MICHAEL Vaughan, the Sheffield-raised former England and Ashes winning captain, believes the burden of responsibility lies with Kevin Pietersen if he is to be accepted back into England’s dressing room.
England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Giles Clarke appeared alongside Pietersen in Colombo yesterday to announce that a programme of “reintegration” had been agreed between the parties with a view to Pietersen being restored to the England team. It is currently unclear whether that will be in the forthcoming Test series against India or the one-day leg of the tour in the new year, with team director Andy Flower likely to have the final say.
South African-born batsman Pietersen has not featured on the international stage since August.
“England are lucky to have Kevin, but the team will want actions,” Vaughan said, who was was brought up in Sheffield and still lives outside the city in the village of Baslow
“Most of it [the problems] is down to Kevin Pietersen - probably 80 per cent of it,” he added. “The issue is, can Kevin be allowed back in that dressing room? Now he has got a four-month trial period and the only way to find out is to go into the dressing room, make a speech, get round with some of the players he has had issues with, and have a beer. He needs to iron it all out because you want to see the best players playing.
“The way he speaks to the team, media conferences and statements are just words, the team will want actions. They will want to see how he behaves and how he is around the players.
Former England seamer Bob Willis expressed his astonishment at the ECB for accepting Pietersen’s version of events surrounding the BBM messages he sent to members of the South African dressing room.
“I find it flabbergasting that Pietersen can convince the ECB that he didn’t say anything derogatory about the England captain,” he said.
“What on earth was all the fuss about? These texts were called “provocative” by the ECB.”