So, here’s what happened: Kevin Pietersen made a few ill-advised comments to the papers about a) how he wanted to go home to England already after a long tour and b) how the current team is a “lonely place to be.” It now also appears Pietersen, like Matt Prior, asked to temporarily leave the tour to be with his wife, Jessica Taylor (pictured above), who was in a final of a celebrity dance show. He was denied and, for the record, she came in third (someone called Ray Quinn won).
A number of critics, including Nasser Hussain, have taken on Pietersen for the comments, but I’m not sure why, not least because Dancing on Ice sounds like a great show, no doubt more entertaining than the West Indies-England series.
But even when considering the matter seriously, it’s clear everyone has over-reacted: a) Pietersen bent over backwards in respect to Andrew Strauss’ captaincy, saying over and over that he didn’t want to interfere; b) admitting homesickness isn’t all that treacherous (Flintoff and Harmison regularly go on about this); c) Pietersen remains the best batsman of the team. Even while he’s stuttered during the ODI series (with an average of just over 1o), he was a top England scorer in the Tests, averaging 58. If anything, England’s team is so lonely because it’s obvious Pietersen is just so much better than his teammates. It’s so hard being the best, I imagine?
And, in case you wanted to see what Pietersen missed, here’s a YouTube compilation of Taylor’s efforts during the competition: