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Time For Pietersen To Let His Bat Do The Talking

Aaron Kumar - Cricket World®

While England have fought valiantly to get themselves back into the current ODI series in the Caribbean, after levelling the series at 2-2 in Barbados last Sunday, it is fair to say that former England captain Kevin Pietersen hasn’t exactly covered himself in glory with some of the comments that he has made during the past few weeks.

Pietersen may have resigned from the captaincy just prior to this tour after the relationship between himself and then coach Peter Moores broke down, but while he may have been “hurt” by these developments, the reality is that most International cricketers who love their country would lead their side again at a time of need. 

Given the fact that questions have been asked about Andrew Struass’s role in the Twenty20 side, Pietersen was asked if he would consider stepping in as England skipper for the ICC World Twenty20 in June. If England told him they were desperate his answer was simple “no”; some might say that such honesty is refreshing but if you take a closer look it is a worrying sign that England’s star player will not even consider stepping up for the team at an hour of need.

It is fair to say that England’s tour of the Caribbean has been a tough one and one where perhaps the tourists might have expected more success, but I found Pietersen’s comments about being at this end of his tether and claiming how he was ready to just go home staggering, especially given the fact that there were at the time still three games remaining and he is England’s match winner, surely he would want to do his talking on the field like any great player?

Later it emerged that Pietersen had requested to go home for 48 hours between the third and fourth Test Match to watch his wife contest a game show in London - his request was declined,but then when one sees the terrible nature of Pietersen’s dismissal in the third ODI in Barbados top edging to mid wicket on three, incidentally just a few minutes before the show went on air, one has to question the clarity of Pietersen’s mind at this moment in time.

Before the third ODI Pietersen intimated that he believed Shiv Chanderpaul was a selfish player. Speaking about an opposition player in such terms especially when you are away from home and you are talking about their star player is not an advisable move, indeed West Indies captain Chris Gayle has vented his anger at Pietersen’s comments.

Great a player as Pietersen is, one player is not bigger than the game and surely his job is to put bat on ball rather than make these constant one liners which attract so much attention. It is taking the focus away from what he should be concentrating on, should this continue then I would personally like to see England take a tough stance to prove that no one is bigger than the team by leaving KP out for a few games, will this happen? This answer to that is a resounding no!

© Cricket World 2009

Aaron Kumar is Cricket World's globetrotting international reporter and in the last year, he has visited Canada, Peru and the United States amongst other countries. He writes a weekly column for CricketWorld.com each Wednesday.