Following the shock decision by new Director of cricket, Andrew Strauss and Chief Executive of the ECB, Tom Harrison, that Kevin Pietersen will not feature in plans for the forthcoming five-Test Ashes series, we take a look again at some of the reasons why we think Pietersen should play for England.
Following one of the best weekends of Pietersen's career, scoring 355 runs not out at The Oval, the ECB has cancelled out any future plans to reinstate Kevin Pietersen to the England cricket team, citing "a massive issue of trust" as their central decision.
Many people feel that the decision has potentially ruined any chances England may have to regain the Ashes this July and English cricket fans have been left bewildered and angry regarding exactly why the decision has been taken.
Whilst there may be reasons why Pietersen shouldn't be in the squad, Newitts discuss 5 valid reasons why he should, below.
The ECB wanted a 'yes man', not a maverick
Following heavy speculation in 2014 that Paul Downton of the ECB had Pietersen sacked because he didn’t like his attitude, it made his job more difficult and he didn’t have the ‘control’ he wanted, the ECB have now brought in Andrew Strauss, without it seems much of an interview or selection process. Many believed that Michael Vaughan would have been a better man for the job, but when secrecy surrounded the specific details of the role, Vaughan pulled out of any possible application. Alec Stewart was also seemingly overlooked. Why? Because the ECB wanted one of their own, a yes man who shared their rather unclear vision and would act on their command.
"Colin Graves seems to have put his proverbial foot in it twice already."
One man's insecurities should not be allowed to affect the decision
Andrew Strauss has always disliked Pietersen, famously calling him an expletive live on television when he thought the microphone was off. Following the incident, Strauss lost a lot of respect in the world of cricket. Ultimately, Strauss dislikes Pietersen, and if you take the time to read his book you will realise that this is completely unfounded and is likely more about jealousy. Strauss apparently cited a trust issue when giving Pietersen the bad news, yet when pressed he could name no names of any other players with issues.
The ECB broke their promise
Incoming chairman Colin Graves seems to have put his proverbial foot in it twice before he’s even in post officially. Most recently he “gave the West Indies their team talk” in the words of England Captain Alastair Cook, when he described the WI team as mediocre opponents (the series ended in a draw). However prior to that gaffe, Graves made public his thoughts that if KP came back to county cricket and scored runs he would be in the reckoning for a recall. So, Pietersen did just that, he joined Surrey and was steadily improving. His 355 not out against Leicestershire last weekend was an exceptional innings, with ex England Captains Alec Stewart and Michael Vaughan heaping praise on Pietersen on Twitter. As many half expected though, the ECB then welched on this commitment, with Strauss claiming there was a trust issue that would not enable KP to return.
"he's a bloody goo player and one of the hardest to bowl to." Ryan Harris (Australian Fast bowler)
Australians fear him
One thing England lack at the moment is players to make the opposition worry. Joe Root is becoming one of these with a fantastic average, composure and great batting technique. Alastair Cook has lost a lot of respect and also his form has been poor for over two years now, but if he finds form he could be that player too. But, if Pietersen was thrown into the mix, he would have the Aussies worried. In fact, on hearing the news, The Guardian reported that the Aussies had "welcomed" the decision, with Australian fast bowler Ryan Harris admitting he would be happy not to have to come face-to-face with the South Africa-born batsman, commenting, "he’s a bloody good player and one of the hardest to bowl to.”
England are not as strong as they could be
It could of course be argued that the middle order is pretty strong now – Root, Balance and Bell are solid players although Bell struggled a little in the Caribbean after the first Test. If Pietersen was to be accommodated in the team, or even provide back up to these three should injury strike, we would have an even stronger line up of world class batsmen. Furthermore, Pietersen offers another slow bowling option for Cook which can be so valuable in Test matches.
In choosing to leave Pieterson off the England cricket team, many England fans feel robbed of the chance to see one of the most exciting batsmen of our time play cricket again - do you agree?