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KP free

Rather like The Independent not carrying stories on the Royals I was prepared to veto Kevin Pietersen as I was so bored by it all. Yet underpinning it is an issue which should be aired, namely a media campaign to pick a player. This has existed in football for years. As recently as the last World Cup there was a media storm for Rooney to play central midfield. In 1973 the press mounted a campaign for Don Revie to select Stan Bowles against Italy. Both were successful inasmuch as the object was achieved but unsuccessful as it brought no victory for England.

I have to hand it to KP: his campaign, not least the presentation of himself when commentating, is a clever if self-serving one. When he tells you he would like to help the young batters, you almost forget this is the same guy who insisted on not travelling on the team coach but going to a game in his Ferrari. It’s no bad thing for a captain to be aloof but you might expect him to share the same transport.

The commentator that disappointed met most is Michael Vaughan. I once heard him speak well on captaincy. He named no name so the personal references are my own. He said some captains can only captain themselves (KP), others their group of friends (Flintoff) and some the team (Vaughan and Brearley). He has conceded that KP cannot occupy the same dressing room as Alistair Cook, a decent man that won’t indulge in media histrionics. Vaughan is pressing for KP to be included in the twenty twenty side. Yet the World Cup is four years away by which time he will be 38.

We have had trenchant cricket writers like Jim Swanton and Robin Marler who can be more than forthright but I never can recall any of these worthies conducting a campaign. I just hope KP now goes to play the IPL in India and we can enjoy the summer series against New Zealand  and the Aussies  without seeing him on the front page. Some hope.

About Tom Hollingworth

Tom Hollingsworth is a former deputy sports editor of the Daily Express. For many years he worked in a sports agency, representing mainly football players and motor racing drivers. Tom holds a private pilot’s licence and flying is his principal recreation. More Posts