KP in trouble for Proteas SMS
London - England’s selectors have delayed their decision to include Kevin Pietersen in next week’s final Test at Lord’s until they discover the content of SMS messages he made to South Africa’s players during the second Test at Headingley.
According to The Telegraph website
, Pietersen is alleged to have SMSed Dale Steyn and AB de Villiers during the match with less than complimentary things about Andy Flower’s management style and Andrew Strauss’s leadership.
The selection panel, which includes Flower, met at Edgbaston on Friday to pick the squad for the Test and the World Twenty20 tournament, but appear to have taken a dim view and want to know the nature of the messages before deciding on the final 13 which is due to be announced at 09:30 on Sunday.
Before Pietersen’s thumbs did their loose talk, his bizarre comments at last Monday’s press conference would have been enough to place him in jeopardy of playing in England’s biggest Test match since Sydney, where they won the Ashes in Australia for the first time in 24 years.
“The politics is what I have to deal with personally,” he said earlier in the week. “It’s tough being me playing for England.”
With a win against South Africa needed to draw the series and maintain their No 1 Test status, the pragmatism of picking him and playing their strongest XI would probably have held sway with selectors over the principle of dropping him to maintaining team unity.
But the SMSing saga may prove the tipping point that sees Pietersen considered too toxic for team spirit and allow the latter view to hold sway.
The third and final Test starts at Lord's on Thursday, August 16.