#360view: Strauss wrong to give Pietersen false hope

Ajit Vijaykumar 11:30 13/05/2015
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Frustrated: Kevin Pietersen.

The cat is now out of the bag. England team’s management does not want Kevin Pietersen anywhere near them, no matter what he does or is capable of doing on a cricket field.

– KP snubbed by Andrew Strauss over England recall
– KP launches scathing attack on Strauss and Harrison
– VIDEO: Andrew Strauss – ‘England don’t trust KP’

Ever since he was shown the door last year following England’s Ashes whitewash in Australia, where he was their leading run-scorer, there was a feeling Pietersen might never play for England again.

The all-time top run-getter for England had all but accepted that his England playing days were over and all he could do now was travel from one T20 show to the other. 

But he received an unexpected lifeline when new ECB chairman Colin Graves said there could be a way back for the 34-year-old if he scored enough runs in the county circuit.

Pietersen jumped at the opportunity, pulled out of the IPL and got down to the business of churning out runs for Surrey.

He scored a 50 in his first first-class game, and then hit a sensational 355 not out against Leicestershire, a knock that included 15 sixes.

It certainly got the management’s attention, with new England director Andrew Strauss conveying it to Pietersen that he will not play for his country again, just hours after the triple centurion had come off the field. 

Strauss said there is a “massive trust issue” between the England board and the batsman.

I don’t know in what part of the world the new England director was living in when Graves gave Pietersen a ray of hope but most of us followed that development and failed to spot any trust deficit in it.

Or is it that Graves is not a part of the process? And if the South Africa-born player is not to be trusted, why offer him the role of an advisor in ODIs?

Maybe Strauss himself doesn’t like Pietersen, which makes sense as it was the entire issue of KP sending “provocative” texts, that were critical of Strauss, to South Africa players in 2012 that started it all.

With Strauss calling the shots, there was never going to be a way back for Pietersen. 

Many careers have finished because players have rubbed people up the wrong way, there is nothing surprising about it.

But when a player is asked to do something to prove himself again, goes ahead and does it and then is told he was never going to be accepted back in the first place, it’s saddening. 

There is a feeling that Pietersen was disloyal to Strauss when he sent those texts. But does that mean KP therefore loses all right to represent England again? Did he do something worse than hitting his team-mate with a bat in the dressing room and injuring him? Pakistan’s Shoaib Akhtar did that to Mohammad Asif and still played for four more years. 

Were KP’s actions worse than getting drunk during a World Cup and having to be rescued from a capsized pedalo in the sea? England’s Andrew Flintoff endured that in 2007 and played for two more years. It can’t possibly be worse than spot fixing, which Pakistan pacer Mohammad Aamer did and was banned for.

By the way, Aamer is working his way back to the national fold. 

Whatever he did, Pietersen did not deserve to be given false hope. He acted in good faith, gave up on a big IPL pay day for a shot at an England recall and now the door has been slammed shut.

He only has a handful of cricketing years left in him and to toy with him so publicly appears vindictive and cruel. At least we now know the management, specifically Strauss, just doesn’t like KP.

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