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KP nuts

I’ve followed cricket since I was a little lad, from the days when the late Richie Benaud was a player rather than a commentator, and when Trueman and Statham inspired far more fear in  the hearts of opponents than Anderson and Broad manage today.

Throughout that time the governance of the game in England has been questionable to say the least, but this week it seems to have lowered its standing still further. A year after sacking Kevin Pietersen, their best player, because he was a maverick whose face didn’t fit, they’ve just concluded a weird and pointless ritual dance by effectively sacking him again, on the very day that he proved conclusively that he is still their best bat by a country mile.

The excuse on offer was a breakdown in trust, between the ECB and Pietersen. Strange that since KP trusted the  Board enough to walk away from a £250,000 deal in India to play for Surrey for peanuts in the red ball form of the game, to prove what everyone knew anyway. He did that on the word of the incoming chair of the ECB, and boy, was he let down.

Fact is, for the last several years, nothing has happened in English cricket  without the approval of Giles Clarke, the outgoing chair, who hands over next week to one Colin Graves, the man who gave his word to KP, only to have it broken by the new Director of England Cricket, Andrew Strauss, who is, in turn, the man who had to apologise last year when he was caught calling KP a lady part on a live microphone. It might bugger belief that Strauss was allowed to have the final say-so on KP’s future, but he’s a Clarke man through and through, a good Tory. (Giles is the nephew of Tom King, Maggie Thatcher’s Defence Secretary.)

Fact is, although Clarke is leaving office as chairman, he’s still there and everything this week has happened on his watch. Furthermore when he does go he won’t be going far, for he is taking up a newly created post as President of the ECB. If Graves is as pissed off at being portrayed as deceitful in his handling of KP as he is entitled to be, there may be some interesting discussions between those two. But how any of it will benefit English cricket, well, that beats me.

Categories: Sport
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