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:
It’s high time we gave KP a break – but being English, we of course want to tear down our best player. We should be grateful he even went on the tour after the way the ECB treated him.
Here’s the problem… Everyone in cricket complains about how all the people involved in the game are too bland and there are so few true characters around anymore like Shane Warne. But the second Matthew Hayden calls Harbhajan an obnoxious little weed, or Andrew Symonds goes off about not wanting to tour Pakistan (before the attack on the Sri Lankans) or Symonds goes off on Brendan McCullum, or Kevin Pietersen speaks honestly about how his tour has been going, the hypocritical media starts sounding off about how so and so should have kept his mouth shut. If it wasn’t for Pietersen’s comments last week, the English press would be pumping out the same drivel that’s been printed all tour about Steve Harmison and Ian Bell not living up to what they should be, Owais Shah not getting a fair go, Monty Panesar not varying up his deliveries, England not being a good one-day outfit, etc. etc. The press should be thanking Pietersen every day they see him for giving them something different to write about instead of the same old nonsense.
[…] colors.” Cricket-flirting, guys? Do you really think that’s going to make you miss Jessica Taylor less, […]
They are professionals.
Sacrifices have to be made.