Paul Collingwood © Getty Images
Paul Collingwood has joined England coaching staff © Getty Images


By Julian Guyer


London: Feb 26, 2014


Paul Collingwood who captained England setup to a World Twenty20 (T20) title in ICC World T20 2010 has now joined their coaching staff on a temporary basis.


As England get ready to take on West Indies, Collingwood shared his views on various aspects related to coaching and the controversial axing of arguably England’s best batsman, Kevin Pietersen.  Collingwood said, “You need your X-factor players, your mavericks and different personalities, because people express themselves at a whole new level,” Collingwood told The Guardian.


“You don’t need robots. In fact you cannot have robots any more. If you’re going to win things you’re going to have to give these mavericks a leash and allow them to perform,” he added.


Having given what seems a textbook definition of the player England have lost in Pietersen, how does Collingwood explain the departure of his former team-mate?


“It’s disappointing as an England fan that relationships have broken down,” Collingwood said. “I’m not blaming either side, but that’s the disappointing thing — you’ve got such an amazing player and he’s not going to be involved with England again.


“There were times when I played with KP [Pietersen] when he frustrated the living hell out of you — in a way people on the outside wouldn’t know —  but I always knew he could win player of the tournament or a World Cup.


“But you have to trust the guys in the know. These aren’t easy decisions and they [the ECB] obviously think this is for the best over a long period.”


England, captained by Stuart Broad, started their tour with a 29-run win over a University of the West Indies Vice-Chancellor’s XI that featured a hundred from rising star Joe Root and a century for the home side from the little known Kyle Corbin.


The tourists will look to the likes of Joe Root and wicket-keeper-batsman Jos Buttler to turn promise into performance against a West Indies side where Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels, Darren Sammy, Kieron Pollard and Kemar Roach all have injuries of varying severity.


Indeed the big-hitting Gayle, just as much of an ‘entertainer’ as Pietersen when in form, has played no cricket since November when he tore a hamstring in a one-day international against India in Kochi.


A series without Gayle and Pietersen would be missing two top of the bill performers but for the ‘understudies’ on both sides this could be their chance to shine.