Kevin Pietersen’s often dramatic international career was brought to a halt by the England and Wales Cricket Board in February 2014 in the fallout of the Ashes whitewash. However, there are many well known sportsman and cricket enthusiasts who believe that his sacking was unjust.
Below, we offer five reasons why Kevin Pietersen should remain in the England cricket team.
- He is perhaps one of the most exciting batsmen we've seen in the three lions for a long time and he has the ability to win matches
In fact, Kevin Pietersen has the ability to win test series' - remember the Oval in 2005? England leading the Ashes 2-1 before a mini batting collapse gave the Aussies a glimpse of a draw (and the chance for them to retain the ashes). Pietersen batted.... and batted... and batted, eventually batting his opponents out of the game. Okay, he didn't single-handedly win the Ashes, the team was amazing and Freddie Flintoff had a lot to do with it too, but it is innings like that one that Pietersen is capable of. Someone once said that 'special players do special things at special times' - Kevin Pietersen is one of those special players.
- He has the support of the Captain
Whilst Cook is very much an ECB man, Pietersen at least has the support of the new one-day captain, Eoin Morgan, a man whose influence will only grow if he does well in his new role. "I don't know why I'm not playing for England," Pietersen was cajoled into saying by Ricky Ponting while commentating live on Australian television. "I know the current England captain (Morgan) would love me in the side." Morgan and Pietersen are close and England's one-day captain said last year he found it "unbelievable" that his old friend would not play cricket for England again. Morgan has since come out to say he believes in the squad of players he has, but let’s be sceptical and assume the ECB asked him nicely to do this for them.
- He is confident and believes in himself
In Australia, Pietersen reiterated his desire to play internationally again saying he had put behind him a "nightmare" 2014, and was back to his best after two 50s and a 49 in the Big Bash for the Melbourne Stars. "I'm 34. Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara is 38 years old and has just scored a double hundred. I honestly believe I am batting as well as I have ever batted at the moment," he said.
- He has the backing of other legends, Andrew "Freddie" Flintoff and Matthew Hayden
Kevin Pietersen helped to set up a Super Over Big Bash win for Melbourne Stars, which left Flintoff voicing wonder that his former England team-mate was surplus to World Cup requirements. Matthew Hayden told BBC Five Live's Sportsweek programme: "I think it's ludicrous that Kevin Pietersen isn't in the England side, that's just crazy."
- There’s still time to prepare for the Ashes
At the moment, confidence is low regarding our chances this summer to defend the Ashes. The Aussies destroyed England in 2013/2014 and it was humiliating. Whilst the Australian team have become stronger and stronger since then, the ECB have continued to harm the England team and its plans by pursuing their own agenda. Form has been shaky at best and there seems to be no unity amongst players. Getting Kevin Pietersen back into the team would enable him to re-engage with his team mates, bed in and help to grow the team's confidence ready for The Ashes 2015.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this, so feel free to leave a comment below.