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Pietersen revels in his coronation

Oliver Brett | 16:26 UK time, Monday, 4 August 2008

Bang on time, he stepped out of the lifts at the Lord's media centre, flashed his Colgate smile and even rolled his eyes as the cameras clicked away manically. If he blinked once when the flashes went off, we never saw it.

National selector Geoff Miller, in his flat Derbyshire vowels, revealed the news we already knew, and nobody listened - least of all Kevin Pietersen himself.

The photographers were camped in a little huddle down to his left and he faced them first, raised his eyebrows, and - remarkably - mouthed the words "Cheers, mate" to one.

Premier League football clubs do a lot of "unveiling" of their new players in August. This, on the other hand, almost had the air of a coronation about it.

Kevin Pietersen

Not that Lord's would ever have seen anything quite like it before, as Pietersen set off his smart blazer and monochrome striped tie with a dainty little lapel badge - there had to be one concession to bling - and smiled and smiled and smiled.

The contrast between this and the tearful abdication of Michael Vaughan halfway up the country exactly 24 hours earlier could not have been more stark.

It soon emerged Pietersen had spent much of Sunday watching television, first absorbing the news that his predecessor had resigned - "I was straight on the blower to Mike," he said - and then taking in the development that he had emerged as the front-runner to replace Vaughan.

Later in the afternoon he was invited to be the new England captain. After a few more phone calls, this time to family members, he drove to Loughborough to have his first meeting as England captain with the coach Peter Moores, whose job he could save if he turns around some dispiriting recent results by the team.

Now it was time to meet the nation's media. Pietersen answered questions for about 20 minutes with grace and did not resort to the sort of wisecrack remarks we have occasionally heard from him in the past.

For example, when he stood in for the suspended Paul Collingwood in the last one-day international against New Zealand in June, he glibly admitted he had "zilch" experience of the role, before adding "If we do everything we said at our team meeting, I'll be smoking a cigar at mid-off."

Now given the role on a long-term basis, there was a much more serious presence about him.

He only had one awkward delivery to contend with, when the Daily Telegraph's Derek Pringle asked him if he was planning to get a new tattoo.

"What kind of tattoo, Derek?" asked KP. "I don't know, maybe one saying skipper," replied Pringle. "I'm not sure about that." Six runs to Pietersen, and laughter all round.

So has the ECB done the right thing to make Pietersen captain? Vaughan said his decision to quit was "both the hardest and the easiest decision" he had made. And in some ways making KP Vaughan's successor is both the obvious one and the biggest gamble.

Ian Botham was, like Pietersen now, England's superstar back in 1980 when he was made England's captain. Twelve Tests later, and no wins, it all ended in bitter acrimony and Botham only regained his match-winning exploits when Mike Brearley returned to the captaincy.

Hugh Morris, Kevin Pietersen, Geoff Miller

The next great hero, Andrew Flintoff, was unwisely promoted above Andrew Strauss - who had just led England to a Test series win over Pakistan - but floundered in Australia as the Ashes were meekly surrendered in 2006-07.

Similarly, there must be a genuine fear that Pietersen's brilliant batsmanship will be compromised by the responsibility of captaincy - and the twin concerns will work against each other.

Or, the occasional mad shots when he throws his wicket away on the verge of reaching a century will be tempered because he is now "wearing the stripes". And the natural self-confidence we see in his batting could in fact make him a bold and decisive leader.

Will Pietersen be one of the great thinkers of the game like Brearley? A great tactician like Vaughan? Or will he be a take-no-prisoners ruthless leader in the Australian mode, best exemplified by Steve Waugh?

He will probably be none of those things, and though he pledged to "always look for advice" one cannot help but feel he will do things with a self-assured swagger that just might help England recover the self-belief that has visibly drained away of late.

Pietersen says he is very much "gut-instinct orientated" when he plays his cricket and believes those instincts have assisted him tremendously.

Whatever those gut instincts are, we know the Kevin Pietersen ride will be an adrenaline-filled one - and it could either go spectacularly, horribly wrong or be a surprising, storming success.


Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    It’s interesting that Mr Agnew hasn’t raised his head above the parapet. At the beginning of the last test at Edgbaston, he was one of the key media individuals piling pressure onto Michael Vaughan. Many people have raised an eyebrow about his approach. But what has happened since then is more worrying. On this blog – three days ago – he criticised Kevin Pietersen for his “irresponsible” shot selection which, he said, means Pietersen must “surely have ruled himself out of the reckoning” for the captaincy. In radio interviews over the last couple of days, Mr Agnew has repeatedly referred to Pietersen’s “selfishness” and his “big ego”. Today, now that Pietersen has been made captain, Mr Agnew has been doing his best to speak of the critics in the third person – and also dodging his blog! But having seemingly failed to envisage even the possibility that Pietersen might be made test captain once Vaughan departed (whether that was this weekend or in 6 months time), he has somewhat shot himself in the foot. He has already laid his cards on the table, and this calls into question his role as a journalist. It is one thing for Alex Stewart, Geoffrey Boycott and others to speak their mind as commentators, but the BBC’s Chief Cricket Correspondent is supposed to be more disinterested.

    As for Kevin Pietersen, what can one say apart from many congratulations, and good luck? I have a hunch that he is, contrary to popular opinion, more of a team man than it sometimes appears. He always takes great pleasure in the success of those around him. That’s a great start for a captain. He needs to prove his doubters wrong in a calm and considered way. These things take time. If he can focus his energies on playing the superb cricket we all know he can play and inspire his team-mates to higher things – and bear in mind that cricket and its traditions are always more important than any single individual – he has the potential to be England’s best ever captain.

  • Comment number 2.

    I am sitting here in London, in depressed silence, after having read the news that Kevin Pieterson is now England captain. His interview with his pseudo english accent (obviously having spent lots of time in elocution lessons) just grated especially as he brushed off any mention of his nationality. At first I thought 'what a tw*t', then I started to think.

    I have just had a conversation with my mother-in-law on the inevitable whether we should return or not to return saga. She said that there was now a steady stream of people leaving SA, friends that had critisised them when they had left (in the 80's for a few years) where now coming over to the UK to 'look around'. Yesterday I met someone whose father had gleefully announced to her that her brother was coming over to the UK and now he can rest as 'both his children where out of the country'.

    Maybe KP is not a traitor to his country, afterall he left to pursue opportunities as there were none for him at home. He has reached the ultimate success, not only has he assimilated into his new country, he has become so integrated he is now considered one of their own, leading their cricket side.

    He is just the most successful of us all that have come over looking for new opportunities here. .

    This is heartbreaking reality of most of us that are over here.

  • Comment number 3.

    I was very glad to hear that Pietersen had been given the job. The idea of Strauss would have been absurd - a captain struggling for his place in the team? Kind of done that, haven't we?

    Rob Key was probably the only real opposition, but with so long out of the Test team, that was never a flier.

    KP is a winner and now everything is his fault, I can only feel that will to win will be transmitted through the team. He is our best player - by streets - and he deserves a shot.

    Read his autobiography and you will see how focussed he is; read Freddie's (ah the joys of a couple of tinnies on the way to an awards ceremony!) and you will see what a numbskull of a decision giving him the captaincy was. It's silly to compare the two.

  • Comment number 4.

    Very valid point by the first poster- I have lost all respect for Agnew over the past couple of weeks- he continually has a chip on his shoulder about somebody, be it Pietersen, Strauss, Panesar, Vaughan or anyone else for that matter.

    I think this is an inspired and very courageous pick by the selectors. Pietersen will be an inspirational captain, and with Strauss, Collingwood and others alongside him, he will get the advice he will need. Moreover, I think the responsibility will calm his temperament and make hi m play more sensibly.

    However, Peter Moores must go if we lose over the winter, and defenitely after the Ashes, win or lose.

  • Comment number 5.

    A dark day for English cricket.

  • Comment number 6.

    What a huge mistake the Cricket Board have made. Pieterson is not the man for captain, he lacks experience and is a self centered player who just plays for himself.
    He is immature and throws his wicket away too many times. Not the right man.

  • Comment number 7.

    A very dark day when we have to pick a South African to be captain of England. he couldn't even get in the South African team, that says it all.

  • Comment number 8.

    Interesting comment at no.2 about the exodus of people from SA to England frmo all walks of life. It is interesting because a lot of English-born people are leaving the UK to pursue lives abroad!

    With such fluid movement of society across the globe, I don't think we can criticise people for captaining the country where they have chosen to settle, whether or not it is their country of birth.

    I really don't think Pietersen's birthplace is any sort of issue at all.

  • Comment number 9.

    Anyone who has read this blog should go and compare it with Lawrence Booth’s insightful piece in The Guardian.

  • Comment number 10.

    very interesting first post. i somewhat agree. however i do see pietersons appointment as the only choice. no one else really stands out for me in that england line up. i shall be frank, england are a mess at the moment. they have to sort out their main area which is batting.

  • Comment number 11.

    Does anyone find it strange that Vaughan had to fall on his sword, yet Moores, Miller and the selectorial panel have really taken no heat. Moores has overseen losses to Sri Lanka, India, South Africa. The big teams. England have regressed and perhaps his position should be questioned. As should Miller's 'Patto-gate' selection. Bring back Graveney at this point.

    Also, there's been a shadowplay in the ECB halls of power. Isn't it strange Pietersen was at the Stanford/ Champions Trophy conference? Almost like he was being lined up for the role.

    Dead cert that he doesn't go to the IPL now.

  • Comment number 12.

    Shame for MV, but his time was up and the team needs a shake-up.
    Wasn't sure about KP at first as captain, but he really is the only player, minus flintoff, to be penned into all three teams. He may be a bit brash, but he wants to win, loves his cricket and sould hopefully play an aggressive brand of cricket. Certainly is more tempting to renew the Sky subscription now!

  • Comment number 13.


    I feel Peter Moores has only until the end of the Ashes to make up for a faltering start to his regime. He is much admired from within the game, but I think the doubters are lining up - and he seems overly defensive at time.

  • Comment number 14.

    To be honest I don't think he should have that long. Surely there is no way we can win the ashes given the opposition we have already lost to and the general malaise of the team in each of the three disciplines.

  • Comment number 15.

    I'm happy. I love England and I love cricket. Pietersen loves England and Loves Cricket. Lets get behind him and not on his back for the sake of english cricket.

  • Comment number 16.

    Best man for the job! 1st name on the team sheet, has a never say die attitude and has the respect of his team mates and opposition.

    Bring back the Ashes KP!

  • Comment number 17.

    The role of the Media in all this is interesting. We cant know about all the politics that went on behind closed doors but it does seem that the Media has had a huge role role in dismantling the team that won the ashes.

    They build them up and then destroy them. Fletcher, Flintoff and now Vaughan have all fallen prey to the Media witch hunt that puts huge pressure on our Sporting stars. While the Media can argue that they brought about their own demise by poor performance isnt it time we had a serious debate about the Media's role.

    Are they there to just comment on what happens or should they appoint themselves as public executioners. Or is it inevitable that like Schrodingers cat they influence proceedings innocently by existing?

    Good luck Pieterson, thanks Michael Vaughan.

  • Comment number 18.

    Good luck to KP, i hope everyone gets behind him.

    For all those who disagree with this appointment- just remember it could have been worse- they could have gone for Flintoff.

  • Comment number 19.

    Lets face it nothing has changed other than Vaughan has gone home.
    I have just seen KP interview. He does not intend to change and lets face it he will take years to be a captain time he has not got at 28.
    End central contracts sack Moores and the selectors. Start again with people in form.
    The 2009 ashes are already gone no way is this team going to score a run against the aussies. As for taking 20 wickets England are a lone way from that.
    Clean sweep please and a full change at the top.
    Anyone heard from Geoff Boycott.

  • Comment number 20.

    Have to say a few of these comments are pretty badly thought out. 'He couldn't even get into the SA team' someone said. Well yes but thats partially because of their quota system. Yes its not great we have to have a Saffer as Captain whatever his passport says but I don't see any alternatives. Strauss and the rest are virtually always one game away from their heads rolling, Flintoff's tried and failed, Bell's clearly not a leader and Cook's too young.

    Vaughan was a good Captain but suffered from poor form, at least we're appointing someone who's form and contributions can't be questioned (selfishness not withstanding). Hopefully it'll help mature him and I for one will definitely be backing him.

  • Comment number 21.


    The current Australia are not a patch on the 2006-07 vintage so there's no point sacrificing the Ashes for the sake of it. We can win - yes there have to be one or two changes - but we can win and Pietersen could be the man to lead us to it.

    The central contracts issue is interesting because, in the last eight months particularly, the likes of Hoggard and Harmison have been dropped regardless of contracts.

    I feel there are a number of players in the team hanging onto their places by a thread. The trouble is, after the Darren Pattinson fiasco, Geoff Miller's creativity with regard to selections might be a bit stifled - and that's a shame.

  • Comment number 22.

    A quick word of support for Jonathan Agnew.

    The day the BBC chief cricket correspondent doesn't speak his mind will be a sad one.

    He has dished out bouquets and brickbats in equal measure over the years and done so with style and sensitivity.

    I wish Pieterson luck - he is an outstanding talent with a real can-do mindset. I think all England supporters want him to do well.

    Personally, I fear that too much responsibility on his shoulders will bring down his batting average. And in truth, he's the only England bat that would make a world side.

  • Comment number 23.

    One of the things KP will bring is the capacity to look people in the eye and say “not good enough” to anyone who falls short. Michael Vaughan was (I doubt he will not play for England again) a wonderful batsman, especially in Australia in 2003. I think people tend to overrate his captaincy based on his “win ratio” which was beefed up by victories against very poor teams. The main problem though, in recent times, was the cosy club atmosphere. Let’s give Colly more chances etc., he’s a nice guy, blah blah. Vaughan couldn’t tell others that they were not up to it because for a while now he’s been the weakest link in the side. That will change with Pietersen in charge (not overnight, but it will change). Bell, Strauss, Cook, Collingwood, Sidebottom, Anderson and Panesar all need to step up a level. Broad is very promising as a fifth bowler batting at 7 but needs to improve his bowling. Ambrose is simply not good enough for test cricket. Pietersen and Flintoff (strictly as a bowler as he has always been an over-rated batter, no better than Shaun Pollock who batted at 8 for SA) are the only two England players who are world class.

  • Comment number 24.

    Totally agree with the first poster.

    Aggers got it wrong.

    I like his radio commentary but his blog criticising KP during the last test has to go down as something worthy of "The Sun" in is sensationalist, dogmatic, stupidity.

    And to people who post on these boards telling people to lay off Aggers, why?

    He has a voice with his blog and a responsibility to put up his hand and say he got it wrong in saying that KP “must surely have ruled himself out of the reckoning” of becoming captain by playing one rash shot.

    Oh, and to say that someone has an ego is not an insult: we all have one.

    Good luck KP.

  • Comment number 25.

    Comment NO7 - what a load of rubbish
    'KP couldn't even get into the SA team' - he is by far our best player and one of the most popular.
    If you saw his press conference, you would have seen what promise is on offer with KP.
    He is a very very promising captain

    Also, I think it's time Sidey went. He looks tired and is very selfish. When Monty apologised for the dropped catch he just got blanked. Also, if he's having a bad game, he just sulks and doesn#'t help witht he fileding. He ruins the team spirit.

  • Comment number 26.

    Oliver Breet thanks for saying we can win the ashes I do need cheering up on that at this point in time.
    The other thing I was not impressed with was Collingwood as deputy. Should we not be training someone young so as to prepare for the next ashes down under.

  • Comment number 27.


    Agreed on Sidey, seems to have lost the nip he had. Isn't it funny though, he has a facet joint problem in the back like Hoggy,yet he still gets another chance, what about hoggy. Sixth all time best bowler, he's bowling the same pace as Sidey is, so why not.

    We need twenty wickets in a match, remember the seven fer in SA, India and Australia. He is by far our best overseas bowler and when the conditions are right, he'll still get a few.

  • Comment number 28.

    Very much agree with comments on Sidebottom and Hoggard. Hoggard has been treated very badly indeed. Sidebottom needs to keep proving himself, as they all do. But we should be thinking of a bowling unit of 7-8 players who rotate. This idea of playing the same 4-45 every match is silly - they will all just have injuries, like Flintoff, Jones, Hoggard, Harmison and now Sidebottom. How long before young Broad is laid up? Keep a number of top bowlers close to the squad and rotate them according to conditions and fitness.

  • Comment number 29.

    How long before Flintoff is laid up with the amount of overs we keep putting him through. You also have to worry about Anderson's back given his action. That said, he seriously needs to improve his average- 35. The aussies are hardly quaking. Especially given his average over there in 06/07- nearly 80 if i remember.

    Agreed with the bowling unit idea of 6-7, play bowlers according to conditions. Though Simon Jones should be a shoo-in.

  • Comment number 30.

    I thought Aggers was right dare I say it. Because many people saw it comming not just Aggers 3 or 4 overs before he did it. Mentioning of Red mist excetra. I think under the circumstance it was a good point. It was after all his first ball round the wicket of that spell.

  • Comment number 31.

    In the words of the legendary Arthur Dent: "I refuse to be surprised." Either about KP's selection, or all these people saying that the media are to blame(especially you lot who appear to be holding Aggers personally responsible...what on earth are you on!? Whatever it is, you either need to halve the dosage, or double it) for what's been happening with England in the last couple of days. Have you people not been paying any attn to the results and individual performances, for goodness sake? Now I'm a proud Kiwi, but I'm not blinded by it...the reason England beat us in these past two series was not because we were outplayed by a better team, but because England were slightly less cr*p than us. And only slightly. From what I've seen and heard, England have made no progress between those Tests and these ones against the Saffers, and THAT is the issue. Something had to change, but from where I am, it's happening at the wrong levels, and in the wrong places.

    Much as I am seriously rolling my eyes at KPs appointment, I think the thing that I find most alarming is that out of the apparent short-list of contenders, he probably was the most appropriate. I'd be more than happy to eat humble pie if he proves me wrong, but for the meantime I'm adding this to the list of recent decisions - of which the Pattinson selection is at the top - that makes me think the English game is turning into a Panto.

  • Comment number 32.

    Oh dear! Here we go again...panic among the selectors leads them to choose an allegedly unpopular player and untried captain, simply on the basis that he scores more runs than anyone else.
    For how long has this been the most important requirement of the captain of any cricket team?

  • Comment number 33.

    Well a dissapointing day.
    I was unhappy at first reading KP is the new capt. However after some thought i realise he is the only man at the mo. Could be the making of him.

    Congratulations MV - a greatcareer, great captain and superb batsmen in his pre captain days. I agree we may never see him again in an england shirt. Ramps has proved no matter how good a season(s) you have in your thirties it counts for nothing and Michael has rarely been prolific for yorkshire!!

    As for the selectors. all i can say is gutless. KP was after all the only choice as Captain but the team that was a differnet matter. This is a dead rubber and a great opportunity to say to some of the team go back to counties and score heavily ( before the tour team is chosen) and given say Denly, Shah and even key a go. I cant help but feel Bopara will be dropped before he starts so very little change other than Harmison into the fold.

    This on the other hand is a good thing, full of wickets and lots of confidence on an Oval track but what will his support be, Siddy and Jimmy look tired and we risk burning flintoff out needlessly in a dead rubber ( why i think they will pick 5 bowlers and no Bopara!!!)

    Vaugan stood up to be counted. the selectors however are hiding behind the KP apointment i'm afraid.

    If the team wins this test it will papering over large cracks

  • Comment number 34.

    I hope the ECB checked with Allen Stanford before appointing him!

  • Comment number 35.


    You mention Shah, and I think the very man is taking his frustration out on the Somerset bowlers as we speak! Definitely warrants a run in Test cricket now, and people like Bell, Strauss and Collingwood - despite the latter's brilliant century at Edgbaston - cannot have guaranteed spots if the top six collectively keeps on failing.

  • Comment number 36.

    #30 ... the point is not that Agnew was necessarily wrong (or right) to say it was a bad shot on 94, but his constant harping on over the last 72 hours about ego, selfishness and saying in his blog that it should rule KP out of the captaincy is irresponsible journalism. He has to now conduct interviews with KP in the immediate future. he is now in a compromised postion. Is Agnew an objective journalist or is he just part of the commentariat, trying to spice up his line wherever possible?

  • Comment number 37.

    I'm not sure how a player in cricket - batsmen especially - can be anything other then selfish if they want to be successful? If Kevin Pietersen hits sixes and goes for big scores because he has an ego and wants to the best, that is fantastic! Remember every big score Pietersen registers goes in England's total column for the match. If the motivation is he wants his own stats to be impressive, then at least he is beefing his stats in an England shirt. Is that REALLY so bad? Pietersen may (or may not) be truly arrogant and an egotist, but if that results in him averaging over 50 in Test matches, and statistically scoring a century in one every four games, then I'd love if more of our players were egotists.

    Australia and South Africa have their premier batsmen - or contenders for - as their captains, and it works for them.

    It is impossible to know how the captaincy will affect Pietersen. He may feel the responsibility requires him to score more runs and gamble less early on. It may be too much and cause him to crack. Either way the guy, for his averages, knack of scoring 100s, and multiple match-saving innings, deserves a fair chance to prove himself before he is criticised.

  • Comment number 38.

    We will soon know whether KP has leadership qualities. I do not mean that he must win the forthcoming test to prove that; even in losing cause leadership qualities are revealed. Till that time one has to keep one's fingers crossed. Wish good luck to KP


  • Comment number 39.

    Jonathan Agnew gets my vote for consistency, even if I don't always agree with his views, and his TMS commentaries are always very listenable, so why do we all act just like the media (that we seem to despise) by having a pop at him?

    His job is to commentate and to comment, which he does very well.

    As far as Kevin Pietersen's selection as the new captain goes, I think it is a good step-change in the selection process, but not necessarily the last that we will see.


  • Comment number 40.

    All the fuss about having a 'non-english' captain doesn't really wash: it is nothing new. Tony Greig is the stand out example, but Allan Lamb did the job on a couple of occasions, Adam Hollioake had some success, and I can't imagine too many would've complained if Robin Smith had stepped up a few years ago (never mind the likes of Nasser, Jardine and Ted Dexter who were all born some distance from St John's Wood). If I recall, Hollioake never gave up his Australian passport. KP will do the job well, or not, but where is comes from isn't really a key factor.

  • Comment number 41.

    I think that he will be either a disaster or success - no middle ground with Kevin Pietersen. With some, captaincy can take their play to another level, and others it can detract. Personally, KP has very little experience of captaincy and although he seems to have a reasonable brain on him, Andrew Strauss would have been the better choice. First, captaincy has been shown to up his game as evidenced against Pakistan in 2006, and second, it would have allowed KP to play with freedom and a relatively clear head, uncluttered by competing thoughts that go through a captain's mind. Also, much as I think KP is more of a team man that he used to be and indeed is given credit for, Strauss' laid back and inclusive approach to captaincy would be best for uniting the team at a tricky time.

  • Comment number 42.

    In my view Kevin Pietersen deserves his chance. He is a big personality in the England team and I, like other posts before me, think KP is more of a team player than he is given credit for.

    Yes he may seem to throw away his wicket with poor shot selection but the way he plays is what has made him such a talked about player.

    He is one of the few England batsman who comes into bat looking to dominate the opposition. I'd say a very Australian trait and one I'd always pay to watch. I still swear at my television screen when he gets out to rash shots but I also applaud when he dispatches a left-handed slog-sweep over the boundary ropes!

    I think sometimes sports fans need a little reality check with regards their sporting teams previous accomplishments. As the years go by stories are embelished and sometimes we forget the facts.

    People refer back to our Ashes victory as if we hammered the Australians out of sight and can't understand how we fallen so greatly since.

    I disagree. The Ashes series was one of the greatest I'd seen (I'm 32 and don't remember the Botham years first hand) because we won but also because it was so close and time and time again could have gone either way.

    Kasprowicz being out when the Aussies only needed a few (or was it only 1 run) runs for victory. This would have given them a de-moralising 2-0 lead and I'd argue with anyone that says England would have come back from that.

    The brilliant rearguard action when Ashley Giles hit the winning run with the press and probably alot of the public doubting that England would hold on.

    Shane Warne famously 'dropping the Ashes' when he put KP down in that final test.

    That test series was amazing and I think it co-incided with alot of Englands players 'hitting their straps' as they say.

    This I feel raised fans hopes and expectations (mine included) and unfortunatley England have been found wanting of these levels pretty much ever since...

  • Comment number 43.


    While I take your point about the consistency of the batting, all the batsmen with the exception of Cook have made 100s this summer, usually having been told in the media that they are in the last chance saloon.
    The problem is that there is no-one outside the immediate squad who is making an irresistible claim to be selected - even Shah is only averaging 38 in CC Div 2 this season.
    The bowling has far more options, with 7 or 8 players to go to - which made the selection of Pattinson so ridiculous.
    Anyway, I think KP's selection was the right move at the moment. However, as I didn't see the press conference, I haven't seen it confirmed whether this is a permanent appointment or just until the end of the summer (as I would have preferred)

    Anyone help me out?

  • Comment number 44.

    Good luck Kevin and hope that you bring success to the English team.

    Now the rest of you, get behind the captain and the team and stop being so negative and critical. You guys just love losing so that you can moan and moan and moan!

  • Comment number 45.


    You make a lot of good points, but I maintain that considering the vast amount of money spent on cricket in this country, not to mention the fact that we have much larger populations than Australia and New Zealand, entitles us all - as English cricket fans - to expect a lot more favourable results than we have been seeing of late.

    I think Pietersen, if things go his way, can be the man to get those better results. He really needs the ECB to be more flexible though, and stop employing so many apparatchiks to stifle his creativity.

  • Comment number 46.


    It is a long-term appointment, which loosely means he will get a decent crack of the whip and do it for as long as he wants (within reason), unless it all goes very pear-shaped very quickly. But there is no "contract" in place which stipulates a guaranteed initial time frame.

  • Comment number 47.

    Pietersen hasn't a clue about pressure. The only pressure so far is what he puts on himself to do clever batting stuff. He hasn't even considered all the other aspects of being captain of England.

    MPV was and is a fantastic ambassador of the game of cricket in this country, besides being a phenomenal tactician. I don't think Pietersen has even thought about these aspects. I think he coped with his first press conference quite well, but I find it alarming when he says' I play how I play' - the way he got out at the weekend was irresponsible and helped lose England the game.

    What on earth is Peter Moores doing still with his job - a very good county coach, not up to the international job. Add in to that, Andy Flowers, totally ineffectual batting coach. A really adventurous clean sweep of the Augean stables would have been no bad thing. It was clear that Moores and Vaughan had very little in common and that contrasts very painfully with the superb partnership between Fletcher and Vaughan, who completely respected each other.

    Basher67 - you're right. The fourth estate has far too much power, and seems to be untouchable and unaccountable; it's as if journalists have a god-given right to throw any sort of comment to a sportsman and expect that sportsman to swallow it and say thank you; the comments of Aggers to Vaughan last week were a case in point, Aggers harping on for the 8th or 9th time about Vaughan not scoring runs, certainly was given back more than he bargained for.

    Welcome to the goldfish bowl of 24/7 media coverage KP - it's going to be a bumpy ride. I wish you all the luck, but I have grave reservations about this appointment. Hopefully I'll be proved wrong.

  • Comment number 48.

    No really a shock infact one of the easier decisions to make in my opinion.

    I always looked to strauss as the successor to vaughan as skipper but the way the selectors treated him was deplorable no wonder his form suffered.

    Michael has been a great captain and i wish him all the best .Kevin has a lot to learn as skipper but there really is no other credible choice .I would have like to have seen Rob key given another chance but with only 4 bowlers bopara is another choice that was inevitable and imo deserved.

    I am not the sort of person who demands success but i do like to see joined up thinking from the selectors and an attitude from the players of them doing their best,i havent seen that for some time even some of our wins have been relient more on individual performance than on allround good team play.

    My hope is Kevin will bring a breath of fresh air to proceedings on the field and instil a sense of confidence in their own abilities to the players to again form a formidable unit for next years ashes.

    There are enough pressure games between now and then to see if KP is going to be the man for the job.

  • Comment number 49.

    So now we have FIGJAM as captain, an interesting prospect indeed, he will certainly have to curb his cavalier tendancies somewhat. They might look nice from time to time but as we saw only the other day it often leads to rash occourances such as his failure to check his ego leading him to fall right into SA's trap and a very poor time to get himself dimissed

    Still good luck to the new skipper, and farewell to the old one.

  • Comment number 50.

    First off as an Englan fan - Good look Kevin, you'll need it. I hope all our batsmen start playing as "selfish" as you and holing out on 96! We'd be unbeatable!

    However we all know that it will all end in tears. Sooner or later the press, with former (mostly medicore) players leading the way, will come for you and you'll go the same way as Vaughan. So enjoy it while it lasts KP and don't plan on being able to call anyone in the press "mate" in a year or so's time.

  • Comment number 51.

    While his appointment did seem the only decision they could make I wonder if KP could bring something new to the job.

    The English are very good at being "good losers" well I don't want a captain who is a good loser, the arrogance that everyone is complaining about is exactly what makes the southern hemisphere captains so good. They don't consider losing an option. Unfortuanatly the children here are brought up with the most unhelpful saying around “its not the winning; its the taking part that counts” well where has that got us?

    Maybe some southern hemisphere arrogance is what the english team need to win another ashes. Either way with KP, as previous posters have said, there will be no middle ground either it will work amazingly or it won't work at all.

    Good luck KP!

  • Comment number 52.

    I wish Kevin well but I really do question the wisdom of this appointment. Firstly KP has very limited captaincy experience (cricket - and Test cricket in particular - is unique in that captaincy is a 'position' in itself rather than a mere honourary thing). Secondly whilst being hugely talented as an aggressive batsman there are times when he allows aggression to take priority over common sense (like last Friday evening).

    The real reason we have lost this series isn't so much the choice of Captain but the stupidity of going into a match with just four front line bowlers - Flintoff, Anderson and Sidebotham were completely off their feet with fatigue on Saturday. Exceptional sides with exceptional bowlers (the Aussies with MacGrath and Warne for example) can get away with a four bowler attack - we however need the full compliment of five.

    Vaughan should have stayed and swapped with Bell in the batting line up in order to regain some confidence at No 5. He's a fine Captain and I fear that he'll be a difficult act to follow. Having said this let's all wish KP well and hope that he will prove me wrong - if so I'll be the first to apologise publicly on this blog!

  • Comment number 53.

    It's time they sorted out the qualification to play for your country. You should be born in the UK, with British parents, the only exemption would be diplomats and Armed Forces Personel, none of this, my Aunt, 36 times removed, was born in England, so I can play for them. Its been a joke for years, Grieg, Lamb, Nassar, Jardine, etc, etc, foreigners who have captained or played for England. We always jump on the band-waggon if a foreigner gives the slightest excuse to play for us. If Graham Smith told us his great great Aunty was born in Luton, we would be asking him to play for us.

  • Comment number 54.

    Congratulations to KP Pietersen on his recent appointment. He now has the chance to build a team capable of regaining the Ashes against an Australian XI inevitably weakened by recent retirements. Looking ahead to that series, may I suggest a possible strategy? For the first time since the 1970s England are superior to Australia in one department: spin bowling. Therefore, prepare dusty turning wickets and play Panesar and Swann (or, to be really daring, Rashid). This will also bring into play the reverse swing of Flintoff and Jones. Such a policy entails picking the best possible wicketkeeper, in my opinion, Chris Read. Although he has the lowest batting average since (I think) Bruce French, he concedes fewer runs per test (in byes and missed chances) than anyone this decade (3.25, next best Stewart 14.28, (stats from The Wisden Cricketer))

    England XI for 1st Test v Australia 2009


    PS I know this strategy was tried once before in 1993 with disasterous results, but what are the odds of another Warne being uncovered in 10 months?!

  • Comment number 55.

    I have just seen his interview on the TV again. He wants everyone to play like him.
    Welcome to 20twenty test match cricket.
    I supposed this is a move to reduce test match cricket to 2 days so they can all go off and earn their money in 20twenty compititions.
    RIP test match cricket welcome to the slogging contest. Thats my view of what KP is saying anyway.

  • Comment number 56.

    As a South African who is naturalised as a British citizen, I have to congratulate Kevin Pietersen on his appointment, although it is sad that he is not playing for South Africa, he has been England's best player for quite a while, this is not the first time a South African has captained England, remember Tony Greig?

    As a South African he will bring a winning mentality to England, something England players lack, it is an ingrained fighting spirit that comes naturally to him, Andrew Flintoff is the closest England has to this mentality, the rest of the England players lack that mental toughness.
    Congrats Kevin Pietersen, South Africa is proud of your accomplishment.

  • Comment number 57.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 58.

    I sincerely hope the above post is not from Jonathan Agnew and will be removed asap.

  • Comment number 59.

    I agree with aggers. I'm not sure the above could be classed as 'debate'. Personally speaking, I think KP will be a success. He has a winning mentality, something that I fear not too many of our 'homegrown' sportsmen seem to possess. And as for the attacks on aggers - grow up.

  • Comment number 60.

    Dear Bloggers, No post today. Frankly, the level of debate here has reached such purile proportions that it isn't worth the time and effort. The nadir being that some idiots have published that I was responsible for Vaughan resigning! Well, thanks for giving me that level of influence - but don't you think that Michael might just have reached that decision by himself?! Was it my fault that he hasn't been scoring any runs? Don't think so - and I am afraid that having to perform consistently at the highest level is a pre-requisite for international sportsmen. It is a pressure that goes with the territory and if you fail, someone else takes your place. That's sport.
    As for the comments about 'the media'. I suggest you readpost 47. There, somebody hiding behind a nicknme, has slagged off KP, Andy Flower and Peter Moores - life time cricketers all - before slagging off the media too...what hypcorisy. Don't you see that by writing here, you are ALL the media and, even worse, you can hurl criticism and abuse around without any responsibility because you do so anonymously.
    It's a good forum, this, when run properly, and I don't expect everyone to agree with everything I write. But what I do put into my blog is opinion based on known fact. No one was to know that Collingwood was also to resign, which completely moved the goal posts as far as this appointment was concerned. If you want to continue sensible debate, that's fine by me - but take a deep breath before slinging insults around and why not try writing your opinions under your real names - they just might be taken a little more seriously.

    This is me, 58, so don't remove it again!

  • Comment number 61.

    "hypcorisy"? You are drunk!

  • Comment number 62.

    no...just two very long days! sorry

  • Comment number 63.

    What a joke. Reckless batting makes a good captain?

  • Comment number 64.

    Just seen Don Caster's rant. In Scotland we call people like that numpties. Or racists........

  • Comment number 65.

    If that really is you, Aggers, which I sincerely doubt, your response is quite comical. I don't know where to begin. But calling your respondents "idiots" isn't a good way to endear yourself to your audience. Also, what on earth difference would it make if we all gave our “real names”. Would we look it each other up in the phone book and then come over and have a go? Stop being silly! Please tell me that this isn’t you!

  • Comment number 66.

    I'm not convinced whether this is right move for England or KP in all honesty!!

    In my opinion I think the selectors have pushed this through far too quickly.

    Yes make KP the skipper for the next test and then decide on number of candidates for the job. It does seem to me that ECB have seen this move coming from Michael Vaughan for some time, hence the contingency to implement KP as quickly as they did.

    Still would like to see Rob Key given an opportunity too. I think he'd be breath of fresh air through the England dressing room with his down to earth, straight talking attitude. But you never know!!

  • Comment number 67.

    I wasn't happy to see that KP had been appointed captain, but I have to agree with those of you who asked, What was the alternative?

    If KP commands the support of his colleagues as I am sure he does, and of the establishment -- ditto, otherwise they wouldn't have picked him -- then we can only wish him the best of luck and every success!

    KP has shown on various occasions that he is capable of patience in building a big innings and maybe this added responsibilty will help him avoid the occasional rush of blood.

    Sad to say, the current England batting line up is excessively dependent on KP coming off every time.

    The selectors seemed to have missed a nice opportunity to make one or two more changes, such as resting Sidebottom and Monty, but Bopara does deserve another chance and I wish him every success. I just hope he is not relegated to drinks duty but then, it does make sense to have five bowlers at the Oval and there is no point in having Harmison in the squad if he is to suffer the same fate as at Edgbaston.

    John Holden-Peters, Caracas, Venezuela.

    (That's for you "aggers", if posting #57 really is from you. If it isn't, I think I know who it might be.

    I couldn't agree more that the tone of the dabates has slipped badly in recent weeks. There should be no place for cheap insults and baseless accusations. You have suffered from them as much or more than anyone. Keep up the good work!)

  • Comment number 68.

    Well said aggers. Although I sometimes don't agree with everything you say you make some very good points in regards to those comments above about yourself. In response to some of the comments regarding his place of birth, don't be so narrow-minded. It's not the first time we have had somebody with a different place of birth and bare in mind that there are and have been many footballers who have played for other countries because of their parentage. KP will always be an England player in my eyes and good luck to him with the captaincy.
    The biggest issue I have is with the wicket-keeper.

  • Comment number 69.

    Well done to KP. Who cares if he's from SA, wasn't Phil Jaques now opening for Oz born in the UK? Let's just sit back and enjoy the ride!

  • Comment number 70.

    Why is Aggers getting all this flak? Surely the entire point of writing a blog is to stir up controversy so that we can respond. Otherwise you'd get bland comments which nobody would want to read. The reason why TMS is such a successful programme is simply because it employs journos and summarisers who on the whole are prepared to put their money where their mouths are...

  • Comment number 71.

    I was initially against KP being captain but now I think it's great and very exciting. Certainly a bold move by the ECB who have surely blown away any suggestions of them living in the past-by this appointment and by other issues such as embracing 20/20 cricket.

    Back to the old (Aussie) adage of picking your best players then picking your best player as captain. As a cricket fan of 25+ years I feel KP s one of the greatest talents I have seen. Alot of the time boredom gets him out and he needs a constant challenge to motivate to. Captaincy could give that to him.

    His aggressive confident attitude in 2005 when he arrived on the international scene was a huge factor in England standing up to the Aussies.
    His captaincy hopefully will be the same and he has the talent and the ego to play a Graeme Smith type of match winning innings.

    His origins should not be questioned in this global world-one of his parents is English and he decided to come to England and worked his way up to the England team despite the abuse he received (particularly back in his homeland).

    Ponting was a bit of a larrakin before he was appointed captain and look how well he is doing. I would not be surprised if KP's captaincy is similar to Warne's- exciting, different, progressive.

    Hold onto your seats folks-this is going to be very exciting and entertaining.

  • Comment number 72.

    I see that the "aggers" contribution has been renumbered #60. The fact that the new #57 contribution, also from "aggers" has been referred to the moderators suggests that it has all been a hoax. I suppose the reference to "idiots" should have rung an alarm bell, as the real "aggers" would never indulge in the very thing he is complaining about.

    Well, at least that shows a bit of imagination and humour, something that has been in short supply of late.

    Fred Olansky, The Eastern State Penitentiary, Cambodia.

  • Comment number 73.

    65...yup its me..and some of the bloggers here are idiots!We need to keep the standard of debate high, rather than resorting to childish levels of abuse, otherwise its not worth the effort... many people here are really keen cricket fans and understand the game, and that is why we must keep going - but let's get rid of the personal stuff

  • Comment number 74.

    This is a really sad day - not for cricket - but for KP himself as he will surely fail as other really talented cricketers have before him. Ian Botham as Captain, Andrew Flintoff to name but 2.

    When will the The Selectors realise that the better "man" managers are those who are NOT the stars of any team (aka Mike Brearley and indeed Michael Vaughan) - either in business or sport! The Captain/Manager needs to be able to allow those players the ability to concentrate entirely on what they do best and not burden them with additional responsibilities.

    It is absolutely pointless in ..."wishing KP well"... He will not necessarily fail as a captain but he will fail as a batsman - just watch his 52+ average from now on and see what happens to it!

    He is the most talented batsman around and this can only detract from his ability to focus entirely on what he does best for the team. A really sad day for him I think.

  • Comment number 75.

    #73--- absolutey!! Though I wouldn't call anyone an idiot, just a misguided Essex, Middlesex or Sussex fan. (County names taken at random).

  • Comment number 76.

    anyway, what is interesting, 75, is the split in support here for KP as captain. He does polarize opinion, and I will be very inetested to see how he handles the real pressure of being fielding captain in a test match

  • Comment number 77.

    anyway, looks like my keyboard is as tired as I am with all the typos, and I'm packing in. To the Oval!

  • Comment number 78.

    Not convinced - the same character flaws which prevent KP from becoming the pre-eminent batsman of his generation will hinder him as a captain - the ego writing cheques which even his prodigious talent can't cash, and the resultant clouded judgement - as witness his shameful dismissal in the England 2nd innings at Edgbaston.

    I fear KP will prove another Beefy - huge physical abilities unmatched by intellectual nous. Wait for the Red Top stings as the media turns on him this winter.

    KP - great NCO, but not officer material. End of......

  • Comment number 79.

    the constant use of insulting words such as fool and idiot reflects more the mentality of the user than the object of the remark.

    when people talk on a blog, foolish statements are often a sign of the frustration we have over the way the england team have performed, since that wonderful summer of 2005.

  • Comment number 80.

    how bizarre that TMS have allowed someone to have "aggers" as a username and make the real Mr Agnew look so ridiculous!

  • Comment number 81.

    All I can say is Good Luck KP......You'll need it you have taken on the poison chalest. I remember a few year's ago Vaughan was the Golden Boy of English Cricket, who led an average England team to victory of a very good Australian team. His tactics captain and motivation of the team was nothing short of remarkable. He has then been dogged with injury and loss of form. All those doubters out there remember form comes and goes but class remains.

    Thanks for the memories Vaughan you will surely be missed.

  • Comment number 82.

    KP is doing well with the bat. Good luck to him as England cricket captain.

    Dr. Cajetan Coelho

  • Comment number 83.

    I wonder whose South African captain is the best? Can you imagine Australia (or South Africa) being led by a player who chose for racial reasons not to play for his country of birth?

  • Comment number 84.

    At first I thought OMG - is it worth following England any more?

    Then I remembered how Beckham responded to being made England captain..........he seemed to grow up into the role and become both a better player and a better leader.
    I was pretty suprised about that and I really hope that KP will suprise me too.

    But then cricket is an entirely different game to football........

  • Comment number 85.

    I think we should brace ourselves for a few lean years. We have to accept that we don't produce more than a handful of exceptional cricketers at one time in England at the moment.

    The couple of years leading up to the Ashes we benefitted from young players playing beyond their potential. Unfortunately nowadays any chink in the armour is honed in on by the oppostion, through endless analysis.

    We need to find the guys with real class and bring them on, rather than going for mediocrity. We also need to be gentler on our players, give them a chance. We seem to expect players to score 50s and 100s every innings. Look through the test averages and work out how many people have ever scored a high percentage of these.

    Even though the Bangladeshis come into the equation, all our batsmen average over 40, but you look at the batters of the past (i.e Atherton, Hussain) and they were only in the high 30s.

    Pietersen has the 10th best test average of all time.

    I hope the guys like Cook, Strauss and Bell turn it around and get more 100s but the real problem is finding penetrating bowlers. Look at Morkel - he's barely played 1st class cricket but is the SA leading wicket taker because he has pace and invention.

  • Comment number 86.

    There's been an alarming amount of crud written on here about captaincy. It echoes the still greater volume of crud produced daily about football managers.

    The truth is that cricket captains have about a 10th, and football captains a 100th, of the influence over proceedings as is usually supposed. The players under them are not children, but top professionals: don't suppose it will all charge when the badge or armband is swapped round.

    Sure, the cricket captain's role in picking the right strategy and field-placings, bowling the right bowlers, and managing the players' mood is crucially important. But please stop all this rubbish about 'dealing with the media', 'building "Team England"' and 'playing mind-games with the opposition'. The only people who attach any important to any of these things are - precisely - the media. We should be smart enough not to swallow it all whole.

    Look at Steve Waugh. He was good at being captain, and probably some distance better than I would have been. But even I wouldn't have done badly with the players he had. Unless, of course, I'd got distracted with 'dealing with the media'...

  • Comment number 87.

    There was no real aternative if the selectors wanted the same person to captain the Test team, the ODI team and the T/20 slog.
    Most top International teams would have 3 or 4 more players all certain of their places and all capable of leading the side - certainly Australia.
    For a country with a potentially huge reservoir of cricketers(cf. pop. Australia, NZ, SA, Sri Lanka, West Indies).... and awash with money from TV and sponsorship we have low standards in our domestic cricket.
    Hence the counties import players. So don't blame someone from SA for being proud to captain England if our ECB can't develop class players from the grass roots.

  • Comment number 88.

    No. 85

    I totally agree with the comment with regards a bowling attack.

    Does anyone follow the country scene closely?

    I've been keeping an eye on Simon Jones' figures and he looks like he could be worth a shout for a slot in the England attack soon. What do others think?

    Kabir Ali seems to be getting alot of wickets too. Does anyone rate him as my only opinions of him are from one-day Internationals when I haven't really rated his bowling...

  • Comment number 89.

    all the comments relating to 'MV should have done this or should have done that' are I'm afraid irrelevant now. he resigned because he has had enough. being constantly in the glare of publicity and having to answer endless questions about form will have an effect on even the strongest characters and he wisely and honurably knew when to give it up. you could see from his press conference that he was emotionally spent. I wish him good luck with his family and will love to see that glorious cover drive once more back in the ranks.

    I think KP will need classy batsmen because excepting him we are a bit short of consistently high scorers. Cook is excellent but needs consistency, Strauss is nearing the end, Bell is not resilient enough (despite Vaughan-like grace at the wicket) Collingwood a pugnacious fighter but not absolute top class and Prior, Jones, Ambrose, Read and Foster are not quite brilliant enough in one of their two disciplines to really make a case for number 7. Flintoff is an enigma. brilliant but not a match winner often enough. and that is just the batting!

    so KP has a lot on his plate. i wish him luck. i think he is a marvellous talent and also does not (yet) speak in pre-prepared platitudes that are the norm for all media savvy sports stars. how many times did journalists from all our magnificent newsprint ask him today if captaincy will affect his batting? how banal a question is that? despite my recent worries about our friend Aggers he always asks good questions that invoke a sensible response. and he has an encyclopedic knowledge of the world game.

    i did not agree with him or Alec Stewart on TMS being so furious with KP's dismissal on friday. it was a shame that we saw no more of the Pietersen brilliance but to lambast him in the way they did was a little excessive. He has to play with hubris and single mindedness in order to express who he is as a player. to reign that in will be a mistake and would releagte him to the pretty good as opposed to the special. he makes 50 every time he goes to the crease in both forms of the game. THAT is a pretty large contribution to the team.

    Having said that JA and AS are both Test cricketers and have a very well informed opinion. I'm afraid some of our fellow bloggers are petty, puerile and xenophobic (if i'm being generous).

    We are at a threshold in English cricket and KP IS the new leader. get over it, get behind him and enjoy his brilliance while we can. Remember MV and his cover drive? we'll miss that! Good luck Michael and Kevin. you both deserve all the best.

  • Comment number 90.

    I have to say Pietersen is getting a lot of critics commenting on his lack of experience and the possibility of his batting being affected by his appointment. However the one thing that this situation makes me think back to is the appointment of MS Dhoni as the Indian captain.

    Dhoni was the new, brash, wideboy of Indian cricket, much like Pietersen was to the England set up 3 years ago. The appointment of Dhoni to bring the new blood of Indian cricket to the fore in the twenty20 world cup was as much of a risk as bringing in Pietersen to the England captaincy with all eyes on next summer.

    Critics can say that Pietersen may struggle as Botham and Flintoff did. But on the otherhand, the most recent captaincy appointment that can be compared to this led to MS Dhoni and the Indians winning the twenty20 world cup.

    I have every confidence that Pietersen can gain success, just as Dhoni did. With the strong young players that are coming into the international frame, such as Stuart Broad, I feel Pietersen has the capabilities of re-kindling the fire and breeding a winning mentality into the side, just like Dhoni did to the young Indian side that won the twenty20.

  • Comment number 91.

    Agnew you really are a terrible hypocrite.

    You have spent the last two years putting the boot into Vaughan at every opportunity and then when people dare to criticise you for it you get upset.

    As the saying goes you wield power without any responsibility.

    So now you've got what you wanted which is the end of Vaughan. So presumably if England lose the next test match you will be resigning? No of course you won't. You'll just move onto your next target - who will it be? Moores? the selectors? it doesn't really matter, because lets be honest you always need a scapegoat and you'll always find someone.

    As I say, its pretty ironic for a man who spends his blogs engaging in personal attacks on Vaughan, Monty for their, is now complaining when personal attacks about his journalism come back at him.

    You can give it but you can't take it.

  • Comment number 92.

    I think aggers is blameless, as is Geoff Boycott. They saw thinks weren't right and asked the questions where the cracks lie. Thats just excellent journalism and doing their job.

    MPV was obviously under pressure, touchy and snapped. Its pretty human, and probably regretted it. Its really understandable. Its awareness in many of us to react this way, and in reflection admitting personally, "Opphs, I'm running on fumes, and not relating to people the way I'd like or should". Time to pack in, apologies in due coarse.

    Michael Vaughan has been a real professional with the media, and realised he was losing this, cricket was becoming a millstone, along with his batting, becoming internal; and had the courage to realise this, hand up and quit, with personal integrity.

  • Comment number 93.

    I think aggers is blameless, as is Geoff Boycott. They saw thinks weren't right and asked the questions where the cracks lie. Thats just excellent journalism and doing their job.

    MPV was obviously under pressure, touchy and snapped. Its pretty human, and probably regretted it. Its really understandable. Its awareness in many of us to react this way, and in reflection admitting personally, "Opphs, I'm running on fumes, and not relating to people the way I'd like or should". Time to pack in, apologies in due coarse.

    Michael Vaughan has been a real professional with the media, and realised he was losing this calmness/courtesy in the SA series, cricket was becoming a millstone, along with his batting, becoming internal; and had the courage to realise this, hand up and quit, with personal integrity.

  • Comment number 94.

    With regards to KP. He is inexperienced with skippering; but he is one smart cookie and quick learner, and if he can ask advice from Moores and Vaughan he can get the team going forward.

    His more difficult task will be setting challenges for his senior players to energise Strauss, Flintoff, Harmison and Collingwood and get them involved in team building; just as Ricky Ponting (under the cosh after 2005) got Matty Hadyn, Justin Langer, Gilchest to team build for the 2007 Ashes.

  • Comment number 95.

    Yes, so journalists can criticise cricketers, but bloggers and crickets can't criticise journalists... sorry I must have missed the meeting where hacks were elevated to the status of untouchable, unquestionale deities.

    While cricketers, selectors and administrators have to resign when they get things wrong - has a cricketing journalist ever resigned for getting things wrong? Remember how Agnew called for Giles and Jones for the first test in Australia?

    Vaughan had gone 10 innings since his last century, well Mark Taylor once failed to pass 50 for 18 months. Agnew's criticism of Vaughan was less about his form than the fact that he and other cricket hacks had decided that Vaughan must go.

    I don't see why Vaughan should regret calling Agnew what he was which is a 'never was'. Agnew can give out criticism but he seems very thin skinned when it comes to taking it from other people.

  • Comment number 96.

    Oh dear! The quality of the blog responses doesn't seem to getting any better. Noone seems to be reading what anyone else is saying and, if they are, only reply if they feel they have been personally attacked.

    There are still some excellent and well informed contributions by people passionately interested in cricket but they are becoming a minority and the jokers are taking over.

    Sandor Hervei, Budapest, Hungary.

  • Comment number 97.

    Why must we have the same captain for all forms of cricket? Why must we have the same players?

    Have any England Rugby captains skippered the England Rugby Sevens side? How many Rugby League stars (Jason Robinson) has made it for England at Rugby Union?

    Do you see where I am going with this?

    Test cricket and 20/20 require different skills and a different temperament. I always say that your best bowlers are your best bowlers whichever form of the game, but either they are bowling four overs a game in spells of one or two, or maybe twenty overs in a day.

    Batsmen however are either trying to improvise off every single delivery on flat tracks, or trying to occupy the crease session by session. Very few have the ability to achieve both styles, yet many can specialise.

    The shorter the game, the less batting is required by your wicketkeeper, therefore his ability behind the stumps is paramount, especially as he is isolated for most of an innings.

    Finally, on a separate issue, to put an end to the time wasted discussing whether catches are taken cleanly, give the benefit of the doubt to the fielder. The batsman gets the benefit on run outs and LBWs. Only if the replay clearly shows the ball hitting the ground, as in the De Villiers incident, should the batsman be recalled. If fielder is deemed to be cheating, fine him part of his match fee.

    This will inevitably happen, and is one of those "you heard it here first" moments.

  • Comment number 98.

    I have only just become interested in cricket and am finding it difficult to understand how it works. I have a boyfriend who tells me that there is a BBC blog where I might be able to air some of my doubts and get some sensible answers because he always gets irritated when I ask him.

    Fátima, Madeira, Portugal

  • Comment number 99.

    Apologies for "my" most recent contribution. I didn't get to the computer in time to stop it being sent. "Aggers" would not have been pleased.

    Anyway, what I really wanted to say was that Owais Shah's performance today in Middlesex's game against Somerset in the Pro40 competition was very impressive. In many ways it wasn't a one-day performance but one more characteristic of the longer game. I can't say I was overjoyed because I am a ciderman, and we lost, but Shah won the game almost singlehandedly. The test selectors should never lose sight of him because he has a great deal to offer. Since he is in the squad for the upcoming fun games, he may be able to make his mark and get into the Test team in the not-too-distant future.

  • Comment number 100.

    I've already written on Aggers' blog about this, and I feel Pietersen is indeed the obvious choice and I only wish him luck. We're in for a bumpy and interesting ride.

    And the comments about his coming from South Africa are pretty stupid, really. I was born in Germany but I choose to be English and have a British passport. It's not hard to fathom.


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