In the preview post of the Oval test between England and the Proteas I suggested the South Africans, in terms of sledging, enquired from KP Pietersen how his marriage with misses ECB is proceeding.
Considering the ongoing influx of South African players into the England team “ECB” should really stand for the “England Wales and Saffers Cricket Board”.
Maybe Morné Morkel asked his IPL compatriot the question and just maybe it ignited the ongoing discourse between Kevin and the Proteas. What the lads spoke about is their private business but some of it was in Afrikaans and all seemed to be very friendly; typically in the spirit of the symbolism of the Basil D’Oliveira-trophy.
Neither the ECB nor Andrew Strauss or Andy Flower seems to understand this symbolism as the “friendly banter” provoked unprecedented anger amongst the hyper sensitive old boys of the ECB, the captain and the coach.
They certainly missed the significance of the fact that KP grew up in South Africa and that he at one or other point played against some of the Proteas on Africa-soil. They certainly overlooked the significance of the unique glue that binds South Africans and Saffers together.
Devoid of context about the past relationship between Kevin Pietersen and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB); and after the master batter’s threat to dump England cricket one could be persuaded that Pietersen is an emotional snot-nose if not a self destructive raving mad man.
But knowledge of the ECB’s past interaction with Pietersen reveals that Hugh Morris and his ECB-chums hardly missed a beat to go about their business like a bunch of professional connivers and backstabbers when it comes to South African Kevin.
The short and the not so sweet is: Kevin’s outburst was not so much the result of his immature characteristics, as the ECB would want us to believe, but was brought about by the almost unfathomable egos that collectively constitute the ECB.
Over many seasons Kevin was driven mad by the childish ECB and especially their hot-headed managing director, Hugh Morris.
This is the same Morris who telephonically fired KP as England’s captain a few seasons ago. It might also be the guy who orchestrated the media leak about contents of confidential discussions between KP and the ECB.
For all we know Morris participated in the social network account that has only one objective: to mock and humiliate England’s best cricketer.
The ECB as well as captain Andrew Strauss and coach Andy Flower took massive offence when KP engaged in light hearted banter with the South Africans on the field and through sms’s. Strauss could simply not live with the thought that one of his troops was joking with the Proteas – in Afrikaans (nogals).
To add insult to injury KP not too long ago referred to Jacques Kallis as the best cricketer ever.
Worse still, he referred to Dale Steyn and the South African bowling attack as “fighters”. This probably earned him the wrath of the English quicks that were animatedly humbled by the Protea batters at the Oval and Headingley.
What the ECB, Strauss and Flower saw was probably what they believe to be “KP, the closet Protea”. That is a no-no; an unwanted scenario for a team who owes much of its success to South African born and bred cricketers.
What they conveniently forgot is that KP days earlier took the Protea bowlers apart whilst scoring a memorable century; probably one of the 10 best ever and definitely the best by an English batter.
The ECB’s insistence that they wanted knowledge of the entire content of KP’s banter with his Protea friends, reflects a high degree of paranoia and is a laughable attempt to control every movement of the ex South African.
Not even the South African team manager, Dr Mohammed Moosajee’s – a man with great integrity – assurance that the sms’s was all “banter” and that some of what was being reported is totally incorrect could set the Britons at ease.
Yes, the ECB won this round, or so they would like the world to believe; but if the Proteas win at Lords KP will have the last laugh.
Deep down Morris probably realises that this scenario might see him exit England cricket long before KP does.
If the likes of Johnny Bairstow and James Taylor fails to rescue England’s number one test spot the public and the English media will question the decision to boot KP; especially after he apologised for allegedly bringing England cricket (read ECB) in disrepute.
The ECB might hope that by some miracle this will be the end of KP but the reality is that none of Bairstow, Eoin Morgan, Ravi Bopara and James Taylor is remotely in the same league.
Those guys struggled to fill the gap left by Paul Collingwood. Without being disrespectful to Paul, also he was never in the KP-category. None of them are even close to be KP-light.
So, and we won’t exactly know when or what because they will find a way to save face, the ECB will have to revert to its knees as part of the strategy to get KP back in the test arena.
A good guess would be that England will not play the Ashes without Kevin. They would not dare because they will lose.
If they lose their number one test spot and the next Ashes England will once again be the pathetic team which it was under Michael Atherton, Michael Vaughan and Nasser Husain.
If it happens KP will be forgiven but not the ECB and especially not Hugh Morris.