Thursday, 8 January 2009

Who Started It?

The Pietersen Mess, I mean.

Not in the sense of Pietersen or Moores, but what media source broke the story?

This story from the Daily Telegraph, in this case republished in the Sydney Morning Herald, appears to have been the original piece. Note the measured tones - 'it is not inconceivable' - about the ultimatum.

Contrast that with this from the Daily Mail. 'Back me or I quit.' It's not like the Mail would be the first paper you'd pick up to read about cricket.

So it looks to me like the Telegraph broke the story, but the Mail raised the stakes. And we hear that KP is unhappy about the media in Britain. Did what he thought he said become what they thought he said? And he paid for the mistake with his job? Cricinfo has this telling quote from his statement:

However, in light of recent communications with the ECB, and the unfortunate media stories and speculation that have subsequently appeared, I now consider that it would be extremely difficult for me to continue in my current position with the England cricket team.

You don't have to be an expert to divine that the recent communications were his, the unfortunate media stories were those that raised the temperature, and the speculation may have been about 'back me or sack me'. Let's remember that Pietersen insisted on a 'clear the air' meeting when he took on the job. Perhaps his experiences in India led him to think that the boundaries set up in the first meeting had become blurred, and that he needed to redefine them again.

So I'm changing my view. If Pietersen didn't actually say 'back me or sack me', then he's been hard done by. Could it be the EWCB simply manoeuvred two men out of their jobs because of what the papers say? That would indeed be spineless.

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