In the last day or so – it’s proximity to the launch of KP’s book hardly a coincidence – a “strictly privileged and confidential” 5 page document highlighting some of Kev’s alleged misdemeanours during last summer’s Ashes tour has sprung up (and subsequently disappeared from a bunch of spots).
Some believe it’s the mythical ‘dossier’ that resulted in KP’s removal from the English setup, other suspect it could just be a summary. A few have suggested it isn’t legitimate at all. The ECB are saying it’s not the ‘dossier’, but are also denying that the supposed ‘dossier’ even exists. Come on lads, at least one of those statements has to be false.
Me? I don’t think it is the full ‘dossier’, but I’d say that it is likely a suitable summary of whatever that apparently non-existent document theoretically contains. All they’d have to do is elongate the comments with some more double speak and they’d easily embiggen it to a good 10 or 15 pages of dossier-ness.
At 5 pages they aren’t even trying. Who are they? English cricket. Oh, yeah. They are.
Anyway… let’s look at the “highlights” of the document that may or may not be the ‘dossier’, which may or may not exist, and covers the things that KP may or may not have done and said. Maybe. Not sure. Let me check with Piers.
1st Test – November 21-24
England lose by 381 runs, KP makes 18 and 26, and takes a catch.
At the end of the First Test, KP was awarded a present by the team in recognition of 100th Test (as is customary). During his acceptance speech KP stated that “this is the best England dressing room environment that I have ever experienced”.
Ok, this one is clearly in the document as they are trying to make a point that things were rosy at the start of the tour. Bollocks. Rosy doesn’t lose by 381 runs in just 4 days.
Of course he’s going to say something nice/positive during his acceptance speech, no one accepts an award or present and then says “thanks, but you guys suck, we just got belted by 400 runs”.
Maybe Kev did say it was the “best England dress room environment”, doesn’t mean that he meant it. He might have been talking about the ‘environment’ of Brisbane, actually that’s unlikely, not sure he likes Brisbane…
2nd Test – December 5-9
England lose by 218 runs, KP makes 4 and 53.
Upon arrival in Adelaide for the Second Test, AF gave express instructions to players not to stay out late and not to give the scandal ‐ voracious press any ammunition, which KP immediately disobeyed by taking out two young players drinking with him until late (an incident which was front page news in the Adelaide press the following day).
This one’s simple. KP and AF have different interpretations of “out late”. That and maybe Kev simply doesn’t care what the Adelaide newspapers print, why should he?
You know who else “immediately disobeyed” that order from AF? KP’s fellow front pager, Stuart Broad. Also, Stuart is not a “young player”, he’s played 70-odd tests, and played a cut shot to first slip then refused to walk. No ‘young’ player would do that.
3rd Test – December 13-17
England lose by 150 runs, KP makes 19 and 45, and takes a catch.
Prior to the Perth Test, an England team physiotherapist approached AF to inform AF that KP had told him that KP was looking to do anything to go home after the Perth Test if England lost the match to go 3‐0 down. KP allegedly told the physio that if England lost the match, his knee was “going to be really playing up”.
Chinese whispers between the physio and the coach. That was never going to end badly. I mean how old are these guys? Twelve? Well, Joe Root is twelve, but the rest of them are full grown humans.
Anywho England lost, and guess what KP didn’t bail out…
…but then Graeme Swann announces his immediate retirement mid-series, jumping off the ship before it completely sank. Sook.
Graham Gooch (GG) has a verbal go at KP on dressing room balcony after KP plays a reckless shot to get out.
Who cares? The entire English team spent 3 months playing every reckless shot in the book. Kev was hardly alone. He was their leading run scorer for the series, I mean c’mon. Was Goochy having a go at everyone else? Shouldn’t this be in Goochy’s dossier instead in KP’s?
4th Test – December 26-29
England lose by 8 wickets, KP makes 71 and 49, and takes a catch.
Immediately following England’s fourth day defeat in the Fourth Test, AF encouraged Alistair Cook (AC) to lead a team meeting without team management in attendance to try and rally the squad before the final Test. KP told Matt Prior (MP) (and possibly others) that he had no interest in going to the meeting. MP told KP that it was “team time, not family time”.
So Captain Cook, but Rallying the squad after you’ve just gone down 0-4 in the five match series is about 4 matches too late. I can’t blame Kev for not going, what was the point, he obviously thought they were still going to play like shit in Sydney the following week. And he was right.
After playing a terrible shot to get out in one of his innings in the Fourth Test, KP returned to the England dressing room and in front the younger England players, shouted “you lot are a bunch of useless c*nts”.
Finally! The speech he should have given when accepting his present after his 100th Test.
“The younger England players”? Were they travelling with an under-13 English representative side that we weren’t aware of?
Sure, Joe Root looks like a 12-year-old but he’s a big boy – we know this because he was allowed into a bar to get thumped by Dave Warner six months earlier – I’m sure he’s heard, and likely said, worse that what KP was serving.
It riled the team and management that KP allowed Piers Morgan to belittle AC and the team on social media. When asked by some of his team mates to get Piers Morgan to stop tweeting about the team, KP laughed at the players and told them to get a thicker skin.
How dare someone not associated with the English cricket team tweet things about them that they don’t like. Yes, Piers is a twat but it’s not Kev’s job to tell him what to tweet and what not to tweet. Piers can, and will, say whatever he wants. The ‘get thicker skin’ comment is spot on, and not just in relation to Piers’ tweets.
There’s a really easy solution if you don’t like what Piers tweets… don’t follow him. Ignore him. Pretend he doesn’t exist, just like CNN did in February.
KP made disparaging remarks about Michael Carberry in front of other England players and team management prior to the Fourth Test, stating “Aren’t there any better players at County level? Carberry is useless”.
A fair point, there probably are better players at county level, but they weren’t selected. I agree that Carberry probably shouldn’t have been Cook’s opening partner for last year’s Ashes, to me – based on what I knew of him – he seemed more suited to the ODI or T20 team.
Yet, by the end of the series Carberry was the second leading run scorer in the English team just 13 runs behind KP and 35 ahead of Captain Cook. Not that it matters anyway because they dropped Carberry at their first opportunity.
Pre 5th Test meeting with AF
KP stated that AC was weak, tactically inept and that AC’s latest effort to galvanise the team was “pathetic”.
Stated. As fact. Because it was true. England were 0-4 down, Cook wasn’t in great form either with the bat nor in the field as captain. AF shouldn’t have needed KP to tell him that.
KP ranted, saying GS is a “c*nt”, the team was “sh*t” and having a go at AF and his coaching.
Fair call. Swanny bailed out mid series for no reason other than he gave up. He wasn’t injured, he wasn’t performing any worse than the rest of the team. The team was shit, again they were 0-4 down at this point, and they weren’t ‘close’ losses. They were beltings, and another was just around the corner.
KP stated that, in order to build team spirit, AF needed to “let the players go out and get p*ssed, especially the younger players”.
I’d say there is about a 95% chance this has been twisted out of context in some way. KP just wanted team spirit, he could see hanging out socially as benefiting that. He wanted to share the front page of the local papers with all his team mates, not just Broady.
AF told KP at the end of the meeting that he was amazed that after 7 years of working together and AF bending over backwards for KP, that KP would talk to AF like that and be so incredibly disloyal as to try to get rid of AF like that behind AF’s back. KP then left AF’s hotel room.
Hahahahahahahahaha. If KP was the only one who really wanted AF gone, then AF would still be there, right? Where is he? Not coach of England, that’s where. (Although they did have him coaching the England Lions team of something during the recent English summer).
AF did not speak to KP during the Sydney Test (or for the rest of the Tour).
Real mature guys. Welcome to 7th grade.
5th Test – January 3-5
England lose by 281, KP makes 3 and 6.
During the Fifth Test, a player tried to galvanise the team on the field with a “call to arms” address. Back in dressing room, KP criticised the player, saying that the player was “sucking up to management”. (AF stated it was incredibly damaging as KP was putting off other players from stepping up in this way.)
This a test they lost within three days. Three. I’d probably criticise a guy trying out a “call to arms” as well. And why isn’t this player identified? Every other player is.
As for “incredibly damaging”, that would be a good way to describe a 3-day belting in a test match to complete a 0-5 drubbing.
Following KP’s second innings dismissal, KP whistled casually on his way back to the pavilion, before coming into the dressing room. After the game was lost, KP walked out of the dressing room, saying “I don’t give a f*ck”.
I sentence ye to 100 lashes and life in prison for the crime of whistling…
Again, they lost within three days. Clearly none of them gave a fuck. Also, by this point KP was probably reasonably sure they were going to can him post tour. After all, the 0-5 loss was clearly all his fault, it had nothing to do with the other 17 guys he shared the field with over those 5 tests.
When Gary Ballance (who was born and raised in Zimbabwe) spoke in the dressing room, KP said it “is nice to hear another South African accent in the dressing room”.
Trotty had gone home after Brisbane, Strauss was already in retirement (inflicting his horrible commentary stylings on the English viewers), and KP doesn’t seem to like Matt Prior, so a Zimbabwean was the closest he had to a “fellow South African”.
A South African, Zimbabwean, New Zealander, Irishman walk into a bar… along with the rest of the English team.
In team meetings during the tour, KP would often be deliberately disengaged (e.g. looking out of the window, looking at his watch etc whilst AF and others were talking to the team).
If team meetings were as dry and ridiculously childish as this document, then how can you blame Kev’s mind for wandering.
Post Ashes – January
AF was asked for his view on whether KP should form part of England team re‐building process. AF said that AC and the Vice‐Captain would struggle to re‐build the team with sufficient unity or strength with KP involved.
Because deciding to jettison your best batsman simply because you don’t get along with him is a perfectly acceptable response to losing the Ashes 0-5. Obviously it was all his fault.
We saw the “strength” of the new-look English side when they limped through the first two tests against India. The only reason they eventually won the series was because India were playing worse than they were.
JC informs KP that he will not be selected for the West Indies One Day tour nor for World T20, as “following discussion between MD England Cricket, Selectors and England Captains it has been decided that the team needs to move on in a different direction with an emphasis on a strong team orientated culture”.
Sure, they’ve moved in a different direction, but it’s mostly down in the ICC rankings. See point above about their new found “strength”.
KP then raises concerns regarding his IPL availability. JC states that the ECB would understand, under the circumstances of KP’s non‐selection, if full IPL availability was now KP’s priority. JC details his understanding of KP’s contractual position.
I have great difficulty reading those couple of sentences, anyone else? Couldn’t they have just said “KP wants to know if he can play in the IPL now that the ECB brains trust don’t want him”.
The terms of a compromise agreement are set out, which envisaged: “Player gives notice with immediate effect. Whilst contractual requirement is only for ECB to pay retainer for 30 days, subject to concluding the agreement ECB would be prepared to pay the equivalent of the player’s retainer through to [start of April when player will be due at IPL] [end of September when the contract was due to end].”
I think this is just the ECB lawyers way of saying “Yes, Kev, you may play in the IPL”.
ECB release “Statement on Kevin Pietersen”, in which it is stated that “KP has been informed by the England and Wales Cricket Board that he has not been included in the England squads for the forthcoming tour of the Caribbean later this month nor the ICC World Twenty20 to be held in Bangladesh in March.”
Following on from “without prejudice and confidential meeting” and “further without prejudice calls” – yeah I have no idea what any of that means either – between a bunch of initials (PD, JC, CW, KP, AP, BM and AW) the ECB released a “statement” announcing they’d canned KP.
And all this just a couple of weeks before Piers got dumped by CNN. Surely it’s a conspiracy…
Don’t worry KP, come to Australia play the Big Bash over summer – assuming the ECB don’t pull a childish move and block him as a result of them disliking his new book. Then pop over to India next April for another truck full of cash. Just forget about England, even if they can’t forget about you.