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Geoffrey Boycott: Kevin Pietersen can’t return to the England side until he is man enough to say sorry
Posted on | August 18, 2012 | 1 Comment
Kevin Pietersen should not play for England again until he publicly apologises to Andrew Strauss, his team-mates and this country’s cricket lovers for his behaviour.
Cricket has always been, and still is, a sport of individuals working within a team framework. If one individual does not buy into that and hurts the unity and smooth running of the side then he has to go, no matter how gifted he is.
The captain, Andrew Strauss, and the coach, Andy Flower, are not stupid. They know England were outplayed and well beaten at the Kia Oval and without Pietersen’s brilliant 149 at Headingley they would have been beaten again, so it is a courageous decision to leave him out of the team and virtually hand South Africa the top spot.
But Andrew and Andy’s job is to organise, train and get 11 guys to work together under one leader. They must be fed up with the baggage and publicity surrounding Kevin. It never stops. Every week he has something to say or does something that focuses attention through the media on him and not the team. The talking points in English cricket always seem to be about Kevin.
Andrew and Andy, plus the England and Wales Cricket Board, have put up with all that because he can be a match-winning batsman. They have been prepared to accept all his publicity antics so long as he fulfils his contractual obligations.
But then he tried to change that. First we had his attempts to play Twenty20 cricket for England but not one-day internationals. That didn’t go down well. Then he insisted on playing the full Indian Premier League next year and to miss two Tests against New Zealand in May. By doing so he was putting the IPL above England, which smacks to everybody as him picking and choosing when he plays Test matches for us.