DRS hates Dhoni

MS Dhoni is a wicket keeper.

So when he comes on to bowl cricket statisticians orgasm, commentators chuckle and real cricket sadists find another years to fall in love.

If there was anyone in world cricket who didn’t want KP to go out to Dhoni, other than KP himself, they should be beaten.

Dhoni getting the wicket of KP is the sort of thing that adds to his legend.

In 12 years time you’re in a bar in Oslo (while some might know that I wrote Oslo before the fucked up shit happened, others may not. So I’m not changing this post, because fuck you you fucking terrorist cuntwad skull fucking cuntoxs, Oslo would be a cool place for the following story to happen in, who doesn’t want to get laid or drink booze with a crickety friend in Oslo. Stick that up your ass terrorists, I know the sole aim of your attack was to make me look like a fuckwit, but you lose), and some guy buys you a beer, you find out he’s a cricket fan and you can bond over Dhoni getting KP out.

You could have a lover in Oslo, or a drinking partner, and it’s all about Dhoni getting KP.

Cricket doesn’t win by KP staying in, thrusting his groin oddly down the wicket, it wins with a wicket keeping world cup winning captain getting out someone like KP.

That’s why DRS sucks.

But this isn’t just DRS’ fault, because cricket hasn’t got the laws right.

If there is a chance that something really cool could happen, it should.

Forget about hotspot, massage the laws however you need to, but the world is a better place when Dhoni gets KP out, and the laws need to help this.

Sure, it’s a tough law to police, but cricket needs it.

We can call it the Dhoni law, which means it’s slightly broader than it needs to be.

Tagged , , ,

ashes merchandise fail

I understand that the ashes is a big series that people want to make money off, and I understand the appeal of bobble heads, but in what world does this look like Ricky Ponting?

KP sort of looks like KP if he was trying to look like Guy Fawkes.

But, Ricky, well, he looks more like Josh Hazelwood’s ventriloquists dummy.

It should also be noticed that KP is not the captain of England.

I only say that incase Adidas didn’t know.

If you know who this “ricky” doll has been based on, feel free to link to that person in the comments.

Tagged , ,

The KP and Mitch relationship

While I may have an abusive relationship with Mitch, KP’s relationship with him is much different.

You only had to look into KP’s eyes while he denounced any possibility of having a relationship with Mitch to know it was something quite special.

Last week it was Mitch saying that KP was a smart ass and that KP hadn’t seriously asked for his number.

On the surface this could be just ashes byplay that means less than nothing other that keeping newspapers printing.

Ofcourse, that’s what they want you to think.

In truth this all started long ago when KP was playing in Brisbane and he saw Mitchell in his short plumbing shorts.

No it didn’t.

If you expect some sort of cricket slash story involving Mitch unclogging KP’s pipe this isn’t the place.

KP and Mitch have no relationship.

None whatsoever.

It wasn’t until last week that KP even knew Mitch existed.  Before getting bowled he thought Mitch was a net bowler who kept accidently walking out on the pitch.

And Mitch still can’t tell KP from Trott.  Cooley sent him out with a note that said, “KP is the one with the camp Saffa accent”, but Mitch couldn’t tell which one of them sounded like a camper.

Both men could be in the same elevator without any sexual tension being noticeable to a third party.

Their relationship is not professional or platonic, it simply fails to exist.  Like Mitch’s inswinger a fortnight ago.

When Mitch was dropped (rested) and KP was (rested) dropped, they didn’t console each other.  There were no soothing text messages or kind digital words of any kind.

Mitch just continued his gormless existence and KP went about his life in KP land.

Although, if they did have a sexual relationship…. No, can’t even try and go there, imagining that is worse than watching a Mitch short ball down the legside or KP sweeping Hauritz off his head.  Although if you combine the two naked and that is exactly how they would go about it.

Tagged , ,

Is John Buchanan a nobody or something else?

It’s one of the biggest questions in cricket, and also, kind of stupid.

If you are talking about him, he isn’t a no one, not even in quantum physics.

Buchanan’s comments got international media attention, that isn’t a nobody.  If I said KP was going to be a liability, it wouldn’t make a newspaper.  Unless I also claimed I had photos of him dressing as Xena.

But what is Buchanan?

A leech that attached itself to very strong creatures in New Texas and Australia and just sucked them dry ensuring he had a long and fruitful career whilst looking at a clipboard.

An enigma of cricket coaching that gets the most out of hard working players and completely pisses off the talented players in his line up.

A series of atoms formed into the shape of a man with a ridiculous moustache.

A cardboard cut out that you plonk in front of reporters for press conferences with a tape recorder attached and wows reporters with his knowledge of motivational speak and old crappy Chinese writers.

Something Shane Warne dragged in on his shoe.

Cricket’s first coaching accountant, who made sure that his team were rarely in the black.

Someone who got famous for accidentally leaving out his team notes for a shield final, and then did it on purpose a bunch of times after that without ever coming up with a more original idea.

Sourav Ganguly’s pet.

The ultimate cricketing conman.

One of those people who gets jobs they shouldn’t because they interview so well.

It’s all a rather large mystery.  He seems to exist, earn money, get more work, is often quoted in the news, and yet, what is he?

I doubt he is human, but he also doesn’t feel robotic or alien.  Perhaps he is a hybrid species of animal, one who can impress the people who matter, frustrate those who don’t, and continue to talk in a deep serious tone for hours on end while certain people nod in agreement.

Shit, maybe he is a priest. He certainly looks like he could be a priest from the wild west with that moustache and his love of wide brimmed hats.  Helping the gold miners and annoying the gun slingers.  Giving advice that can often be ignored by most people and seems to give comfort to a few.  Always wanting to be involved, but never really getting his hands dirty. The nerdish straight laced one who never quite fits in with most of the regular folks yet the towns elders really like having around.

He definitely isn’t a nobody, and if you call someone a nobody, aren’t you really saying they aren’t a nobody? Surely the best way to call someone a nobody is by saying, “sorry, who is that, nope, never heard of him”.

Tagged , ,