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Andrew Strauss dealt with Kevin Pieterson correctly - well done

Posted on May 13, 2015 by Selby There have been 0 comments

I have a lot of respect for the way Andrew Strauss dealt with the Kevin Pietersen issue on Tuesday but his decision has left two potential problems. My biggest concern is that by alienating Pietersen from the set-up and picking all of England’s leaders for the summer Strauss might have put off a few potential candidates from applying for the vacant coach’s job. perhaps they will look at it and think: “Why would I want to go into a position where all the big decisions have been made and wonder what exactly is the role of the coach?” They would want to come in and choose players they know can win them matches. Most coaches would manage the situation as well because in other countries they care a lot less about little fallouts within the team.

If a candidate feels the director of cricket is too powerful it might alienate some strong coaches around the world and that would be a real shame. English cricket needs the best man for the job and cannot afford to lose a good candidate because they fear how much power they will really wield while at the same time being held accountable for results.

The second big issue is the team will now have to be mentally very strong to handle the ghost of Pietersen. Every time they struggle this year they are going to be asked about KP and you can bet New Zealand, Australia, Pakistan and South Africa will gleefully bring it up on and off the field.

Don’t be surprised if the Australians have a brilliant first day of the first Test in Cardiff that one of them comes out and says: “Well, England were really lacking KP out there today.” If England go 1-0 down I can see Michael Clarke saying: “They are a different team without Kevin Pietersen.”

Andrew Strauss (left) and Pietersen celebrate England's Ashes win in 2011

There are a lot of supporters angry over the Pietersen decision, too, so the players should not be surprised if there are a few shouts from the crowd if they have a bad day. Get ready for what could come because the general sports fan does not get this issue of trust. They have forgotten about his book, they probably don’t care. They just want to see the match-winners on the park for England.

Next week Alastair Cook will be asked why Pietersen is not in his team and he will have to answer the question. It could have been made a lot easier by the England and Wales Cricket Board. There are no legal issues with Pietersen and they could have been a bit more honest. They could have said exactly why they do not trust Pietersen.

The book is one issue, but we still do not know what exactly went wrong in Australia. Tuesday was the day when the ECB could have revealed more. Strauss could have listed the things he has done and said “that is it, no more”. But instead he left it vague again.

Cook and Pietersen had issues to resolve

Trust has to be earned. The team have to play in a fashion that excites the fans and the ECB has to act in a way so the public trusts it to run the game. At the moment that is not the case.

Tuesday was a disaster for English cricket when it should have been the start of an exciting new era. We should have all been talking about the Strauss era but instead it was the same as last year when Paul Downton was appointed and sacked KP without giving any concrete reasons. I still strongly believe Strauss is the right man for the job but it will take a lot of patience from the fans. It will get a lot worse before it gets better for England but I have no doubt that over four years Strauss will be a good appointment. He will get it right.

It is clear the trust element he was referring to was driven by the England dressing room. Strauss might say he has not consulted Cook but it is obvious that the trust issue is not just between Strauss and Pietersen, it is also between KP and Cook. We have to respect that but Cook has to be open and honest by admitting there is a trust issue between him and Pietersen.

Michael Vaughan believes Strauss is the right man for the ECB role

I personally think if it was too difficult to get him back in the Test team then why not have him involved in the one-day set-up. Forget the advisory role. I want to see him playing Twenty20 cricket for England. There is going to be a new coach, a new captain of that team in Eoin Morgan, who is good friends with Pietersen and a whole raft of new players. Why would you not want KP in the team at the World Twenty20 in India next year? He knows more about playing Twenty20 in India than any other England player. He could bring all his information and knowledge of playing around the world and pass it on to the next generation of players. That opportunity has been missed.

I want to arrive at that World Cup with England having the best chance of winning it and for that to happen Pietersen has to be in that XI.


Graves must now focus on the bigger picture

I am friends with Colin Graves and he has been a great chairman for Yorkshire but I think he has now realised he is in the big world.

He has been a successful businessman for many years but now he is in the world of top flight sport and the national media spotlight.

He is no longer just working for Yorkshire. As much as we think we are the centre of the world, in Yorkshire we are just tiny.

Colin is now in a job where everything is scrutinised. The straight-talking Yorkshireman we all love to hear is now in charge of the England and Wales Cricket Board and as much as he wants to stay the same, he has to play more of a political game. He will have to learn from this episode with Kevin Pietersen.

Kevin has been shafted and he is right to ask: “Where is the clean slate I was promised?” But a year ago he was public enemy No 1 and now he has won the war because most people feel sorry for him.

He has done it by doing the right thing, which is by scoring loads of runs and not just sniping on social media.

I have great respect for the way he has handled this. It is just a shame we will not see him playing for England this summer.

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