News24

England 'better off' without KP

2014-02-28 07:34

Dubai - England's dressing room will be a better place without Kevin Pietersen after the controversial batsman was sacked following the dismal Ashes tour of Australia, wicketkeeper Matt Prior said on Thursday.

Prior, the tour vice-captain, said Pietersen's ability should have made him "the best England cricketer to ever walk this planet" and the decision to dispense with him would not have been taken lightly.

When asked if the dressing room would be a better place without the South African-born batsman, Prior replied: "Yes, it will.

"I think one of the biggest things they (the ECB) want to rediscover is the value of playing cricket for England, the honour and the pride you need to show as an England cricketer.

"And they only want people in that dressing room that are going to be passionate about England winning and performing," said Prior during a Q&A session at a cricketing event in Dubai.

Pietersen was released from his ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) contract earlier this month in the aftermath of the 5-0 Test whitewash by Australia.

The ECB said captain Alastair Cook needed to be able to trust and rely on the support of all his players.

Pietersen scored 8 181 runs in 104 Tests and 4 440 runs in 136 one-day internationals but was never far from controversy.

He was briefly dropped in 2012 following media reports he had sent "provocative" text messages about England players to members of the South Africa squad during a series involving both teams.

More reports surfaced about Pietersen's divisive role in the squad after the latest Ashes series.

Prior, who has played in 75 Tests and hit 3 920 runs at an average of 40.83, missed the last two tests of the Ashes series after being dropped because of poor form.

He said that being omitted when he was vice-captain, in the middle of a big series, "quite literally wrenched my heart out" but added he was determined to regain his place for the home series against Sri Lanka and India later this year.

"I have more passion now than I have ever had to get back in that team, turn things around and get back to winning ways," Prior explained.

The wicketkeeper also predicted that opening batsman Cook would bounce back in style from England's humbling in Australia.

"He will break records and he's a phenomenal cricketer," said Prior. "He will score the most runs for an Englishman in test cricket, no doubt, and he's a phenomenal bloke as well.

"To read some of the criticism he's got has just been incredible, as anyone who knows him respects him.

"When it comes to captaincy he's a big enough bloke to admit he's not the finished article yet. He's still very young in his captaincy and he needs to learn and needs to grow into the position," said Prior.

"There are certain things I think a captain needs. I think being such a nice person is one of the things which doesn't stand him in good stead as a captain and the best thing about him is he accepts that and he knows he has to improve."

England begin their limited-overs tour of the Caribbean when they meet West Indies in the opening game of the three-match series of one-day internationals in Antigua on Friday.

Reuters

Comments
  • droplet - 2014-02-28 07:52

    when you accept with open arms someone who has acrimoniously left his previous home, you shouldn't be surprised when acrimony creeps into your own home

      Mike Beets - 2014-02-28 08:35

      World Cricket will be a better place

      Trav Griffie - 2014-02-28 09:19

      Rocco, i agree with your comment 100%. I think this us exceptionally poor taste from Prior.

      Richard Barnes - 2014-02-28 12:49

      Trav - on the other hand, isn't the fact that Prior is saying it indicative of the sort of effect that KP had in the dressing room? Matt is an ex-Saffie himself, he's not picking on KP "because he's not one of us". So why IS he picking on KP, if KP did nothing to warrant it and is merely being used as a scapegoat?

      Inky Pinky - 2014-02-28 15:33

      The ECB has backed Captain Cook at the expense of some players and even the coach. Prior is not currently in the England team and is under pressure from Buttler. His comments possibly are designed to curry favour with the ECB and Cook in the hope of regaining his place in the team.

  • Ronald Godfrey - 2014-02-28 07:54

    It would be interesting to KP`s side of the stories.

      Joe Smith - 2014-02-28 08:12

      I'm sure his book will be out pretty soon.,.....

  • Tammas Wrench - 2014-02-28 08:11

    England welcomed KP with open arms, made him a hero, then dropped him to zero. We in South Africa knew who and what KP is and was, a great talent , but what a PRIMA DONNA. Can England do without him, at this stage, with what they are I doubt it. They are a team without a strong captain who can take control of a team of whingers, on and off the field, a team that does not command much respect from any major team, in world cricket today.

      grantcallaway - 2014-02-28 10:53

      SA didn't ignore him because of his attitude. His stats were average in SA - never deserving of an international spot. Thing is, if he HAD made the Proteas side, he would never have been made out to be some kind of super-hero saviour...and when his form dipped, he wouldn't have been publicly tossed to the curb. Whilst he certainly has himself to blame for a lot of what has happened, it is typical English mentality to praise the fire and spark when its paying off, and them blame it and stifle it when it doesn't.

      Richard Barnes - 2014-02-28 12:53

      We do exactly the same thing. Biff, Parnie, Richard Levi, Lopsy, Robin P, Imran Tahir, David Miller, Fudge, JPD, Faf, even JK - all big heroes and "legends" when they win the game for us, "useless chockers" when they fail.

      grantcallaway - 2014-02-28 15:58

      @Richard - completely disagree! Our SUPPORTERS (or at least those who CLAIM to be supporters) might treat our guys that way, but CSA, our captain, and certainly their team-mates stand behind our guys. People only get dropped if there is a genuine reason - and that reason is barely ever a temporary dip in form.

      Richard Barnes - 2014-02-28 16:30

      So if Imran Tahir was found to be texting his former Pak countrymen that Biff is a d@@s, then Biff himself, the rest of the team and CSA would stand behind him? I think that if you spoke to some ex-Proteas, you might find that the SA dressing room is not quite the chummy, mutually supportive, open, transparent and all-inclusive environment that we like to think it is.

  • Mzwandile Brainen - 2014-02-28 08:15

    England without KP will never be the same , they will be a bunch of loosers like bafana bafana. To all bafana bafana supporters , support the world test champions the proteas as we have been dominating test cricket for 5 years now.

      Danie van Zyl - 2014-02-28 09:22

      The big problem is football is a beautiful game and it hard not to support your country. I will support any south africa national team but the soccer players needs to step up and wake up.

      Tebogo William Latakgomo - 2014-02-28 09:31

      Unlike you some of us support all national teams win or lose

  • Helen Vermeulen McGregor - 2014-02-28 08:22

    KP said things that the English cricketers didn't like to hear, shame. Best batsman they have and they drop him bunch of Idiots. They show no gratitude KP saved their butts how many times? By the way I am a South African

      Foc Us - 2014-02-28 09:21

      Helen you confuse me .... the fact that you South African ... what has that got to do with this issue? Anyway I think it is better to do without the best player than have lack of a cohesive team spirit. Cricket is a TEAM sport ... one individual can only save your butt SO many times .... good decision I say

      grantcallaway - 2014-02-28 11:02

      @Focus - whilst I agree with you in that a bad apple will cause rot (even if he happens to be talented), I have been part of some "English dressing-rooms", and they can be a sour, bitter lot. As much as they may SAY that they want you there, to them you are always an outsider, and your opinion never holds any value if it is not in agreement with theirs. My honest bet is that KP, being outspoken, would have said what he felt needed saying, and would have been alienated because of it. Hypothetical example: After the 1st innings of the 1st SA vs Aus test, if someone like Faf had said "Hey guys... the way Mitchel Johnson was bouncing us, and with how the wicket was playing - it was really hard to face. Maybe our bowlers should try some aggro short-pitched bowling on this wicket too?". His suggestion would probably be considered. Now in Aud when England were playing, maybe KP would've said something like "I know Mitch is really a handfull, but the guy does bowl a good 15km faster than us, so maybe we should stop bowling short, because its not having the same effect". He would've been met with "And what makes you think you know more than us? You're a batsman - work on your own problems." I would bet money that this scenario played out plenty times in that dressing room, with KP being the "bad influence".

      Richard Barnes - 2014-02-28 12:45

      If Faf had said that at Centurion, there'd have been a long and awkward silence. Then Robbie P would have piped up with "Bliksem maar djy's lekker slim, ne?"

  • Jacob Maermerrie - 2014-02-28 08:23

    And on the field ( that is where the game is played, isn't it,,) they will now be completely useless!

  • Clive Marz - 2014-02-28 08:28

    Hey!! is'nt this dude also South African born????? And the "old saying " one man does not make the TEAM apply??? The English were PULVERISED as a team ...now they are looking for a scapegoat , next they going to sack the baggage person for not packing their bags correctly !!

  • Sabiha Lockhat - 2014-02-28 08:29

    Well Hope KP learnt his lesson moving away is not always greener or bed of roses, why worry about England when we ourselves local SA fans keep finding faults with our very own captain Graeme Smith

  • cuan.wood - 2014-02-28 08:29

    You mean 'the best South African ever to play for England'

  • Trix Roux - 2014-02-28 08:47

    Publish a bio great way to keep the money rolling in!!!

  • CALAMITYSA - 2014-02-28 09:29

    We were very pleased when he left Durban. While ago.

  • Freedomnic - 2014-02-28 09:45

    bla bla bla... SA,AUS and India will dominate world cricket on the field for years to come, The Poms aint much with out KP, secretly they know it, hence all the bla bla bla....

  • Daniel Mpande - 2014-02-28 10:31

    To the Clyde Rathbone's to the KP's of this world. The lesson to be learnt her is never to talk ill about the country of your birth. In KP's case ,he could have just kept his head low and mouth shut like, Andrew Strauss , Matt Prior and Jonathan Trott.

      Michael Morris - 2014-02-28 12:43

      Andrew Strauss left South Africa at the age of 6 and Matt Prior at the age of 11. Only Trott played for SA at under 15 and 19 level

      Inky Pinky - 2014-02-28 20:00

      @ Daniel. Perhaps you should practice what you preach and keep your head down and your mouth shut. KP never criticized SA. Do some research before recklessly repeating malicious pub talk.

      Inky Pinky - 2014-02-28 20:01

      @ Daniel. Perhaps you should practice what you preach and keep your head down and your mouth shut. KP never criticized SA. Do some research before recklessly repeating malicious pub talk.

  • Richard Barnes - 2014-02-28 12:36

    "He said that being omitted when he was vice-captain, in the middle of a big series, "quite literally wrenched my heart out" Then why are you still alive? Figuratively, Matt, figuratively. Literally is something else.

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