Kevin Pietersen Rejects Offer Shortly Before Being Left Out Of India Tour
Cricketer KEVIN PIETERSEN "turned down a four-month contract with England" only hours before it was announced he would not be touring India, as both sides failed to find common ground despite weeks of protracted negotiations, according to Nick Hoult of the London TELEGRAPH. Pietersen’s return to the England fold was dependent on agreeing a set of conditions, which included "waiving his rights to any future legal action in employment disputes with the England and Wales Cricket Board, issuing another public apology for sending text messages to the South African side and pulling out at the last minute from a contract to provide studio analysis from the World Twenty20 for Asian-based broadcaster ESPN" (TELEGRAPH, 9/18).
INTO THE BOOTH: Also in London, Derek Pringle wrote that seated alongside SOURAV GANGULY and WASIM AKRAM in ESPN’s studio in Colombo, Sri Lanka, ahead of the opening match in the World Twenty20, Pietersen "was the opposite of the man that has upset the England dressing-room" -- being calm, measured and thoughtful in the points he made. There was "no extravagance or hyperbole, just sensible comments made in that sotto voce voice he does when on best behaviour." It was "mostly eloquent and, unusually for one just starting out, to the point, but then he was hardly grilled about his current predicament following Tuesday's decision by England's selectors to drop him for the foreseeable future." The only reference he did make regarding his current lot was to say he "was disappointed not to be playing in this tournament" but that he had the next best thing, which was to be in the studio and commentary box talking about it (TELEGRAPH, 9/18). The LONDON TIMES' Richard Hobson wrote that like "any batsman, Pietersen became most passionate when he spoke about pitches." What the public want, he suggested, are "true surfaces enabling players to hit balls into stands. If the tournament follows his wishes, totals of about 180 will be the norm." He stuttered only once, when asked about Zimbabwe’s pace attack, but his nerves "disappeared" and he began to unclench his hands. He spoke "more slowly and emphasised key words." He raised the level of discussion, though the producer may ask him to stop waving his pen as he speaks in the fashion of a conductor encouraging the trumpets (LONDON TIMES, 9/19).