Home > Features >

On the ECB Titanic, Kevin Pietersen is only the tip of the iceberg

On the ECB Titanic, Kevin Pietersen is only the tip of the iceberg

The ECB is lucky this issue has arisen with Kevin Pietersen because it has allowed their own lack of foresight and chronic mismanagement to be obscured by the long shadow of The Ego’s past misdemeanours © Getty Images

It’s born of ignorance, but I’m pretty sceptical about the value of professional sports psychologists such as Jeremy Snape, formerly of England and South Africa’s backroom staff, although if he was the inspiration behind Graeme Smith’s lifetime habit-changing declaration on Monday then he deserves immense credit. I still associate him more, though, with his stint for the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) a few years back, not least when being fined for failing to prevent Andrew Flintoff doing his soggiest Ben Ainslie impression during England’s disastrous 2007 World Cup campaign in the Caribbean.

 

How England fans must desperately be wishing Snape was still alongside Andy Flower now, however, because even the most rudimentary observer of sport and humanity could tell you that geniuses are often vain, egotistical, self-absorbed and disruptive, requiring of attention and above all the need to be cosseted and feel appreciated. When other people make them feel this way, either by offering them cobras or koalas stuffed full of dollars and hero-worshipping them for their on field performances rather than their off field proclivities, they are likely to be skittish and have their heads turned instead of displaying unwavering patriotism. It’s at the very least a bit ironic that the world’s leading immigration service provider, the ECB, should condemn Kevin Pietersen, born in Natal, for acting in such a manner

 

Kevin Pietersen: In happier times

 

Above and beyond the dubious and inconsistent whims of Kevin Pietersen, it is the ECB’s failure to manage those whims and its contractual inflexibility with regard to the changing financial complexities of the game that has left all fans asking how on earth we are potentially no longer going to be able to watch one of the most exotic and destructive batsmen ever play international cricket. It has to be made clear to Pietersen immediately that the requirement for him to play T20s and ODIs both rather than either will be dropped in September when his contract is up for renewal. This is not just for the sake of Pietersen or fans thereof, but for the good of the entire England cricket team moving forwards. The ECB cannot hold back the tide of money and franchises, however distasteful the likes of Jonathan Agnew may find them, and, although Pietersen is a very special case – a phrase some of his team mates clearly often use in the pejorative and we should note he was the only major player absent from Alastair Cook’s wedding earlier this year – his particular requirements are not going to seem quite so unique in years to come.

 

The ECB is lucky this issue has arisen with Pietersen because it has allowed their own lack of foresight and chronic mismanagement to be obscured by the long shadow of The Ego’s past misdemeanours and present wholly unsurprising desire to pick and choose matches (admittedly a demand I find more understandable and acceptable in the shorter forms than for Tests). In two years, when the same scenario arises with other players likely to be attractive to T20 franchises but with a less problematic reputation, such as James Taylor, it won’t be so easy for Giles Clarke and Company to save face with the odd leak from supposedly confidential meetings with the individuals concerned.

 

So, for now, just lie back on a couch and think of England, and ask yourself if you really want the ECB to continue hemorrhaging the finest talents in English cricket largely for the sake of preserving the commercial value of ODI series featuring the likes of Steve Smith? 

 

(James Marsh is a TEFL teacher based in the Czech Republic, although his real occupation is alienating those close to him by wallowing on statsguru. He blogs on cricket at Pavilion Opinions and can be found on Twitter at @PavilionOpinion)

World T20 League 2014

Oct 2, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Oct 2, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

West Indies tour of India 2014, Practice match

Oct 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Mumbai

Matador BBQs One-Day Cup, 2014

Oct 4, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Woolloongabba, Brisbane

Matador BBQs One-Day Cup, 2014

Oct 4, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Brisbane

More

World T20 League 2014

Sep 30, 2014  at Bengaluru

Barbados won by 6 wkts (D/L method)

World T20 League 2014

Sep 30, 2014  at Bengaluru

Perth Scorchers won by 3 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 29, 2014  at Hyderabad

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 36 runs

World T20 League 2014

Sep 28, 2014  at Mohali

Kings XI Punjab won by 7 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 28, 2014  at Mohali

Hobart Hurricanes won by 6 wkts

Photos

KKR vs Dolphins, CLT20 2014

Videos

Arjuna Ranatunga shares his views on U-19 cricket

Live Cricket Score Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Hobart Hurricanes CLT20 2014 1st semi-final: Hobart Hurricanes elect to bat

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Hobart Hurricanes, 1st Semi final, CLT20 2014: Hobart likely XI

Kings XI Punjab vs Chennai Super Kings, 2nd Semifinal, CLT20 2014: CSK likely XI

Gandhi Jayanti: Mahatma Gandhi’s cricket connections and an XI

Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) vs Chennai Super Kings (CSK), 2nd Semifinal, CLT20 2014: KXIP likely XI

Asian Games Asian Games 2014 Barbados Tridents Cape Cobras Champions League T20 2014 CLT20 CLT20 2014 Dolphins India at Asian Games 2014 Kings XI Punjab KKR vs Dolphins Kolkata Knight Riders

Sachin Tendulkar accepts Narendra Modi’s challenge to participate in Clean India campaign

Australia undergo grueling practice session ahead of UAE tour

Live Scorecard: Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Hobart Hurricanes, 1st Semi final, CLT20 2014

Live Cricket Score: Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Hobart Hurricanes, 1st Semi final, CLT20 2014

Live Streaming: Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Hobart Hurricanes, 1st Semi final, CLT20 2014

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) vs Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), CLT20 2014 2nd semi-final: Key battles

Australia’s ODI team faces a dilemma for the first time in 30 years

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Hobart Hurricanes, 1st Semi final, CLT20 2014: Hobart likely XI

Kings XI Punjab vs Chennai Super Kings, 2nd Semifinal, CLT20 2014: CSK likely XI

Gandhi Jayanti: Mahatma Gandhi’s cricket connections and an XI

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

671 Posts | 6 Fans

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Kings XI Punjab- Final Match Highlights from IPL 2014

Bang Bang Dare: Aamir puts the transistor down, Hrithik compliments his fitness

India vs Pakistan Asian Games 2014 Hockey Final Match Live Updates: India take on Pakistan in title clash

Pakistan violates ceasefire in Poonch, 6 civilians injured

Smartphone apps helps spy on protesters in Hong Kong: US security firm

Ae Director Mani Ratnam praises Yaan!

iOS 8 reportedly causing Bluetooth connectivity issues: Report

5 scenes from Hrithik Roshan-Katrina Kaif’s Bang Bang which reminded us of Tom Cruise-Cameron Diaz’s Knight And Day!

India facing shortage of HIV drugs, Harsh Vardhan to ensure adequate supply soon

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here