Thursday, July 19, 2012

ECB hold firm over Pietersen

Kevin Pietersen’s desire to return to the limited overs fold for England has been dashed after he was left out of the 30-man provisional squad for the T20 World Cup.

Pietersen caused a surprise when he announced his retirement from one-day internationals earlier in the summer, citing fatigue and desire to prolong his international career.

However, under the terms of his ECB central contract, a player cannot pick and choose which limited overs game he is available for; meaning his retirement from ODIs ruled him out of T20s as well.

That means he is unable to help England defend their T20 crown in Sri Lanka in September, something that he admits he finds frustrating.

After missing out on England’s one day rout of Australia  earlier this summer Pietersen again grabbed the headlines by declaring that he had changed his mind and would “love to play for another three or four years in all forms of cricket.”

Great news on the face of things, but his declaration appeared to carry a caveat, with Pietersen keen on reducing his schedule as part of a deal involving his return.

He does raise important issues regarding the strain placed on players in an increasingly hectic calendar, but the ECB cannot allow players to dictate what games they can or cannot play in.

That is certainly the case with a player like Pietersen, who for all his prestigious talent, is considered to be fairly high-maintenance with an ego that needs to be regularly massaged.

However, despite reports that Pietersen’s representatives were in talks with the ECB, coach Andy Flower appeared defiant in his stance and Pietersen’s  eventual exclusion means he will not be playing limited overs cricket for some time.

Is that a bad thing? Well, England will dearly miss a player of his abilities and the online betting at Bet Victor has swung away from England as a result of his latest declaration. But the recent series with Australia suggests they are already moving on.

Plus Pietersen's notorious off-field presence (and that of his advisers) suggests things will be easier without him.

Don't forget to enjoy betting at this summer, with all the latest odds and offers throughout this busy season of cricket.

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