DANIEL GREGORY’S COLUMN - KP saga comes to a head as ECB stand firm

Kevin Pietersen
Kevin Pietersen

It is obviously hard to pass judgement on the dropping of Kevin Pietersen for the third Test against South Africa without being made privy to the goings-on of the England cricket team’s dressing room, but from the outside looking in it seems Mr Pietersen has been rattling a few cages.

I am a massive fan of Pietersen. He epitomises everything that is great about modern cricket.

He is confident, powerful and entertaining, and has been a revelation in the England set-up since he controversially took the place of Graham Thorpe back in 2005.

But to view this from a team perspective, you have to put yourself in the shoes of coach Andy Flower, captain Andrew Strauss and the chairman of selectors, Geoff Miller.

How much trouble would the best player in a team have to cause to be dropped for what is their most important Test match since the Ashes finale at the Oval in 2005?

The simple answer is, a lot. Rumours are rife that KP doesn’t see eye-to-eye with everyone in the dressing room, and that he is teased because of his huge ego and larger-than-life attitude.

This was confirmed by the shocking news that KP had apparently been sending less than complimentary texts to the South African’s about Strauss and the rest of the team at the Headlingley Test.

Now that has to just be the final straw for the management team now, despite his alleged apology on Tuesday.

Drama after drama will just unsettle the team and that is something you can be doing without as a unit.

No matter how good a player is, and KP is one of the best to ever play for England, you simply can’t accept the sort of behaviour he’s been offering of late.

We have a superb batch of young batsmen ready to take up the vacant spot.

It is great to see Yorkshire’s Jonathan Bairstow back in the side for a second time. Hopefully he can impress in place of Pietersen this time around and make the place his own.

But if he does fail again, his Yorkshire teammate Joe Root, Notts’ Alex Hales, Somerset’s Jos Buttler and Middlesex’s Eoin Morgan will be waiting in the wings.

I applaud the ECB for taking a firm stance with KP and believe it will benefit us in the long term, hopefully starting this week at Lord’s.