Nick Matthew column: Too much water has gone under the bridge for KP recall

Kevin Pietersen
Kevin Pietersen
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I am glad England’s new director of cricket Andrew Strauss has said Kevin Pietersen will not be considered for selection until after the summer’s home Ashes series.

We seem to have had more controversy in the last year than we have had in the last 20 and most of that seems to have centred around KP. There is no doubting his ability but I think too much water has gone under the bridge for him to ever realistically comeback.

It is a shame really what has gone on as England were crying out for an experienced, explosive batsman like KP at the World Cup. He could have made a big difference.

What I do know is England could have definitely managed the KP saga a lot better. One hundred per cent.

But, at the same time, he has said and written too many things to get back in the set-up. The only reason he wrote his autobiography, where he slagged off his teammates, was because he didn’t expect to ever play again for his country. He said what he wanted but you can’t expect everyone to forgive and forget and move on.

Cricket is not an individual sport. Team spirit is everything so you can’t criticise most of your teammates and then expect to be welcomed back with open arms.

Good captains in the past, like Michael Vaughan, managed to put an arm around KP and get the best out of him and you also had big characters in the dressing room like Andrew Flintoff who helped him stay focused.

Now England can look to move forward, having drawn a line, at least for the time being, under the KP issue. England need to have stability going forwards and to start planning for the future. KP, at 34, is probably not going to be around for the next World Cup so they need to plan without him.

There has been a lot of things in English cricket recently that have been mismanaged from the KP saga to Alastair Cook’s sacking as one-day captain. The selection process seems to be very muddled and Peter Moores has been axed. It just seems like chaos so it is hardly a surprise that the team have not been performing.

In Test cricket, we are not at the level we were at when we were number one in the world but we are still competitive. It is in the shorter formats of the game where everyone has got so far ahead of us and that is what Strauss and the ECB have got to address.

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