Pietersen pays price for life as an outsider

The England star however insisted his England career is not over after being dropped for crucial third Test against South Africa at Lord's.


From the moment Kevin Pietersen walked out on South African cricket in protest at their selection policy it was clear the batsman's sublime skills would often be overshadowed by his penchant for emotional gestures generated by self-interest.

Now that dangerously narcissistic element of Pietersen's personality, which has landed him in hot water so many times in his troubled career, has come back to haunt him again in spectacular fashion.

Pietersen is by far England's most naturally gifted strokemaker, but his international career lies in tatters after a dramatic week that started with allegations he sent text messages to South African players containing derogatory comments about English captain Andrew Strauss and coach Andy Flower.

Also Read:

Pietersen 'gutted' to be dropped
In pictures: Pietersen's highs and lows

Hussain: Selectors had to drop KP even though weakening England

KP reverses retirement plans
Pietersen's statistics

The 32-year-old, who had just scored a superb century in the drawn second Test against South Africa at Headingley, followed that bombshell by claiming he was ready to walk away from the sport due to what he perceived as problems in the England squad that he said "made it hard being me".

And then, with speculation increasing that he would be dropped when the third Test squad was named on Sunday, the saga took a bizarre twist when Pietersen posted a video on YouTube on Saturday in which he claimed he was now ready to play in all forms of international cricket having previously opted out of limited overs action.

That seems to have been a misguided attempt to curry favour with the public when his fate was already sealed because just 24 hours later the England selectors confirmed that Pietersen had been axed.

Pietersen's refusal to follow the team-first ethos that Strauss and Flower have been so determined to implement eventually proved too much for the selectors and even some of his team-mates.

The texting allegations played a significant role as such blatant criticism was a clear challenge to the England hierarchy.

"It was agreed that a number of actions needed to be completed to re-engage Kevin within the England dressing room. A fundamental item was to confirm publicly that no derogatory texts had been sent by Kevin to the South African team. This has not been forthcoming," Hugh Morris, Managing Director of England Cricket, said.

"The success of the England team has been built on a unity of purpose and trust. Whilst we have made every attempt to find a solution to enable Kevin to be selected we have sadly had to conclude that, in the best interest of the team, he will miss the Lord's Test."

Pietersen's attempt to run roughshod over a tough customer like Flower, who once wore a black armband in a World Cup match to protest against the policies of Zimbabwe's government, led by notorious dictator Robert Mugabe, has backfired in stunning fashion.

And for Pietersen to somehow salvage his England career now, the Surrey star -- who responded to the decision by insisting he remains available for selection -- will have to change the habit of a lifetime and bow down to the authorities.

After leaving South Africa in protest against the quota selection system that he feared would kill his international career, Pietersen pursued a career in England and trouble was never far away.

He left Nottinghamshire, his first English county, under a cloud after threatening to sue for unfair dismissal, even though they insisted he had not been sacked.

But Pietersen's ability to produce remarkable performances at the moment of maximum pressure ensured he became a key member of England's side.

He hit century to help England regain the Ashes with a draw in the final Test at The Oval in 2005 and by 2008 Pietersen had won enough admirers to earn the Test and one-day captaincy.

But reports of a personality clash between Pietersen and coach Peter Moores quickly surfaced in 2009 and he resigned soon after.

After helping retain the Ashes in 2010, Pietersen was back in trouble when he was fined by the ECB for criticising former England batsman Nick Knight on Twitter.

If that was a storm in a teacup, this latest controversy could prove far more damaging to Pietersen's legacy.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

The bowlers restricted Hyderabad to 133 for 6 before Rahane and Binny took Rajasthan over the line. More »

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

The Kings XI batsman blasted a 43-ball 95 to help his team pull off a massive chase against Chennai Super Kings. More »

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

As two of the most glamorous sides in the Indian T20 league, the focus of the match between Mumbai and Bangalore will invariably be on the middle-order… More »

BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srinivasan, says Manohar

BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srinivasan, says Manohar

Two former BCCI presidents, Shashank Manohar and Jagmohan Dalmiya, have reacted strongly to the news of the BCCI calling an emergent meeting on Sunday… More »

Pietersen ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Pietersen ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Kevin Pietersen has ridiculed the idea of day-night Test cricket, saying the game would be so different to proper Test cricket that we will need a whole… More »

Beleaguered Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Beleaguered Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj Singh was hardly convincing to begin with against Delhi, but a big dose of crowd support and a helping of poor bowling meant he had the opportunity… More »

Stressed Trott stands down again

Stressed Trott stands down again

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday confirmed that batsman Jonathan Trott is to take another break from all cricket with immediate eff… More »

PCB starts another coach hunt

PCB starts another coach hunt

The PCB has decided to not extend the contracts of head coach Moin Khan, fielding coach Shoaib Mohammad and batting consultant Zaheer Abbas, and has invited… More »

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistani cricket authorities have launched an investigation after a number of current international stars played in exhibition matches in the United States… More »

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

England all-rounder Ben Stokes admits he must keep his anger under control if he is to end his international exile. More »

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Yuvraj Singh was back to his best in his first match for Royal Challengers Bangalore. More »

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

The BCCI will hold an emergent working committee meeting on April 20 to discuss the future course of action with regard to the Supreme Court hearing concerning… More »

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

"Integrity is non-negotiable..." says the BCCI's interim chief ahead of Season 7 of the tainted league. More »

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Chennai have an emphatic 8-3 lead in the head-to-head with Punjab, with one game tied More »

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

An all-round display saw Knight Riders thump Mumbai Indians by 41 runs in the IPL-7 opener. More »

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

The 38-year-old South African veteran turned it on for Kolkata Knight RIders in the opening match of IPL-7. More »

Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

A quality that defines Rajasthan and Hyderabad is consistency. Rajasthan was one among two teams to enjoy complete dominance at home last season. Hyderabad… More »

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

The court emphasised that the tainted administrator can no longer work for the BCCI. More »

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

New-look RCB will play their first game of IPL-7 on Thursday. More »

IPL: News Line

IPL: News Line

A round-up of all the news from this season of the IPL. More »

Shane Watson issues moral warning

Shane Watson issues moral warning

'Everyone knows what is right and what is wrong and if you do the wrong thing it will be found out' More »

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Welcome to another season of a league that many watch but few trust. More »

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Australia's Mitchell Johnson may quit limited-overs cricket to prolong his test career with an eye on the 2015 Ashes series in England, the fast bowler… More »

Nepal players call off boycott

Nepal players call off boycott

Thaw in relations after formation of an advisory committee that would work in tandem with the Cricket Association of Nepal. More »