A gradual but inevitable descent into cricket-based loathing and bile.

I Want To Retire, No Longer Required: The Kevin Pietersen Story

Posted on July 28, 2012 by in Opinion


It’s not often that we actually get angry at 51allout. Life’s too good for that sort of thing: it’s warm and sunny outside, plus the Olympic opening ceremony was rather good, at least until Paul McCartney’s cack bit at the end. And yet this morning we’re still slightly annoyed. And the reason for that unrest is, quite simply, the shambles around Kevin Pietersen’s international retirement and subsequent exclusion from the England World T20 (preliminary) squad, at the expense of such luminaries as Gareth Batty, Steven Croft and Amjad Khan.

It’s been barely eight weeks since Pietersen announced his immediate retirement from playing ODI cricket, and therefore also T20I cricket, for England. And yet, despite him having retired, various people seem to think that he should have still been in England’s squad. Presumably this is because these people (and quite possibly KP himself) don’t quite grasp the concept of retirement. Or possibly because some of them are simpletons.

Like the pathetic bureaucratic crap that led to our names being taken off the McDonalds roster after a minor ‘hands in the till’ incident. We’ll give Simon Jones the benefit of the doubt and assume he was retweeting this in an ironic way.


Pietersen has made his bed and now he has to lie in it. Presumably with Jessica Taylor, which softens that particular blow somewhat. No one forced him to retire from ODI cricket – he made his views clear to his employers (the ECB) and then, because they wouldn’t let him dictate policy, threw his toys out of the pram. Quite what he expected to happen, we just can’t understand. Did he think that the ECB would be so desperate to have him playing that they’d run down the street after him sobbing? Or that they’d take his retirement on board and (however grudgingly) move on, like the organised, sensible professionals that they are? It just makes no sense to us. It’s not as if Pietersen’s running out of chances to play in the IPL; the likes of Adam Gilchrist played there for years after retiring from proper cricket.

England certainly don’t need Pietersen for their ODI side. Indeed, he basically spent half a decade trying to force his way out of the side through the medium of rubbish performances (which we talked about in some depth here). If he was to suddenly be available again there simply wouldn’t be a space in the side for him, unless England wanted to completely disrupt the balance of the side, switching to four bowlers and moving everyone from Bopara (who’d have to pick up the bowling slack) down a place in the order. After giving Australia an almighty schooling England would have to be mad to change their successful methods to accommodate an underperforming middle order batsman who simply didn’t want to be there. In that respect Pietersen’s retirement comes as a blessed relief, a line in the sand.

Seriously, how could you say no to a face like this?

The T20 side is a very different kettle of fish. Pietersen retired as the number one batsman in the format and with no obvious replacements. Alex Hales made a superb 99 against the West Indies but is just a youngster making his first steps in the international game, far from the experienced campaigner of Pietersen (man of the tournament in the last T20 World Cup, of course).

But England under Flower are nothing if not resilient. They’re not exactly short of options, with the new world number one batsman, Eoin Morgan, in the middle order and the likes of Bairstow and Buttler coming through. There’s no doubt England would be a better side with Pietersen in, but they’re certainly not a poor side without him. Winning the T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka even with Pietersen was no certainty, given England’s dislike for the conditions and the general lottery of the shortest format of the game. Of course, that won’t matter to Pietersen’s friends in the media, who will already have the ‘we would have won it if KP was there’ mantra ready to go.

Mr T’s view of Piers Morgan is slightly different to ours.

England don’t emerge from this mess with much credit either. The filthy spectre of the IPL will continue to hang over the shoulder of the English season, with no apparent solution in sight. England can’t afford to give up any of their international cricket, so something will have to give. Pietersen may well be the first player to be prepared to forgo England to chase the Indian rupee but he’s unlikely to be the last; in two or three years time, this dilemma may well be an annual event. Pietersen may look back at the end of his career with great pride, mainly for the runs he scored but also for being a martyr for the IPL’s cause, at the expense of the England side that he so professed to love.



Post a Comment


James Knight

29 Jul 2012 09:24

All of you are on the list.



29 Jul 2012 08:14

After his pitiful dismissals at the Oval, the tiresome prick should shut the fuck up and make some runs.


Richard Clemerson

28 Jul 2012 14:51

Whilst a very talented player, KP has always looked after KP first and foremost and is in every sense of the word a mercenary.



28 Jul 2012 14:25

Surely there are more South Africans in the UK who can fill the gap? If not, you’re more than welcome to Roelof vd Merwe.


Matt H

28 Jul 2012 13:48

If only Amjad Khan really was in the squad, our lives would be complete.