Kevin Pietersen’s 326 not out was expected to give ECB’s new director of cricket Andrew Strauss plenty of food for thought, but the former England skipper is set to announce that Pietersen will play no part in England’s future.
A disruptive influence in the dressing-room and the deteriorated relationship between the two in the past are potential reasons that have been circulating in the media, but Pietersen’s autobiography certainly wouldn’t have helped either.
As renowned cricket analyst Simon Hughes put it: ‘It’s too late, there’s too much baggage. Pietersen was lucky to get another chance after the text messages to South African players behind Andrew Strauss’s back. It’s like being unfaithful to your wife – you might get away with it once but not twice. His book was his own infidelity, times 50. That compounded what he had already done.’
Here are five quotes from KP: The Autobiography, which might go some way to explaining why the South African-born batsman might never don the Three Lions again.
‘A clique choked our team and Andy Flower let that clique grow like a bad weed … Contagiously sour, infectiously dour. He could walk into a room and suck all the joy out of it in five seconds. Just a Mood Hoover. That’s how I came to think of him.’
‘When we didn’t have success as a distraction, they needed a scapegoat. Preferably somebody big, boisterous and annoying. Somebody who left colourful footprints on the pristine white carpets.’
‘The dressing room slowly became the territory of those biggest mouths among the bowlers – and a wicketkeeper. They ran an exclusive club. If you were outside that clique, you were fair game for mocking, ridicule, bullying. That’s what those guys did.’
‘The way he [Prior] criticised people who’d made mistakes on the field to a playground or a workplace, this behaviour would be labelled as bullying. He does the managing upwards well. The schoolyard bully who is also teacher’s pet. He’s back-stabbing, he’s horrendous, he’s bad for the environment.’
‘I was the guy in the England team who was there to win a session. If I bat for two or three sessions we stand a great chance of winning that Test match. That was my job. I did pretty well to score the number of runs I did at the average I did with so many man-of-the-matches – so I’m not having this where people say, you played for yourself, you’re selfish. But it was a great line to feed from Flower, from the ECB. “Oh, he’s just a lone ranger, he’s this, he’s that.” I’m not having that.’