To date the twists and turns in the career of Kevin Pietersen can be likened to the drama portrayed by the likes of Bobby and J.R. Ewing in the US hit television show Dallas and like the once hailed TV hit Pietersen is set to make a sensational comeback to the one day fold. But how will the recent trails and tribulations effect his relations in the long run.
Unlike the main protagonists of the soap operas that can be likened to KP’s England career thus far that are themselves played out on the television screen, his storylines have been mainly portrayed via the medium of Twitter.
Pietersen has had a number of difficulties when it comes to Twitter having been fined in 2010 by England for tweeting criticism of his omission from a one-day squad. KP then suffered another slap on the wrists once again from the ECB after taking to the social media site to express his criticism of Sky commentator Nick Knight.
KP sparked controversy during the first test against the West Indies in May by tweeting: ‘Can somebody please tell me how Nick Knight has talked his way into the commentary box for home Tests? Ridiculous.’
Although understandably sensitive to Pietersen’s faux pas due to the four year deal that sees Sky plough £260 million in to the English game it did however at the time appear that a fine of £5,000 was a touch harsh on the enigmatic batsman, a move that is said to be at the root of mounting tensions between Strauss and the Surrey-man.
It was in May when Pietersen quit one-day internationals, thus ruling the South African born middle order batsman out of England’s defence of the World T20 Championship in autumn, and now looks set to call time upon his test career.
It is well documented that the 32-year-old has been at odds with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) ever since his retirement from the one day arena in May. Pietersen told BBC’s Test Match Special during last week’s second test after a sparkling 149: “I can’t give any assurances [that the next Test will not be his last].
“I love playing test cricket, but there are obstacles and I’ll decide what happens at the end of the next Test.”
Although Pietersen would insist that it is the schedule that has left England without one of its most destructive batsmen in the short form of the game this isn’t wholly true. It is well documented that England play possibly the most cricket out of any of the test playing nations but it is not necessarily the sheer workload as an England player that has led him to threaten to abandon English cricket.
Pietersen’s main argument for the stand that he has taken against the ECB revolves around the Indian Premier League and although KP would like people to believe that his decision is based upon his desire to spend time with his family it is in fact to allow him to make as much money as possible from what is left of his career.
From last season’s IPL Pietersen pocketed a healthy £640,000 for just six weeks work, if KP were to take part in the competition in its entirety he could earn up to double that figure. It is therefore his wish that he be allowed to miss England’s home test series against New Zealand next May to play in the entire 2013 IPL tournament. In exchange it has been reported that he would then play all three formats. This style of negotiation, one would think, is not one that the likes of High Morris, Geoff Miller and Andy Flower are likely to be very sympathetic to.
Not only does tension exist, it is fair to say, between Pietersen and the England hierarchy but tensions are believed to be fraught within the changing room. Twitter once again finds itself at the heart of the latest storyline in the KP soap opera.
Accusations were reportedly made last week within the England camp as to who was behind the latest Twitter account parodying the extroverted personality that is Kevin Pietersen, however all members of the England team have denied involvement.
With it clear that none of Pietersen’s teammates were behind the account, due to many tweets being been made during Test matches, KP remains unhappy with some members of the squad who have followed and engaged with his parody.
England spinner Graeme Swann, who was left out of England’s side for the second Test match with South Africa at Headingley, took to twitter on Wednesday to reiterate that it was not him and also make a jibe at the England selectors for his omission saying: ‘The KP parody account has nothing to do with me. It’s obvious, only 1 in 4 are funny.’
With tensions no doubt high within the England camp and England set to face South Africa at Lord’s on Thursday in a must win game if Andrew Strauss’ men are to remain the number one side in the world Pietersen made no attempt to display his diplomacy skills when it was revealed in the week that he had been text messaging members of the South Africa team.
Reportedly KP text fast bowler Dale Steyn and wicketkeepers AB de Villiers messages containing ‘less than flattering comments’ about Strauss and his team-mates. Both Steyn and de Villiers are said to be embarrassed that Pietersen – given the dressing-room politics and his threat to quit test cricket – made contact with them during such a must win game for England.
Originally when writing this story Kevin Pietersen’s England career looked close to over. However, the enigmatic batsman has made a sensational u-turn to pledge his commitment to English cricket in all forms of the game. KP took to YouTube to confirm his return to the one day game. Whether this is an attempt to bury the hatchet some what with the England hierarchy, bowing to pressure from the media or the realization of the error of his ways the story and soap opera that is the ‘Kevin Pietersen show’ will no doubt run and run for some time with an undoubted amount of fallout from recent events.