Sportsdesk Comment: Pietersen row leaves a huge mess

Kevin Pietersen has grabbed the headlines this week
Kevin Pietersen has grabbed the headlines this week

It must be a typically English trait to make our country look stupid in front of the whole sporting world.

The people at the Football Association do it enough, and now it has fallen on the shoulders of the ECB to make us look a joke.

As South Africa’s legendry batsman Graeme Smith mocked in a tweet this week: “I see the head boy is making English cricket the laughing stock again! #StraussLogic.”

But it isn’t just Andrew Strauss. The whole situation surrounding Kevin Pietersen is a total mess.

Pietersen was and maybe still is box office with the bat, but he has been letting himself down as a person.

We have all fallen out with people in our lives, and I’m sure there have been plenty of high-level spats in sport, but the fact that the whole thing has been dragged through the media is embarrassing.

If Pietersen kept his head down and continued scoring runs, which is what he is paid to do by Surrey, then he is more likely to be looked upon favourably.

But does the fact that he is scoring big runs against mediocre second division attacks mean that he should be guaranteed a place anyway?

There is a playground feel to Strauss’ behaviour - I don’t like him so he can’t play in my team.

But Pietersen has done himself no favours.

Why would anyone at the ECB trust you if you are going to come out and start crying about how hurt you are in the media every time you get dropped.

Did Adam Lyth or any of the other Yorkshire lads do that when they were taken to the West Indies to sit on the sidelines? No.

Maybe Strauss’ childish behaviour is partly to blame and he has made himself look like the spoilt schoolboy, but maybe it is just time for Pietersen and everyone else to move on.

If Pietersen had been selected for the Tests with New Zealand and then the Ashes against Australia then would it be positive?

He may have done well, but the fact that he is 34 means that he only has a few years at the top level left in him.

Or he could have failed miserably, denying a younger, up-and-coming batsman the chance to gain valuable experience.

That all looks to be irrelevant now. But the problem remains that English cricket is a joke rather than the proud institution it once was.