The princess and the KP

It took Paul Downton a month to fatally and irrevocably destroy his authority by making an absurd decision which defied all logic, and which he was entirely unable to explain in public.

Andrew Strauss has managed it in just two days.

Very few people were calling for the immediate restoration of Kevin Pietersen to the England side. The desire was only for natural justice: for Pietersen to be treated in an identical manner to any other player – or if not, to have the reasons properly and frankly explained.

For the last fifteen months, Andrew Strauss and Tom Harrison watched from the sidelines as the ECB tore English cricket apart through a combination of arrogant mendacity and moral corruption. They observed everything which went wrong, and then, after due deliberation, decided to do exactly the same thing again.

At the heart of today’s events lies the very same crime as was committed in February 2014 – to judge that the English cricketing public deserved no explanation for the ECB’s decision-making.

Andrew Strauss promised “some really honest and open conversation about Kevin Pietersen”, and then proceeded to offer not one shred of honesty. He will exclude Pietersen because of a breach of trust, but will not say what that means or what it involves.

What is trust, in the context of a cricket team? What can they not trust Pietersen to do, or trust not to do? How does that trust affect the way the team performs? As Pietersen has given his all – and sacrificed large pay-cheques – to return to the side, how likely would he be to breach trust in a meaningful way during a final year in England whites?

And how could Pietersen be trusted with an ODI advisory role, but not to hit cricket balls for runs?

Strauss believes we have no right to know the answers to any of these questions. As ever, the ECB expect us to shut up and keep buying the tickets.

On the BBC, Jonathan Agnew asked Strauss to clarify exactly what the “trust issues” with Pietersen are. Strauss replied by saying:

A number of issues over a long period of time. I don’t need to spell them out for you Aggers, you’ve been there all the way through it.

Which is fine, as long as they only person who needs to know is the BBC cricket correspondent. Alas, further probing from the interviewer came there none. Nor was Strauss subjected to forensic questioning during his principal TV interview, conducted by his friends at Sky Sports, who until one week ago were also Strauss’s employers. Talk about incestuous.

With one hand the ECB speak of reconnecting with supporters while with the other, they patronise, dissemble, and insult our intelligence. According to chief executive Tom Harrison:

This has been a tricky issue. What we’re focussing on now is the future of English cricket. There’s a sense of excitement about where we can take English cricket in the years to come.

Feeling excited, huh? Do they really think we’ll swallow this nonsense? Or do they simply not care? I’m not sure which is worse.

Strauss’s silence entitles to us to draw our own conclusions. Here are mine. The ECB would rather kill cricket stone dead then cede one inch to the Great Unwashed. They care for nothing except the gratification of their spite, vindictiveness and pride.

Strauss identifies the long history of distrust between him and Pietersen. Yet the pair had no dealings with each other between the time of Pietersen’s “rehabilitation” after Textgate, when the slate was officially wiped clean, and Pietersen’s sacking in February 2014. Downton’s official reason for the dismissal was Pietersen’s “disinterest and disengagement”. So which is it?The trust or the disengagement? Is Strauss moving the goalposts and retrospectively re-punishing Pietersen over charges for which he’s already served his time?

Tom Harrison alluded to Pietersen’s book. This was written after Pietersen was fired. Was he therefore sacked for something he did after he was sacked? Would he have won back his place had he not written it? As Pietersen made no significant criticism of any current England player in his autobiography, what difference does it make anyway?

But in that volume Pietersen did attack the ECB – and there’s the rub. When they speak of trust and loyalty, they mean loyalty to the ECB itself, as a corporate entity – which is rather different from the England cricket team.

The Lord’s top brass and their friends in the press will no doubt dismiss today’s furore as the frothing of ignorant, internet-addicted lunatics. Which is why two of the most telling remarks have come from that well-known keyboard warrior and cricket outsider, Alec Stewart.

Kevin is entitled to feel let down a little bit by the ECB following the comments of the incoming chairman, Colin Graves, when he said six or seven weeks or so ago the slate had been wiped clean, to find himself a county, score runs and he’d be considered, or words to that effect. Which Kevin has done: he’s had two phone conversations with the incoming chairman, so it wasn’t a misinterpretation just from that Gary Richardson [BBC Radio] Sunday morning sports show.

I’d like to know who at the ECB doesn’t trust him, because from when that decision was made 14, 15, 16 months ago, there is now a new chairman, new chief executive, new director of cricket and there now will be a new coach, so which individual or individuals don’t trust him?

This evening, Kevin Pietersen himself said:

I had two phone conversations with Colin Graves and he was crystal clear in saying I had to get a county, score runs and that there was a clean slate. He said that when he comes in as chairman he wants the best players playing for England. He told me that on the phone in two separate conversations. He also repeated it to national newspapers.

[At the meeting with Strauss] I asked: “Who doesn’t trust me? You have a new chairman, a new CEO, we have spent the last 10 minutes sorting out our differences like adults. Let’s go through the batting order.”

I rattled off names. [Strauss] could not give me any names. He said it is a broader thing and not just the players.

Strauss could name no players who didn’t trust Pietersen, because he could only have said – at a pinch – James Anderson and Alastair Cook. That’s the same Alastair Cook who is a living embodiment of trust – so trustworthy in fact, that he ran to Andy Flower to tell tales about Pietersen after the infamous Melbourne team meeting. This fact was not cooked up by rabid blogs but disclosed by the ECB in the ‘dossier’ last October’.

So why did Graves’s pledges come to nothing? Here’s a hypothesis. Graves made the promise in good faith, but hadn’t accounted for the fragile ego of Alastair Cook, who threw a tantrum at the prospect of not getting his way. Graves was then persuaded that, with the Ashes looming and Cook still under pressure, nothing should be allowed to disturb the Dear Leader’s equilibrium.

In the same way that most general elections, whatever the polls, usually result in a Conservative victory, so every dispute in English cricket results in Alastair Cook getting what he wants. Once again, the priorities of English cricket must be inverted from sane principles. Everything must revolve around Cook and serve his best interests. Heaven forfend that any irritant be borne by this pampered, indulged, Little Lord Fauntleroy. Pietersen is the bolus beneath the pile of mattresses. The princess and the KP.

What chance now that Jason Gillespie leaves an excellent job to walk into this mess? England have just lost the best coach they will never have. Even if Dizzy is prepared to take charge of a team for which he can’t pick the best players for unknown political reasons, could he possibly stomach the idea of churning out the ludicrous party line in public? Shares in Paul Farbrace rose sharply at today’s news.

In the days ahead there is plenty more to discuss from Strauss’s press conference. He has appointed Joe Root as vice-captain, will appoint a single head coach for both ODI and test cricket, and will take part in selection meetings – despite deciding to retain the “services” of James ‘One Cap’ Whitaker. Yes, we live in a world where James Whitaker is deemed more useful to English cricket than Kevin Pietersen.

We’ll unpick all those talking points later on, and meanwhile, I hope that despite everything Pietersen continues to play for Surrey. Technically, Strauss has not entirely ruled out the possibility of Pietersen playing for England again, at some unspecified point in the future – but not this summer. A clumsy piece of sophistry, Strauss has constructed a convoluted position which in its ambiguity is guaranteed to cause further trouble. If Pietersen continues to score runs, and England are in serious Ashes jeopardy, what can Strauss say?

In the final analysis you can only admire the ECB’s ingenuity. For fifteen months, the Pietersen saga has wreaked immense damage to English cricket. Somehow, Colin Graves, Tom Harrison and Andrew Strauss have now pulled off the seemingly impossible feat of making it even worse. Astonishingly, they’ve sunk the ECB’s reputation even lower. That takes a special kind of skill.

When Downton was sent packing, we began to harbour faint hopes of a new dawn at the ECB. Now look at it. They can’t even sack people properly. First Peter Moores finds out he’s been fired by reading about it on the internet – during an England match – because no one at Lord’s could be bothered to tell him in person. Then the ECB chairman promises Pietersen he can be re-selected, at the cost of forfeiting lucrative contracts, only to change his mind. All within four days. These guys are making Giles Clarke look good.

When Graves offered Pietersen an olive branch, and Harrison dismissed Paul Downton, the ECB gave themselves a second chance. A chance to repair the alienation of supporters. A chance to reunite the team with the public. A chance to show that English cricket belongs to everyone.

That chance was squandered, and they may never get another. By their actions today, the ECB have made their choice abundantly clear. Cricket belongs to them, not to us. It is their personal property, to use, abuse, and exploit as they wish. Cricket is none of our business.

The ECB speak trenchantly about trust. They have lost the public’s forever.

Maxie Allen


  • A number of issues over a long period of time. I don’t need to spell them out for you Aggers…

    [Strauss] could not give me any names. He said it is a broader thing and not just the players…

    Willing to wound, and yet afraid to strike,
    Just hint a fault, and hesitate dislike;
    Alike reserv’d to blame, or to commend,
    A tim’rous foe, and a suspicious friend.

    • ECB is all poor cricket and poor managment. it is shame that our cricket is on its knees. Any player who plays well should be on the team, rest should not. ECB is breeding a culture of trust, even some one does not play well, they will keep him on the team because he is trust worthy? You are sending a wrong message to younger generation.

      It is an unfortunate that whole world is looking at these shambles, failures, Deceit, lies. The younger player as well might decide, i dont want england shirt, rather i would prefer to play Big bash or IPL or Ramslam. English cricket is all about trustworthy poor form cricketers who get to decide the future of others.

      it is time we should have another cricket body, who can pick talent and value talent. Start fresh, a new chapter for english cricket!!!

  • He obviously didn’t score the right sort of runs.

    If you get chance have a listen to the Tuffers and Vaughan show

  • Technically, Strauss has not entirely ruled out the possibility of Pietersen playing for England again, at some unspecified point in the future – but not this summer. Lawyers amongst us will clarify this, but I think the one thing they can’t say is that KP is banned or excluded for life – this opens the door to a claim of discrimination or some such. So they have to keep using the formula ‘not currently part of our plans’.

    Am I the only person who finds that photograph creepy?

    Your hypothesis about Graves and Cook makes a lot of sense to me. I’m beginning to think that Pietersen’s greatest mistake has been to underestimate Cook, not as a cricketer but as an opponent.

    • It’s been proven then… Too many Cooks do spoil the broth. In this instance, it took but one!

      I also find myself feeling uncomfortable on viewing the photograph. A caption competition candidate if ever there was one!
      “Tongues?” …………….. “Of course, my love!”

  • “This has been a tricky issue. What we’re focussing on now is the future of English cricket. There’s a sense of excitement about where we can take English cricket in the years to come.

    Feeling excited, huh? Do they really think we’ll swallow this nonsense? Or do they simply not care? I’m not sure which is worse.”

    Very, very we’l put and, you’re right, this is actually all about Cook and his entrenched supporters….good grief.

  • That this clusterfuck is not the lowest point in their history speaks volumes about the ECB. And what of Colin Graves? Did he lie to KP or did he have his legs cut out from under him by the organisation that he is soon to be in charge of? What are the chances that Giles Clarke had Strauss appointed and KP ruled out of selection before Graves takes over?

    • And organized a media campaign against Graves. That’s my take on it, particularly given Vaughan and Boycott’s comments. But we could be giving Graves too much credit….

  • Prediction time.

    For the NZ series – either a Kiwi win (1-0) or a drawn series (aka “English weather wins”).

    For the Ashes – at least one test rained out, Australia wins the series 3-1 (or 2-1 depending on the weather). If the weather really helps out, England might be able to scrape home with a 1-1 drawn series. Which leaves the Urn in Australia (OK, in Lords, but you know what I mean) but also means that Princess Cook can avoid the shame of losing another Ashes series.

    As for any ODI games – does anyone seriously think that this team has improved since the World Cup? They’ll lose, unless the ICC decides to send Afghanistan for a tour in England.

    • Culex: every game not seriously affected by weather will be an England defeat. Australia will utterly gut us. This is not a team talk, Cook… we would struggle to emerge safely from a three Test series with Bangladesh in the current climate. That’ll be KP’s fault, then.

      Next coach: Flower 2.0, and I’d put a twenty on it. Look at the way everything has gone in the last month. It’s gotta be Flower. Gillespie would be truly bonkers to go anywhere near this cesspit.

  • By their actions today, the ECB have made their choice abundantly clear. Cricket belongs to them, not to us. It is their personal property, to use, abuse, and exploit as they wish. Cricket is none of our business.


    The only thing I can add to that is that, in Strauss, they have found a Director of Cricket clearly prepared to accept and enforce all of that.

  • One of the most interesting points on the Tuffers & Vaughan show last night was that, even if one wholly accepts Strauss declared point of view, there is no real reason why Pietersen should not be in the one day side – and extremely good cricketing reasons why he should.

    Cook will not be in the side, so that ‘issue of trust’ does not come up. The side certainly does not have the ‘settled middle order’ obviating Pietersen’s selection.
    Given Strauss has already offered an advisory role (unsurprisingly declined in the circumstances), what possible reason is there for not being prepared to select him ?
    And what better way to ‘rebuild trust’, and regain that of the (apparently around three quarters of the) cricketing public who are seriously unhappy with the ECB ?

    I don’t really expect it, though.
    A successful one day team with Pietersen might embarrass the wrong people.

  • Here’s what Vaughan said:
    Speaking on Radio 5 live, former England captain Michael Vaughan said: “It is difficult clearly for Kevin Pietersen to be in the same dressing room with Alastair Cook, that is so obvious from all this today. It’s very clear that Alastair Cook can’t play in a team with Kevin Pietersen.
    “What I’m disappointed about is that Kevin Pietersen now is going to be lost to English cricket, gone, probably won’t play again.
    “Personally I’d like to see him go in to the Test side if there’s a big injury, but I would have loved to have said to him, ‘You’re an expert in T20 cricket’. Our one-day cricket is atrocious…

    • It’s a very good point. Cook won’t even countenance Pietersen playing ODIs or T20 given the possibility it might one day result in a Test recall for KP. Given the debacle that was England’s World Cup campaign someone of Pietersen’s talent and experience could only have been a good thing in the shorter form of the game. Alas, no.

      I have seen a fair number of people today saying they will be cancelling Sky subscriptions and/or attending no future games. I think that’s the only way the ECB will change, if it starts to hit them in the pocket.

  • I hope KP doesn’t stay with Surrey. I think there’s no meaningful chance of getting selected and he should go enjoy playing T20 and getting well paid for it. There will be life after being a player and he needs to get ready for it.

    They aren’t going to sack Cook until the 4th Ashes game and even then only if we’re 3-0 down. Odds are with the weather that we might only be 2-0 down. So no chance for KP.

  • “I respect what Andrew has said and what he has done because he has to be his own man starting in this new role.”

    “There’s been a breakdown between Kevin and various parties or various people at the ECB, which means the decision has not been reversed and Kevin Pietersen is a former England player.”

    (SOURCE: Alec Stewart – Director of Cricket Surrey County cricket Club)

    • Nice piece of selective quoting.
      Funny you missed this:

      Alec Stewart:
      “Kevin is very entitled to feel let down.”

      “I think he probably feels a little bit let down from the way he’s been talking after the incoming chairman Colin Graves’ comments six or seven weeks ago, where it was if you could play county cricket, if you could score runs, the slate would be wiped clean and you would be considered,” he said.

      “He has given up a quarter of a million pound contract in the IPL. He was done what has been asked of him and now unfortunately from Kevin’s point of view the door has been shut.

      “I just believe England should be picking their best players and that includes Kevin Pietersen…

      (Which probably explains why Strauss was chosen rather than either Stewart, or Vaughan.)

      • “I respect what Andrew has said and what he has done because he has to be his own man starting in this new role.”

        He respects what Andrew has said and done. Could not be clearer.

        • And thinks he is wrong.
          Also could not be clearer.

          You’ll be aware of what is meant by “with very great respect”.
          With very great respect, Peter, you are on the wrong side of this argument.

        • I watched that interview. As always he was choosing his words with care
          Your version of it is not only selective, it is a deliberate and grotesque distortion.

          • “Your version of it is not only selective, it is a deliberate and grotesque distortion.”

            But what we’ve come to expect from Peter Clatworthy.

            • alan,

              Alec Stewart said in that interview, verbatim, and as clearly as anyone can say, that he respects what Andrew Strauss has SAID and what Andrew Strauss has DONE.

              Now I know it doesn’t help your campaign, but a direct quote from what Alec actually said in that interview cannot, under any circumstances, be described as a “grotesque distortion”.

              True, he also said that he would have done things differently himself, but respect for another person’s opinion and actions tells me that he does not consider that Andrew Strauss has any unworthy motives. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for the intemperate and ill-judged language used on this forum.

              • In my experience, when someone says “with all due respect”, it’s because they’re about to say something disrespectful and are trying to sugar-coat it for any 3rd-party listeners.

                Stewart is saying that he respects Strauss’s right to make the call, and that thinks Strauss has made a terrible decision. Simples.

                As a New Zealand fan, no KP for the ODI’s means we’re going to whitewash you :) . I wouldn’t have picked him for the NZ tests unless someone in the middle order was injured. Odds are though that someone in that middle order’s going to be in line to be dropped for failing against Boult and Southee, and then you’re looking at blooding someone new for the Ashes.

                It’s nice and reassuring really. You can rely on English sporting administrators to screw up when you need it.

              • I didn’t say anything about unworthy motives. People can form their own conclusions whatever they may be.
                I do think your selective quoting was designed to totally slant the interview to make it mean something which, if you saw or quoted it in full, it clearly didn’t. And incidentally to support your own point of view.
                By the way I am not mounting a campaign, I am commenting on a blog

    • hahahaha, you must be a ECB Employee or one of the Hacks. Purely a ECB mouthpiece and someone who can not be trusted to hold the game at the heart of decisions.

  • Andrew Miller nails it.
    Read the whole thing here:
    But no matter how passionately they expressed their platitudes, or how multi-layered they made their appeals for a reassessment of the team’s priorities, the white noise of corporate bullshit was precisely the last thing that we, the working media, and by extension, them, the disenfranchised masses so odiously dismissed by the previous regime as being “outside cricket”, needed to hear…

    …The ECB continue to believe that the primary issue at stake is a breakdown in trust between themselves and Pietersen. They could not be more wrong.
    The more frightening breakdown is the one between the ECB and its once-devoted public, a hardy and by-and-large educated breed, who stuck with the team through thin and thinner in the 1980s and 90s but whose faith has been eroded by every wrong decision imaginable…

  • Another point from the recent fracas is that the ECB have now comprehensively conceded Pietersen was absolutely right on the two issues over which they originally fell out with him:
    the unsuitability of Moores as England coach, and the desirability of England players competing in the IPL.

    All that remains is the petty personal spat – which should now be history.
    Serious national organisations do not hold personal grudges.

    • Another point from the recent fracas is that the ECB have now comprehensively conceded Pietersen was absolutely right on the two issues over which they originally fell out with him:
      the unsuitability of Moores as England coach, and the desirability of England players competing in the IPL.

      Nigel, that point can’t be made often enough. Pietersen was right – clumsily and annoyingly right, probably, but he was right.

      But that’s what they can’t forgive.

  • Alec Stewart knows Andrew Strauss and is Kevin Pietersen’s Director of Cricket.

    “I respect what Andrew has said and what he has done because he has to be his own man starting in this new role.”

    He respects what Andrew Strauss has said AND he respects what he has done.

    Alec Stewart would not have said this if it was merely a “personal spat”. Unless you think that Alec respects Andrew Strauss for taking part in a “personal spat”.

    Makes no sense whatsoever.

    • Makes no sense whatsoever.

      Only if you assume Stewart’s thought processes have to be identical to mine.

      With the utmost respect, Peter…

    • ‘Makes no sense whatsoever’

      It sums up exactly your totally selective view of Stewart’s interview!!

    • Peter, I’d urge you to have a cursory glance on the likes of Brand Republic, The Drum, Digiday, Campaign, Marketing Week to have a look at how corporations and brands are desperately trying to court their customers, to get them on side and engender “love” or build a positive emotional and personal connection with their brands.

      They talk of positve brand experieces, giving their consumers unique exicitng experiences, but also making sure that the fundamental product lives up to expectations.

      The ECWB Ltd clearly are failing at this on every level.

      If we are to b e treated like consumers and cricket as a product, I want my money back and complaining to the ASA.

      That is what the furore is about. They are failing us. They are failing their players and they are failing their employees, they are failing their partners like Waitrose.

      Their behaviours over the last 5 years even, whether we judge them as a sporting administrative body or as a corporate entity are those of an organisation doomed to fail and fail repeatedly without ever recognising their mistakes.

      We don’t want cricket to die, so we can’t all stop buying tickets completely, or paying our tv subs completely for ever, b ut we can all voice our displeasure continually until they stop making all of these mistakes at the same time, all of the time.

    • Lol have you really never heard someone say ‘with all due respect’, ‘I respect your decision’ or some other platitude. It is a polite way of saying the other person is talking bollocks just to enlighten you.

  • Which fits well with your conception of cricket as product. Except of course most manufacturers of product have rather more concern for their consumers than the ECB does

  • Might it be worth petitioning the Surry players to sign a statement saying they have no problem trusting KP?

  • Morning all, I have just gate crashed last nights Aussie pre tour team meeting. It went like this…

    Team walks into the meeting room, Smithy and Boof open up in hysterics… Hey Clarky we all hate you, but we know you are a pretty good player and a quality skipper – have you seen this:

    Hahaha no kp.

    Boof: Right let’s talk bowling plans… Rhino – you start, what do you think to the bowling?

    Ryan Harris: This is pretty tough, but lets have a go:

    Cook. Humm sen him before – would full on 4th stump work? he might nick off or play on.

    Lyth, New, OK let’s keep it simple top of off with the odd short one, Mitch 1 – you soften him up, Mitch 2 – you soften him up some more, I will clean him up.

    Ballance. Humm, he lets the short ones go, but sits on the back foot – how about I go around the wicket or perhaps we can let Mitch 2 have a go with some left arm over, full at off and middle to hit that phat front pad – yup that will work.

    Bell, Root and Ali, Hahahah – they are all shit at the short ball – set the trap and see you later.

    Stokes, arh – we had trouble with him before – but let’s try full at his front pad. His back foot moves to square leg at delivery so he plants his front foot.

    Buttler. He is good watch out for him, but will run out of partners, we can just keep him off strike.

    Jorden. Put a few guys back bowl top of off and he will nick off, Mitch 1 and 2 – yours again, I will be resting after my first spell of 8 overs 3 maidens, 3 for 12

    Broad. Hahahahahaha. Mitch 1 – all yours – bowl a full and straight one, if that doesn’t work, bowl a bouncer.

    Anderson. Mitch 2 – your turn – bowl at the stumps.

    Does that work for you Boof?

    Sounds ideal, thanks Rhino – right them Davo and Buck you guys can have a bat, the rest of us can head off to the pub, but will be back in 2 days to knock the pomms off in the second innings.

    Back in London, I sit and think – humm I am so glad I have paid my MCC membership to watch that

  • Great article again. I think the ECB underestimates how much they owe twitter and websites such as this one – if I thought I was the only one who felt like this, and that other England fans were mostly in agreement with the ECB, I would have given up on the England team months ago. As it is, there’s still a chance that they will listen to us. Although as that would mean sacking Strauss, and somehow prising Flower from his faeces-spattered eyrie, a slim one.

  • It was interesting, listening to the Alec Stewart interview, that Surrey were fully aware that KP might return to the IPL, depending on how well his team got on – and that he still has T20 commitments in the Caribbean.

    I have already seen suggestions, however, that he is in some way ‘giving up’ on the county and thus demonstrating his untrustworthiness and lack of commitment. I guess this will become the official view of the ECB’s embedded press?

    Clearly not how Alec Stewart sees it, though.

  • Surely a better show of solidarity, rather than a boycott, would be for fans, Aussie and English alike, to turn up with Ned Flanders masks on.

  • No Pete. Just some more guesswork based upon a false premise that the decision taken by the ECB was based upon a personal squabble between Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Strauss. Risible nonsense, and very poor journalism. I always thought that journalists should check their facts before publishing.

    Andrew Strauss has told us why the decision has been made by the board of the ECB. Kevin Pietersen lost the trust of the ECB as a whole “… over a period of months and years …” and even Alec Stewart, his Director of Cricket at Surrey County Cricket Club has stated that he respects what Andrew Strauss has said and done. Not just what he said, but what he has said and DONE, i.e. decided not to select Kevin Pietersen for this Summer’s England programme.

    • ‘kin ‘ell but you’re a disingenuous one. The interview with Stewart is there for all to watch and make up their own minds as to just how wrong you are.

      • You see this is the problem on this forum. When the facts do not suit you traduce people’s characters.

        The fact is that you cannot ignore what Alec Stewart has said, even though it has shot your fox.

        The decision was NOT a personal one taken by Andrew Strauss, but one taken by the board as a whole, based upon the mistrust of Kevin Pietersen that built up “over months and years”.

        Alec Stewart has stated quite clearly that he has respect for what Andrew Strauss has said and DONE even though he also said that in principle he feels that normally players should be selected purely on merit.

        The difference between him and you is that he is a gentleman, and does not, anonymously suggest that Andrew Strauss “disingenuous, dishonest, deceitful, underhand, underhanded, duplicitous, double-dealing, two-faced, dissembling, insincere, false, lying, untruthful, mendacious” or any other unwarranted or slanderous epithet.

        But what else can you expect from a pig but a grunt?

        • We’ve had a discussion about facts before, Peter, and you didn’t come out of that one smelling of roses either.

          Stewart’s full interview is available to be watched here: – it’s a list of complaints about what’s happened to Pietersen, how poorly the ECB have acted, how confused the message is, etc. It does not suggest what you think it does. Incidentally, I’m calling you disingenuous, not Strauss, although if the cap fits…

          The decision Strauss made was made by Strauss with the backing of other members of the ECB. Strauss also refers to “a massive trust issue between me and Kevin”. That’s why there’s a personal angle to it. That crucial word… “me”.

          You claim Stewart is backing Strauss’ actions “i.e. decided not to select Kevin Pietersen for this Summer’s England programme”. However, Stewart himself says the following:

          “I fully understand why they want to look forward to the 2019 world cup, and perhaps Kevin wouldn’t be around for 2019 World Cup, so ignore him for the ODI side now, but Test cricket? With an Ashes series? It sounds to me like they’ve almost written off this summer, almost like results don’t matter”

          You think that’s backing Strauss’ decision? Wow. Talk about a comprehension failure.

          More quotes:

          “Surrey have a right to feel let down here”
          “Surrey are entitled to feel a little bit let down. Kevin is feeling very let down.”
          “There are a few mixed messages which will need explaining in detail over the coming days or weeks”

          It’s 11 minutes of him criticising the decision and the process while praising KP’s efforts. It is a *very* pointed interview.

        • Oh charming. Still as I like pigs I’m happy to grunt. I have studied theology at post graduate level and there is a little nugget that is very important to remember. It has stood me in good stead in my studies!

          A text out of context is a pretext.

          Get my drift? Alec Stewart is a professional and he wouldn’t be so rude as to get into name calling but he didn’t do soundbites here but said it as it is in FULL.

          Andrew Strauss has been used (willingly I believe) to be mouthpiece of Giles Clarke – as it is now understood he was at the Meeting that made this monumental cock up. What else can we expect.

          Strauss is an establishment man. You know the type: comes from the right sort of family from the right sort of family – even if he was born in South Africa! Strauss is a “yes” man and will do anything to get what he wants. He cannot manage people as proved in the Twitter account.

    • You’re just not getting it, I’m afraid.

      It’s a well known principle in business, politics… and even polite society –
      When one says “with respect”, what is actually meant is “I don’t agree with you”;
      When one says “with great respect”, what’s meant is “I think you’re being more than a bit silly”;
      When one says “with very great respect”, it means “You’re talking absolute bilge”.

      So, with the utmost respect possible, Peter….

        • An apology! Sure, right after Strauss apologises to English cricket fans for blacklisting KP for a “massive trust issue between me and Kevin”. The horse’s mouth, right there…

          I’ve already provided a heap of evidence as to what Stewart’s opinion of this decision is. Saying he respects that Strauss has made a decision after coming straight into the role isn’t the same thing as saying he thinks it’s the right decision. Particularly as in that same interview he states exactly what he would have done:

          “I’d want to be able to pick from everyone available. I believe that England should be picking their best players and that would include Kevin Pietersen,” he said. “Part of management is managing difficult players and difficult situations.

          “It’s going to be a very tough summer and I, personally, would have said: Right, we’ve got a good middle order at the minute. Ballance, Bell and Root are playing exceptionally well. Kevin, you’re doing what we asked you to do, which is come and play county cricket, come and score runs. If you continue to do that, should there be an injury, a loss or form or a reason to make a change, you’re very much in the frame. No guarantees, but you’re very much in the frame.”

          Stewart is all class.

        • With absolutely no respect whatsoever P. Clatworthy you are a fantasist and a confabulator.

          It’s not that you don’t understand what’s being said or that you are simple minded (although that is how you come across) it’s simply that you are a liar and distorting other peoples words to fit your tortuous dissimulation.

        • Peter
          Do you take everything someone tells you at face value? Or only if you respect them? Why should anyone else apologise for doubting the motives of someone YOU respect?
          The first sentence of your reply to Burly is applicable to one person only. YOU!

        • You are not that troll William on the DT are you? He was very rude and totally unable to see anybody’s viewpoint but his own, even when he was proved wrong.

          I think we should be told…..

    • Jesus wept, never heard of a word having more than one connotation before? He did not use respect in that context, no matter how much you keep repeating it.

    • Saying “respect” as a foreword, doth not necessarily indicate true respect! True respect is just as your definition makes crystal clear.

      Used as a preface to actually say something that is completely opposite and shows no real respect, is just insulting.

    • have due regard for (someone’s feelings, wishes, or rights).
      “I respected his views”

      synonyms: show consideration for, show regard for, take into consideration, take into account, make allowances for, take cognizance of, observe, pay heed/attention to, bear in mind, be mindful of, be heedful of, remember; archaicregard
      “at least they respect your privacy”

      antonyms: scorn
      avoid harming or interfering with.
      “it is incumbent upon all hill users to respect the environment”
      agree to recognize and abide by (a legal requirement).
      “the crown and its ministers ought to respect the ordinary law”
      synonyms: abide by, comply with, follow, adhere to, conform to, act in accordance with, acquiesce to, assent to, consent to, accord to, yield to, submit to, defer to, bow to, obey, observe, hold to, keep (to), stick to, stand by, heed
      “her father respected her wishes”
      antonyms: ignore, disobey

      late Middle English: from Latin respectus, from the verb respicere ‘look back at, regard’, from re- ‘back’ + specere ‘look at’.
      Translate respect to
      Use over time for: respect

  • “Kevin Pietersen probably couldn’t be a greater foe to Australian cricket and to the Australian cricket team,” Hayden said.
    “There have been very few players in the last one or two generations that have had the ability to entertain and direct their attention towards positive cricket like Kevin Pietersen has.
    “He was in line with Andrew Flintoff as one of the extremely dominant players that was able to overturn the great Australian team of that 2000 era.”

    But then, what would a two bit failure like Hayden know?

  • I have just worked out what pratworthy does at ECB, he fries the greasy chips to go with the greasy extortionately priced burgers that you have to fork out for. You know the type, the bar bore that people will jump out of windows, to ignore. We should do the same here, you don’t even have to jump out the window!!!

      • Peter, Stewart also said: “I believe that England should be picking their best players and that would include Kevin Pietersen,”.

      • You may find before long you and your children are all that are left in them.
        If you think I’m “one of these dregs” that’s fine with me. Be my guest

        • I was referring directly to the post by some … thing called Vanessa Campbell, not you alan.

          In response to your post I am not taking anything “on face value”. I do my research. I am taking what I know about the situation, judging the people that I know within cricket, using my knowledge and experience of Employment Law, what has actually been placed on record by the parties involved, and making a valued judgement.

          One thing is VERY clear to me. Apologies are due to Andrew Strauss.

          • Peter
            Actually Pietersen is the one due an apology for the way he was led up the garden path this year. If as you say the whole board were party to that decision, it was a member of that board, no less than the chairman elect, who led him to give up a valuable contract in order to prove his commitment to England. Not only in interviews but in phone conversations he was led to believe that ability and form not personality would be the criteria for selection. He then arranged to play for Surrey. There was some time delay before these arrangements were complete. The new chief executive was in place as was the ECB board. They had every opportunity to prevent Pietersen giving up the contract. They did nothing.
            In this situation it is impossible to come to any conclusion other than that their inaction was caused by complete incompetence, deliberate malice or they were too clever by half as they thought he would fail and they could then say that they were selecting on ability and form.
            Strauss talks of trust. He is party to this process. He clearly agrees with it. You don’t have to like Pietersen to know that that this has been a very poor way of dealing with him. Strauss as a representative of the organisation responsible takes the moral high ground and talks of trust.
            So no I don’t think he’s owed an apology by anyone

            • That only proves to me that he is a very bad business man. Nobody with any sense gives up a contract without another signed contract in his pocket. At least we can agree that he has very poor business sense.

              • He’s a sportsman who was attempting to get back into the England team. He couldn’t do that without playing country cricket – just as he was told by Colin Graves. So he gave up that contract and went to play for a county side.

                You’ll find fault with literally everything he does. Using this as a stick to beat him with is ludicrous.

              • Peter
                With this one comment you’ve laid bare you double standards and your motivation. You’ve also confirmed that the word of the ECB BOARD cannot be trusted without a written contract. This the body that talks of trust!

          • “One thing is VERY clear to me. Apologies are due to Andrew Strauss.”

            Yeah. Clear to you because you run away from every fact that contradicts you. Hell, you’re not even willing to listen to Strauss himself.

          • Oh dear! I’m so sorry if I upset you. I only inferred you were a chip frier and a bar bore. I could have said bin man or ablutions cleaner, but I didn’t, and for THAT I’m truly sorry.

            p.s. No disrespect to bin men or ablution cleaners.

          • I have some knowledge of employment law too Peter, and a CA is almost always the last refuge of the rogue employer. CA’s are used when an employer knows that an employee has a sound case for either constructive or unfair dismissal.

  • Oh how sad. I think you can continue to bang on about this Peter but it really does not make any sense to what has happened. In my opinion, Alec Stewart is more aware than most what character KP has and loves him for his good humour and dedication to the game, team and especially encouraging the youngsters. He knows full well what has gone on hear. Just the same has he knew the facts about the Twitter account, which the ECB also ignored.

  • Freddie Flintoff on R5 this evening, asked if Pietersen was the most difficult player he’d ever shared a dressing room with:

    (laughs) “To be honest, he’s probably not even in my top ten…”

    • And of course Flintoff was his boss on and off the field. So if anyone should know it would be Freddy. All of which makes Strauss look even more of a wimp.

      Freddy did continue to say that KP was in his top 3 world cricketing greats.

      Well said Freddy

  • Letter to the Prime Minister

    Dear Dave

    You don’t mind me calling you that do you? You always seems such an affable kind of bloke so sure it will be OK.

    Now I know you have just won an election and are having fun with your new cabinet, and I am sorry to bother you when you are busy with all those nasty cuts, repealing the Human Rights Act and yanking us out of Europe (with you on that one by the way…) but I would be really really grateful if you could spare a few minutes to read this letter.

    As I said I know you have just won an election and you are not looking too far ahead, but I wonder if I might draw your attention to somebody who would make a wonderful Conservative MP (I gather he has already flirted with this idea but decided against it as he has a higher calling, ie Director, comma, Cricket) but some of us think he may not be in this job very long. (Actually we are rather hoping he will not be in it for longer than a week but we have to be pragmatic about these things). I digress.

    The name of this outstanding candidate is Andrew Strauss. He is adept at toeing the Party Line (tick box); speaks in platitudes (tick box); will always do what you tell him to do and vote how you tell him to vote (tick two boxes) and, in short, is a perfect fit for the Tory Party. He does have a slight problem with TRUST but if he becomes an MP this won’t be an issue as nobody trusts each other anyway.

    But much as I admire Mr Strauss as a future MP, I will admit there is a problem in that he will want to bring his friend, Cook, with him. Now Cook gets terribly upset if people are nasty to him and cannot handle criticism but I
    am sure he will manage to deal with it as he is a man possessed of Inner Steel (we know this because he has told us so). Plus, and I will admit to a bit of a simper here, he is SO handsome and good looking in that square jawed English way and when he strides out to the crease in his whites well, what Can I say? (Getting all wobbly here!) He scrubs up nicely and will look stunning on all the election literature and on the hustings will draw crowds who will bask in his utter gorgeousness.

    Note: Only drawback is that you have to make sure he never opens his mouth and speaks. If he does you will be in trouble.

    I know you have no vacancies at the moment, but just in case you have to have a by election now and then when an MP or two leaves to Spend Time with their Family, I would be so grateful if you consider Straussy and Cooky, as they are known (SO sweet and whimsical, bless) for any vacancies that may arise.

    Thank you Dear Dave for your kind attention to this little screed of mine and I remain

    One who is Outside Cricket


  • The Daily Mirror is reporting that Cook, who ‘represented the feelings of several players’ gave Strauss and Harrison an us or them ultimatum regarding KP’s selection. There needs to be more evidence, but I don’t have any great difficulty believing it. It has the ring of truth to it. For fucks sake, what an odious prick that man has turned out to be. If true, surely this has to be the last straw. Surely…

    • If this is true, and let’s face it, it may not be, then Strauss is toast: you simply cannot maintain respect from such a weak starting point. It would explain the amendment to his job title though!

    • Nor moi. Cook is the child of Downton, Clarke, Flower & Gooch. How does Cook insult Graves and get away with it? Unbelievable. Still that is very bad management writ large.

      However with the demotion of Bell as Vice Captain and the elevation of Root to Vice Captain, methinks Cook’s days may well be numbered.

  • Is it possible we could have a CollyFlower coaching our boys? Does anyone have any statistics on other types of vegetables who have held the same role?

  • I’ve been lurking on this forum for a year and have really enjoyed the comments and exchange of views, but this thread is bordering on entering Youtube Comment territory. Quite disappointing.

    On another note, how the hell do i register!?

        • Thanks Vanessa. I seem to have subscribed to email alerts!
          I remember having this problem about 6 months ago when i must have had something incredibly important and relevant to say!

    • Apologies, but I find arguments are only going to be worthwhile if both sides are arguing in good faith.

      • I am arguing in good faith. I don’t agree with the view that Kevin Pietersen should be included in the England squad. That doesn’t make me pro ECB. They are in a difficult legal position as a private limited company. They cannot disclose personal or confidential information that would undoubtedly trigger high court action against them, although I agree that they could have handled things better. For instance, in my view the “incoming chairman” was unwise to make any comment on this issue until he was in post and in possession of all of the facts.

        Now, despite attempts here to bully, traduce, harass and suggest that my opinion is not genuine, even though I know that it is widely shared by cricket professionals, journalists and supporters too, I will not be silenced on this issue.

        Rav Roberts
        May 13, 2015 at 8:10 am
        “Your version of it is not only selective, it is a deliberate and grotesque distortion.”

        “But what we’ve come to expect from Peter Clatworthy.”

        Elaine Simpson-Long
        May 13, 2015 at 10:01 pm
        “I see you are an actor Peter. Which part are you rehearsing for here?”

        Vanessa Campbell
        May 13, 2015 at 5:26 pm
        I have just worked out what pratworthy does at ECB, he fries the greasy chips to go with the greasy extortionately priced burgers that you have to fork out for. You know the type, the bar bore that people will jump out of windows, to ignore. We should do the same here, you don’t even have to jump out the window!!!

        Vanessa Campbell
        May 13, 2015 at 11:56 pm
        Oh dear! I’m so sorry if I upset you. I only inferred you were a chip frier and a bar bore. I could have said bin man or ablutions cleaner, but I didn’t, and for THAT I’m truly sorry.

        p.s. No disrespect to bin men or ablution cleaners.

        There are other examples: liar; fantasist; infabulator; troll and more.

        These personal attacks and the style of debate on your side often under cover of anonymity, do you no good whatsoever. In fact it achieves the opposite of what your are seeking.

        Let me be clear. I blame Maxie as much as anyone because he has made this into a vicious personal vendetta against individual members of the ECB, employees of the ECB, journalists, any commentators who don’t agree with him, and professional players who have shared dressing rooms with Kevin Pietersen.

        The latest personal attack on Andrew Strauss was uncalled for, ill-informed, and prejudiced.

        Whatever anyone says here, Alec Stewart was VERY clear. He respects what Andrew Strauss has SAID and what he has DONE. I have never suggested that he would not like to see Kevin Pietersen selected, but at least he did not traduce Andrew Strauss’s motives or integrity. He knows that Andrew has made this difficult decision honestly, even if he doesn;t agree with it. These personal vicious and damaging attacks must stop. It brings the sport that we love into disrepute.

        Calm down!

        • What about your personal attacks Peter? “Moronic”; “The more bile you secrete” etc. etc. ? Bit like Trust – it works both ways.
          This is NEVER going away.

          • Chris
            May 14, 2015 at 7:50 am
            “I’ve been lurking on this forum for a year and have really enjoyed the comments and exchange of views, but this thread is bordering on entering Youtube Comment territory. Quite disappointing.”

            I have taken this on board.

            The personal attacks that have been made on me, here, have been full of bile and moronic. Now, I am prepared to enter into debate, robustly if necessary, but I will NOT be intimidated by you, or anyone else.

            I am still involved in cricket, at the sharp end, out in the middle. I have to pick up the pieces when our youngsters are taught by adults that having no respect for anyone who doesn’t agree with you, or that good manners do not matter, is acceptable. It isn’t.

            Cricket means nothing if it does not develop such things as self discipline, fair play, good manners and a reasonable perspective when winning or losing.

            The “I want, I want, I want” culture will destroy it if we are not careful.

            Cricket is not Iraq or Afghanistan. It is games between friends, not a war fought to the death.

            • Peter, you gave a dishonest account of Alex Stewart’s views, and you have repeated it on several occasions even thought it has been shown to be dishonest. The dishonesty was through omission rather than outright lying, and may initially have been inadvertent, but although you have attempted to row back is still clear.

              Criticism of Strauss is entirely appropriate. He said that he wanted to explain fully the Pietersen situation; he failed to even attempt to do so. He said that Cook’s views were not taken into account in making his decision; while this may have been strictly accurate in that he would have made the same decision whatever Cook’s views were, it is at the least a deliberate attempt to mislead given that Cook refused to play if Pietersen was picked. The suggestion that the ECB is bound by confidentiality given their history of leaks is laughable.

              Your appeals to calm and politeness would come better from someone who hasn’t spent the last couple of days engaged in vicious personal abuse yourself, and who has lost the argument. All of us say things we regret in comments sections, but you haven’t covered yourself in glory.

              • No it isn’t. If you missed the point of my quotes from what Alec Stewart actually said, then I am sorry and I will try again.

                Alec said that he respected what Andrew Strauss had said AND what he had DONE. It cannot be misconstrued, it is crystal clear.

                I know that he believes that in Andrew’s place, he would have selected Kevin Pietersen, that is not in dispute.

                What I object to is people traducing Andrew Strauss’s motives and character simply because he does not agree with you, or Alec Stewart.

                Alec Stewart is a gentleman. He knows Andrew and respects what he said and has done. He would not have respected what he said and what he had done of he doubted his motives. Fact.

                Those who suggest that he used these words in a similar context to a “with all due respects” throw away manner are not reading what he actually said, and the context.

                The trend towards shooting the messenger backfired big time last Thursday. That’s worth thinking about.

              • Peter, this has gone on for day after day now, and it is tiresome. In this instance I’m aware that you would prefer to have said words to the effect of “Alec Stewart would have left the door open to KP but respects Strauss’s integrity, and you should do the same [quotes]” but your actual choice of quotes was clearly misleading.

                As a Middlesex man you have also no doubt had some personal dealings with Strauss. All other things being equal, I’m sure you’re right that he is a nice, decent, honest bloke. But in this instance all other things are not equal. He has been faced with difficult choices, where loyalty to his friends, and his ambition to have a career as an administrator within the ECB, have been in conflict with his desire to be straightforward and honest. And based on what we know, he has chosen loyalty and self-interest over honesty.

                Writing about Moores’ first firing, he says that he agreed with Pietersen, but couldn’t understand why he hadn’t gone about making his feelings known in a more diplomatic way. Those are the words of a politician, and there’s nothing wrong with that necessarily – no large organisation would be able to work without them. But he has said that he would be straightforward, and he hasn’t been; he has said he would be honest, and he hasn’t been. Cook’s position is at the heart of his decision not to countenance a return for Pietersen, and his denial of this makes it extremely difficult to believe him in future.

              • Being a Middlesex man doesn’t make me an ECB man.

                Andrew has taken on a tough job and needs everyone who supports English cricket to give him a fair crack of the whip.

                His eyes are open and all I can say is that everything I know about him leads me to believe that he is his own man, and he will do what he thinks is right. I can’t say any more.

              • Thanks Nick. My feelings as well. Peter complains about Maxie. Peter clearly thinks we should accept that everything Strauss does and says should be taken at face value because he is a man of integrity. He used Stewart’s interview to support this despite it being clear to anyone who saw it that there was far more to it than that. He presumably also thinks we should not take what Pietersen says at face value or that he has any integrity. I don’t agree with him about either Strauss or Pietersen.I wouldn’t take what either of them said at face value I don’t want to be rude to anyone but I got annoyed by his condescending attitude and strident calls for an apology to Strauss who I think should do some apologising of his own. Pietersen has received all manner of abuse on social media and from certain journalists who I once respected. There will never be any kind of apology from them. Maxie certainly has nothing to agologise for

        • Peter, with all due respect, there are a couple of websites that dare to criticise the ECB. The vast majority of the print and online media act as ciphers for ECB opinion. If you want to read panegyrics to Strauss, Giles Clarke, Cook et al may I respectfully suggest you are spoiled for choice. Why are you trying to close down debate? Is minority dissent so very threatening? Must we all pipe down? Does a ‘gentleman’ call a former colleague ‘an absolute cunt’ on air? You seem to be engaged in a game of Selvey Bingo: I’ve already seen ‘bile’, I’m wating for ‘rancourous’.

          Yours respectfully,

          • Paul. I am not closing down debate. What I am objecting to is the way Andrew Strauss’s motives are being questioned. He is an honest straight forward man with no personal agenda. He is his own man, and has the best interests of England cricket at heart. Of that I have no doubt.

            The level of personal attack which has been re-directed towards me because I support Andrew 100% is indicative of the problem here.

            Now, Andrew did not call Kevin Pietersen a cunt “on air”. He made the mistake of expressing his opinion that Kevin Pietersen is a cunt believing that he was engaged in a private conversation, “off air”. You know that as well as I do, and he has apologised to Kevin for that mistake. We all make mistakes, otherwise we would not be human, and he is human.

            • He called him something bad behind his back and apologised for it, so that’s OK.

              Bonus point: who am I talking about?

            • No personal agenda?!

              1. Strauss said “There is a massive trust issue between me and Kevin”. . The key word that makes it personal is: “ME”.

              2. Strauss recently called Kevin a c**t (when he thought that the mike was off. THAT IS PERSONAL.

              No personal agenda my arse.

              • LOL. Well put there Rav and so right. Of course it is personal. When the Twitter account was set up Strauss did nothing neither did Flower. Strauss has since said that the situation was “badly handled!” After which the relationship between Strauss and KP was strained. The four players who set up the account with a friend of Broad’s were never reprimanded, nor was the bullying of Trott every dealt with either. By time SA tour came round relationships were well soured. However all the press saying, repeatedly, that Strauss was so very upset by KP, Strauss himself said in his book that KP never did anything untoward in those tweets. Still the press bring it up over and over again and people choose to believe it. Even people on Twitter today still harping on about it. Fact is that there were 4 bullies in the team and Strauss resigned never having dealt with the mess. Along comes a much weaker captain with very little confidence and a lot of attitude and he cannot be grown up enough to listen to good advice when he gets it. Instead Cook throws a tantrum – something that he is now known for – and the lot falls on KPs head. We all know this.

                I am sick to death of hearing that Strauss and Cook are fine upstanding people. They are not. Cook is nothing more or less than a childish brat. Strauss is an establishment man who wanted the top job and just like his management of the team, he has shown again that he is out of his depth in top management. Personal issues has no place in sports teams. How the hell do these muppets think the Aussies have been on top all these years? All pally pally? Well no. Gilchrist couldn’t stand Warne, but Gilchrist never stopped encouraging Warne when he was bowling. This current team were so fragmented and when Lehmann came in he told them to sort it out. They did and now the best team in the world.

                ECB needs to be handled by independent people including members of the public as someone said earlier today. Time for real change has come. ECB is not fit for purpose and hasn’t been for years and now totally Foxtrot Uniform!

            • You’re taking disingenuousness to a new level Peter. That he called Pietersen a cunt on air is indisputable: it’s out there in the world. He may have thought he was off air, you may think he was off air,but clearly he was not. Is this the sort of language and behaviour you seek to encourage? Think of the children!

    • Hi Chris – thanks for your kind words. What do you mean by register? For e-mail notifications?

  • For me, like others, this isn’t just about KP (although I’d like to see him back in an England shirt) and more about the rotten structure of the ECB and their disdain for the fans. Waitrose must be delighted they’ve associated themselves with this shambles for the next 3 years and as I no longer want to watch this mediocre team or listen to their excuses I have cancelled my Sky Sports subscription for at least the summer

  • This Peter bloke is an awful bloody troll. I hope he has nothing to do with cricket in this country at any level.

  • TROLL: ” a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.” (SOURCE: Wikipedia)

    “We’ll be here throughout the season, to celebrate and bemoan the travails of being an English cricket fan. Whether you’re jubilant at the team’s triumphs, despondent at your own cricketing shortcomings, baffled by team selection, or angry at officialdom, there’ll always be a seat for you around our table. (SOURCE: Full Toss Blog – JOIN THE DEBATE)

    Not a troll, and very much involved in both amateur and professional cricket, and have been for nearly 60 years.

    • I think I’d put a few quid on “can’t be trusted to suck up to Cook with sufficient skill and verve to maintain the illusion that he’s a capable and authoritative captain rather than a tactically vacuous stooge”.

      • And let’s be clear, contributing to the maintenance of such an illusion would be a cruelly Sisyphean task for any man on earth, let alone somebody with KP’s notoriously poor arse hoovering abilities.

  • I take issue with those that say Peter is a troll.

    He may be a slavish devotee of the cricketing establishment, insisting on its integrity in the face of evidence to the contrary, but I’ve no reason to think him insincere.

    • Thank you Nigel. In fact I have had more than my fair share of run ins with “the cricketing establishment”. I prefer to say how I feel rather than bottle it up or be two-faced.

  • The Bell evidence does rather point the finger towards Cook I again.

    I had been reluctant to conclude he had both retained such a deep (and unprofessional) animus, and that further that he would be allowed an effective veto on Pietersen’s return, but that does seem more and more to be the case.

    No one else in the team seems to care very much one way or the other.
    Everyone, even “trust issues” Strauss, acknowledges that Pietersen is still a great player.
    It’s all very strange.

    • It’s not only strange. It’s a disgrace.

      A disgrace that the most exciting England since Botham is not allowed to play cricket for England.

      • I presume that’s just a figure of speech. Nobody in the team is going to want to say something that implicitly assumes the team will fail and that Cook will be fired.

        • Judging by what has gone on over the last year, I don’t think it is a figure of speech. It seems that Cook believes the job is his as long as he wants it, regardless of his performance, and the England management unanimously agree. Recent changes in personnel don’t seem to have altered that.

  • Its not just nasser, vaughan, flintoff everyone is along the same line, we respect his decision but dont think its right one. Also KP has been wronged.

  • Strauss, Graves have been in the job for a matter of days and they’ve already lost the majority of the fans. Most I speak to even if they hate KP now realise that the ECB (with first Downton and now Struass acting as mouthpieces) are simply liars. They’ll use PR and a bunch of journalists who aren’t interested in the truth, just keeping their jobs to try and convince people all is well.

    They are to blame for the game being in terminal decline, and I suspect come the end of 2015 the game will have lost more sky viewers, more highlights viewers, more people to internet sites and most importantly of all.. it’ll have lost even more players who participate in cricket on saturday afternoons.. all in all, a complete and utter shambles yet again.

    The game is bigger than Cook, Bigger than KP.. and certainly bigger than Struass or Giles Clarke.. and yet, these guys are all trolled out as some heros… good honest people? pull the other one.. each and every single one of them is purely out for themselves and their mates. That is the problem and the root cause of the collapse of the game in the UK.

    It will never.. NEVER recover from this last 18 months UNLESS, Australia happen upon another truly great side, dominate for 20 years and then somehow.. an english side full of character wins…. a la 2005.. trouble is.. With the ECB in charge, you just can’t see it happening.

    as for the troll on the site, he’s amusing me because he’s so deluded.. quite funny and sad more than anything. Unfortunately, he typifies the ECB followers that will follow the ECB tot he death. Just keep contradicting his tripe but do it with a smile knowing they are deluded and will ultimately be proven wrong.

    I think since ashes 2013-14, EVERYTHING the ECB has done has so far backfired and been proven wrong. They’ve been proven to leak, lie and generally be untrustworthy and unsuitable custodians of the game.

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