ECB Statement on Kevin Pietersen

The ECB have released a statement on the KP firing and it reveals precious little apart from acknowledging two things: how important KP has been to England and how Cook is not happy with KP.

This text quoted backs up my first point “He has played some of the finest innings ever produced by an England batsman.” The second point is laughable “we must invest in our captain Alastair Cook and we must support him in creating a culture in which we can be confident he will have the full support of all players, with everyone pulling in the same direction and able to trust each other.”

The ECB has decided to fire a man on behalf of Cook leading a team forward when Cook doesnt make the world T20 squad? Surely ECB want their best player there and Broad apparently requested his inclusion. Clearly KP challenged the wisdom of Cook out in Australia and for good reason. Cook is not the man to lead England and a 5-0 whitewash is a good indication of this.

Full text below from the ECB

It has been a matter of great frustration that until now the England and Wales Cricket Board has been unable to respond to the unwarranted and unpleasant criticism of England players and the ECB itself, which has provided an unwelcome backdrop to the recent negotiations to release Kevin Pietersen from his central contract.

Those negotiations have been successfully concluded and whilst both parties remain bound by confidentiality provisions the ECB would like to make the following comments.

The ECB recognises the significant contribution Kevin has made to England teams over the last decade. He has played some of the finest innings ever produced by an England batsman.

However, the England team needs to rebuild after the whitewash in Australia. To do that we must invest in our captain Alastair Cook and we must support him in creating a culture in which we can be confident he will have the full support of all players, with everyone pulling in the same direction and able to trust each other. It is for those reasons that we have decided to move on without Kevin Pietersen.

Following the announcement of that decision, allegations have been made, some from people outside cricket, which as well as attacking the rationale of the ECB’s decision-making, have questioned, without justification, the integrity of the England Team Director and some of England’s players.

Clearly what happens in the dressing room or team meetings should remain in that environment and not be distributed to people not connected with the team. This is a core principle of any sports team, and any such action would constitute a breach of trust and team ethics.

Whilst respecting that principle, it is important to stress that Andy Flower, Alastair Cook and Matt Prior, who have all been singled out for uninformed and unwarranted criticism, retain the total confidence and respect of all the other members of the Ashes party.

These are men who care deeply about the fortunes of the England team and its image, and it is ironic that they were the people who led the reintegration of Kevin Pietersen into the England squad in 2012.

South African cricketers in 2014 IPL auction

The IPL auction kicks off on the 12th of Feb and there are 41 South Africans involved in the final list. See below for the 53 that made the long list and thanks to Road kill for the below

 

Players valued at maximum based price (Rs 20 million – US$ 320 000 approx)

Dinesh Karthik, Praveen Kumar, Amit Mishra, Ashish Nehra, Pragyan Ojha, Yusuf Pathan, Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Manoj Tiwary, Robin Uthappa, Murali Vijay (all India), George Bailey, Brad Haddin, Brad Hodge, Michael Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Shaun Marsh, James Pattinson, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc (all Australia), Alex Hales, Samit Patel, Kevin Pietersen (all England), Brendon McCullum, Ross Taylor (both New Zealand), Jacques Kallis (South Africa), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Mahela Jayawardene, Angelo Mathews (all Sri Lanka), Marlon Samuels (West Indies).

South African players entered into IPL auction longlist (base price in approximate US Dollars):

*indicates uncapped at international level

$320 000 – Jacques Kallis (Cobras)

$240 000 – Faf du Plessis, Albie Morkel, Morne Morkel (all Titans)

$150 000 – Johan Botha (South Australia), JP Duminy, Robin Peterson, Vernon Philander (all Cobras) Ryan McLaren (Knights), Quinton de Kock, Chris Morris, Imran Tahir (all Lions), Wayne Parnell (Warriors)

$80 000 – Rory Kleinveldt, Richard Levi (both Cobras), Vaughan van Jaarsveld (Dolphins), Nicky Boje, Dean Elgar (both Knights), Neil McKenzie (Lions), Herschelle Gibbs (N/A)

$50 000 – Justin Kemp, Justin Ontong, Dane Vilas, Beuran Hendricks* (all Cobras), Yusuf Abdulla (Dolphins), Gulam Bodi, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Dwaine Pretorius* (all Lions), Marchant de Lange, Farhaan Behardien, Henry Davids, Roelof van der Merwe, David Wiese (all Titans), Rusty Theron, Jon-Jon Smuts* (Warriors)

$30 000 – Stiaan van Zyl* (Cobras), Craig Alexander* (Dolphins), Dillon du Preez*, Reeza Hendricks*, Shadely van Schalkwyk* (all Knights), Andrew Birch* (Warriors)

$15 000 – Cameron Delport*, Robbie Frylinck*, Daryn Smit*, Khaya Zondo* (all Dolphins), Rassie van der Dussen*, Hardus Viljoen* (both Lions), Ryan Bailey*, Davy Jacobs*, Simon Harmer*, Christiaan Jonker* (all Warriors)

TBC – Keshav Maharaj* (Dolphins), Ayabulela Gqamane* (Warriors)

Australia and South Africa Test squads

SA squad: Graeme Smith, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, Rory Kleinveldt, Ryan McLaren, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Alviro Petersen, Robbie Peterson, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Thami Tsolekile

South Africa have left out the talented Quinton de Kock and instead gone for Thami Tsolekile in what can only be described as a transformation move. Thami is a great player but he hasn’t played a test in the past 10 years and its unlikely he will feature against an Australian side on a high. Tahir has been dropped and Robbie Petersen along with JP will offer the spin options.

Test squad Michael Clarke (capt), Brad Haddin (vice-capt), Jackson Bird, Alex Doolan, James Faulkner, Ryan Harris, Mitchell Johnson, Shaun Marsh, Nathan Lyon, James Pattinson, Chris Rogers, Peter Siddle, Steven Smith, David Warner, Shane Watson.

Australia are on a high after annihilating England in the ashes and despite their warm up game rained off, will be keen to maintain the 44 year unbeaten in a test series in SA streak.

Kevin Pietersen dropped

Kevin Pietersen has been dropped permanently from the England setup after England’s complete humiliation in Australia. Some chap called Paul Downton called the meeting to decide the fate of the cricketing great KP. The ECB has yet to disclose to the public or Kevin himself the reason for his sacking. Kevin Pietersen has been quoted as saying. “Playing cricket for my country has been an honour, although I am obviously very sad the incredible journey has come to an end, I’m also hugely proud of what we, as a team, have achieved over the past nine years. I feel extremely fortunate to have played at a time of great success for England cricket alongside some of the best cricketers the country has ever produced.

I want to thank everyone for their fantastic support and I wish the team the very best of success going forward. I have a great deal to give as a cricketer and I will continue to play but deeply regret it won’t be for England” Mark Boucher tweeted “Times must be good to leave out your best player! Sad day for the game” Piers Morgan, one of KP’s biggest advocates has let his feelings be known on twitter calling current captain Cook “a repulsive little weasel”

 

Paul Downton stated “Clearly this was a tough decision because Kevin has been such an outstanding player for England, as the fact that he is the country’s leading run-scorer in international cricket demonstrates, However everyone was aware that there was a need to begin the long-term planning after the Australia tour. Therefore we have decided the time is right to look to the future and start to rebuild not only the team but also team ethic and philosophy.”

 

It is interesting to see the words ethic and philosophy in Downton’s statement – KP has been known to have an incredibly high work ethic and an attitude to match. England were brought down to earth with a 11-1 thrashing in all formats of the game. After the tests KP was asked to “recover and take a break” during the ODI’s and despite KP not being there for the second half of the tour, England management have decided that they need to rebuild England without a man that has helped them immeasurably throughout his career. There is the T20 in 4 weeks, the world cup next year and the ashes in 18 months time, so the rebuilding phase will be quick and the candidate to fill the boots of Kevin Pietersen must be known to the selectors, who have done a remarkable job of hiding him from the public.

 

 

Pietersen’s nine-year international career saw him establish himself as one of the world’s leading batsmen, with a Test tally of 8181 runs at an impressive average of 47.28 in 104 matches. During the Ashes debacle, Pietersen was still England’s top scorer in the series

 

Some highlights from his career:

  • KP made 158 on the final day of the last test at the Oval cricket ground in the 2005 Ashes, securing England a first Ashes triumph in 18 years. He was awarded an MBE in 2005 presumably for his contribution to the England team.
  • In 2010 he was named player of the tournament on the way to helping England win the ICC World T20.
  • Whilst playing for England in the 2013 Ashes series, by making a match-saving 113 Kevin became the highest run scorer for England from all forms of the game. England went on to win the series making Kevin a four time Ashes winner.

 

Australians will be surfacing in the morning knowing that in 18 months there should be another 5-0 ashes lesson handed out if the attitude of dropping your best players continues.

De Villiers Facing Race against Time

 

 

South Africa’s A.B. de Villiers is facing a race against time to be fit for the upcoming Test series against Australia, with the wicket-keeper batsman recovering from surgery on a hand injury.

 

De Villiers, who is currently the number one ICC Test batsman, was forced to have an operation at the start of the year and could now go into the three Test series against the in-form Aussies without playing a game since the Boxing Day Test against India.

 

The 29-year old was forced to miss the South African Twenty20 competition after sustaining the injury to his hand, but de Villers has insisted he is confident he will be fit and ready for the first Test on February 9.

 

De Villiers was instrumental in South Africa’s 1-0 series success against Australia last year, hitting a sensational 169 in the third Test to upset the cricket betting odds and take the game away from Michael Clarke’s team.

 

While South Africa are the current number one Test team in the world, having De Villiers 100% healthy could be critical to the Proteas hopes of maintaining their recent dominance of the five-day game.

 

Coming off the back of their incredible 5-0 Ashes whitewash of England, a development that surprised many fans of cricket betting, Australia will arrive in South Africa with a level of confidence that has been absent from the team since the end of the Warne-McGrath-Hayden et al era.

 

And de Villiers has admitted he is expecting a tough three Tests against the Aussies: “I’m looking forward to a massive series against Australia. They’re playing really good cricket, but there’s no reason for us to stand back. We beat them the last time we played, but it’s been a while since we beat them in South Africa,” admitted the South African ODI captain.