Ever since details of Kevin Pietersen's autobiography have emerged in the political domain, some or the other controversy relating to the book erupts. While most of those targeted by the former England player in his book have come out, and denied the allegations, former players from the opposition have come out in support of some of Pietersen's claims in the book. At the same time, a document from ECB detailing the many wrongs of Kevin Pietersen during the Ashes series has been leaked out to the media, again portraying Pietersen as the villain. The right vs wrong debate is on in full swing over the matter.
Instead of looking for culprits, England cricket must look at the bigger picture though. What has transpired over the last year has benefited none; it has only been detrimental to English cricket and Pietersen as well. Per se, the axed batsman is neither a victim nor a villain, but a part of the problem itself. He has every right to blame others who put his career in such jeopardy. But, he must also look at himself and admit that he has done many wrongs. During his playing days with England, he had numerous run-ins with the ECB, some of which could easily have been avoided.
Some of KP's claim in the book show his inflated ego. He had refused to credit Andy Flower and Andrew Strauss for pulling the team out of a major crisis in 2009, after Pietersen was sacked as captain, and Peter Moores as coach. The fact is that the new captain-coach duo had an envious task of rebuilding the disjointed team, and did the same credibly. Yes, they may not have been perfect, and may have had many flaws. But, apart from sole criticism, KP could have spared some pages for praises as well. It is to Flower's credit that he has maintained a dignified silence over the issue.
KP though was only one part of the problem. ECB and some of England players were the others. Often during his career, the cricket board reprimanded Pietersen in public for his big-mouthed ways. The issue surrounding Pietersen's praise of the IPL could have been dealt with in a better manner. Also, the fact that greats like Graeme Smith and Ricky Ponting have backed Pietersen's bullying claims cannot be ignored. It emphasises that the men in charge did not do enough to stop the rut, which has led England to this precarious position.
The repercussions of Pietersen's book may have a damaging impact on English cricket for the unabashed manner in which details have been revealed. At the same time, it is a chance for England management to reflect on the amount of water that has flown under the bridge, and figure how they can deal with such situations in the future. As for Pietersen, only can only hope that sometime in the near future he would also admit that he could have done things better.
--By A Cricket Analyst