Cricket

Cook can't handle KP: Boycott

2014-09-23 22:07
Alastair Cook (AFP)

London - England great Geoffrey Boycott believes an international recall for Kevin Pietersen won't happen because captain Alastair Cook "can't handle" him.

Following England's 5-0 Ashes thrashing in Australia, February saw the England and Wales Cricket Board effectively end the 34-year-old Pietersen's international career -- even though he is England's all-time leading run-scorer across all formats -- in what they said was a move designed to support current captain skipper Cook.

And with Pietersen set to give his version of events in an autobiography to be published in October, after a confidentiality clause expires, the chances of the South Africa-born batsman being restored to the England side appear slim.

Boycott, himself a former England captain and no stranger to controversy during his own colourful career, said a key reason why a reconciliation was impossible lay in Cook's inability to manage Pietersen.

"They won't consider him again, they won't go back. Whether that's right or wrong I don't know but they're not going to go back, they've made a decision," Boycott told BBC Radio Five on Monday.

"Too many people just feel we don't need it, we don't need the difficulty," he added. "They know they have enough problems, they don't want any more problems.

"Keeping somebody like Kev, who can give you match-winning performances but can give you headaches, you need a captain who can handle that.

"I'm almost sure in my own mind the current captain can't. Alastair's a nice lad, you couldn't say anything bad about him...but I don't think he can handle someone like Kevin.

"It takes a strong personality and I don't think he is.

"(He's) strong in batting, not strong in handling people."

Boycott's fellow BBC Radio Test Match Special commentator Michael Vaughan had no problems with Pietersen when he captained England.

However, Pietersen was then at the start of his international career.

Nevertheless, Boycott was convinced Vaughan would have handled Pietersen much better in recent times than the present England hierarchy.

"Michael Vaughan got him at the beginning of his career, it was much easier because he hadn't become such a big figure in cricket," Boycott explained.

"Michael, if he'd have been captain later on when Kevin became a star, I think would have handled him better because he was a very good captain, an excellent captain."

Read more on:    ecb  |  alastair cook  |  kevin pietersen  |  cricket
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