It is after a long time that there was no international cricket last week to rate the CEAT International Cricketer of the Week. Cricket has become almost 12 months round the year sport and somewhere or the other there is an international going on. In fact when there is a series in New Zealand an avid cricket lover in India can virtually watch cricket for 24 hours non-stop if he wants to.
The game in New Zealand starts at about 3 am India time, and if there is a series in India then just as the days play ends in New Zealand the match in India starts and by the time it finishes there could be a game starting in South Africa and by the time that finishes there could be a game in the West Indies and by the time the game finishes in the Caribbean it would be time for the second days play to start in New Zealand.
So cricket can be pretty much non-stop almost throughout the year. It is because of this scheduling that some players are calling it quits in one format of the game, so that they can stay fresh and fit for the other formats. It is in expressing this desire to be available for Tests that Kevin Pietersen retired from the T20 formats for England.
Hardly had the dust settled on the vicious reactions of the Brit media than came another controversy which saw Pietersen dropped from the last Test which is progress at the moment. This time it was because of the text messages he sent to some South African players disparaging the skipper, and some of the players in the England team.
That was just the excuse that the England bosses were waiting for so instead of getting a thank you for scoring a dashing attacking hundred and saving their backsides and giving them an opportunity to retain the number one ranking what KP got was a kick on the bottom and out of the England dressing room door.
Other England players have written books and diaries of seasons where they have criticised their teammates, but no action has been taken against them while for text messages which are private and between two individuals KP got dropped. Whether these texts were deliberately leaked or not, is not the question, but how an Englishman can get away with it but not a South African born Englishman.
Frankly, KP should quit England and qualify for South Africa even if it means spending four years without international cricket, he can spend those years playing T20 cricket in various leagues to his hearts content, make enough money to settle a few generations for life and then come back to his original country where despite leaving them he will be treated better than he has been in England.
What his omission did was to give another chance to Johnny Bairstow and the young man, who had a miserable series against the West Indian quicks earlier in the summer has grabbed his chance and made sure that he will get more opportunities in the future. Ravi Bopara could have had that chance, but by making himself unavailable after his failure in the first Test of the series he has pretty much signed himself off as an England Test player.
Such is life that one player, who thought he would not get a look in gets a call that he grasps and another lets it go. The lesson simply is that a player cannot be successful staying at home or in the dressing room, but only if he is prepared to show his skills and temperament on the field.
Professional Management Group