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Blame it on Pietersen

January 08, 2009 13:55 IST

English cricket fraternity was on Thursday unanimous in blaming Kevin Pietersen for putting the country's cricket in a mess by poor management of his sour relationship as captain with coach Peter Moores which cost the two their positions in the team.

The public spat with coach Peter Moores, which cost Pietersen the captaincy could also leave his place in the team in serious doubt, feels former cricketer Graham Thorpe.

"England thought they knew what they were taking on when they made Pietersen captain - he is a headstrong character with strong ideas and little appetite for compromise," Thorpe said.

"But the way he has gone about this has been counterproductive and he has presented England with a massive problem. Pietersen's place must be under threat," Thorpe was quoted as saying by The Sun.

The ex-Surrey star said he was surprised at Pietersen's approach in the whole controversy.

"However good you are, you can't create this kind of situation as people will start asking which side you are on  the team's or your own?

"I am amazed that somebody close to him  a family member, his agent, his wife  has not told him to take a step back and ask himself where this is going," he said. 

Former ECB chairman Lord Maclaurin lamented the "sad" day in English cricket but backed the England and Wales Cricket Board for the way they handled it.

"It is a mess and it is very sad the captain was away in South Africa but as I understand if he put a pistol to the head of the ECB and said 'Back me or sack me' I think the ECB were absolutely right," he said.

"It is a decision Kevin Pietersen will regret for the rest of his life," he added.

Upset over the handling of the entire captain-coach issue, former all-rounder Dominic Cork felt England were now a "laughing stock" in the international cricket. 

"This is an important year. It should have been sorted in-house, whether by ECB chairman Giles Clarke or managing director Hugh Morris. Again we're allowing English cricket to become a laughing stock," he said.

Allan Lamb, an ex-England captain also joined the chorus and blamed Pietersen for bringing English cricket is in turmoil. 

"It doesn't look like it has been handled in the right way and Pietersen is to blame for that. We are a laughing stock at the moment. We are a total shambles due to the fact the captain has resigned and Peter Moores has gone. It is a very sad situation and English cricket is in turmoil." 

Former captain Graham Gooch described the episode as an "unholy mess" in the England team.

"What really worries me is what's going on in the dressing room. There are obviously some factions in the dressing room, some with Pietersen and some not. It is an unholy mess at the moment."

Another former skipper Alec Stewart also disagreed with the way Pietersen (mis)-managed the situation. 

"Being captain is a 24/7 job. It's not just about making decisions on the field - the responsibilities are off field.

It's vital that partnership with the coach and manager is very strong. I can understand Pietersen wanting things his way. In hindsight maybe he'll think he went about it the wrong way."

Former England batsman Mark Butcher wondered at Pietersen's daring and said, "This has been extraordinary. We are left with a very unedifying spectacle with the England captain in South Africa calling the shots and placing his bosses under incredible scrutiny." 

For Bob Willis, an ex-England captain, it was the last thing England team needed in the Ashes year. 

"Half the players seem to be on Pietersen's side and the other half seem to be on Moores' side. It is a right mess and the last thing England needs ahead of the Ashes.

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