The Long And Winding Road KP On The Way Out
Only KP. Only Kevin Pietersen could distract the focus of public attention, however briefly, from the huge success of the London 2012 games.
As gold after gold flow into Team GB’s overflowing coffers, it would take something monumentally distracting to take focus away from the heroism visible on 24 BBC channels every day.
NASA landed a robot on Mars. Hardly anyone noticed. Surrounded as we all are by the fug of Olympic glory.
But then: KP said what?
The finest batsman for England since Beefy. One of the most electrifying men we have ever seen at the crease. The capricious drama queen that is Kevin Pietersen, let it be known after the second test against South Africa at Headingley; that the final test at Lord’s may be his last.
KP isn't happy that details of his contract negotiations with the ECB have been leaked to the press. And both parties seem to be at a stalemate, even as Pietersen insists the stumbling block is not money.
He’s already retired from the shorter forms of the game (ODI and T20) for England. Even if the T20 part of that wasn’t entirely his idea. But the central contract under which KP plays insists if you retire from one short form of the game, you retire from both. Not withstanding Pietersen’s supreme talent in twenty 20 cricket.
Andy Flower, England team director, couldn’t really have it any other way. If Pietersen - as talented, as transcendent a batsman as he is - is allowed to cherry pick which aspect of his contract he upholds, it sets a dangerous precedent. Other players could simply decline to fulfill the parts of their contracts they no longer care to.
What a shame it all is. No one needed reminding of what KP is capable of when he knocked 149, not out, against South Africa on day three of the second test. All the sweeter was his innings because it came against his old enemies and compatriots the South Africans. No one needed reminding he could do this.
It was sad enough when his retirement from the shorter versions of the game meant less KP. And the issue of whether the ECB eventually pick him up on a tests only contract is beside the point. Relations between all parties may be irreparably damaged; to the extent that KP’s on the road out. No matter how windy that road may eventually prove to be.
Pietersen knows his real legacy rests on his achievements in test match cricket. Not in the hit and giggle T20 slugfest of the IPL.
A final declining sojourn in T20 would not be a fitting end to a career marked by outrageous flights of talent. But then again maybe it would sum up the controversy, the pure slugging talent, and the propensity to self-destruct that are inextricable parts of KP.
blog comments powered by