It’s true that the England and Wales Cricket Board is the YouGuv of sporting bodies. If they organised the proverbial night out in a brewery, revellers would leave sober and bored.
It’s pretty much impossible to feel sorry for egotistical, pig-headed, self-centred, trouble-making South African Kevin Pietersen, but the ECB tried their hardest to make it happen.
New ECB chairman Colin Graves is known as a ‘straight-talker’ which is Yorkshire-talk for ‘speaking before you think’ and if he really made Pietersen believe he just had to find a county and score runs to become available for England selection, then he’s either a fool or plain cruel.
Hopefully it’s the latter as I found the timing of Pietersen’s latest exile absolutely hilarious. Pietersen would have been a preening, strutting peacock in the minutes after scoring a triple hundred, only to have the wind taken out of his sails by his arch-enemy Andrew Strauss, the new director of English cricket.
The fact that Pietersen clubbed 355 (after being dropped five times) against a team that hasn’t won for two years was glossed over by his fan-boys, led by his increasingly preposterous cheerleader Piers Morgan.
Picking Pietersen for England after that innings would be like recalling Gary Lineker to international football after he’d scored a hat-trick against Blackpool.
Strauss deserves ridicule for his illogical attempt to suger-coat his brilliantly ruthless dismissal of Pietersen with a place on a one-day advisory board. As if that would ever satisfy someone so obsessed with self-promotion.
But Strauss has also been brave in defying the braying mob on Twitter, led by the aforementioned Morgan and including Lineker, a former footballer desperate to be seen as a deep-thinker rather than the shallow mini-celebrity he really is. Twitter is just noise and is far from a gauge on public opinion. If the opposite was true Ed Miliband would be Prime Minister now and Russell Brand would be his chancellor.
The sane and shy amongst us will celebrate the decision of Strauss.
Let us never forget that Pietersen has fallen out with virtually every team he has ever played for.
Let us never forget that his laughably tiresome book slaughtered people he now wants to play alongside.
Let us never forget that he was happy to abuse then England captain Strauss by sending indiscreet text messages to an opposition dressing room.
Let us also never forget that this week’s hundred was his first for two years and he had to play against the worst professional team in the country to reach three figures.
Pietersen is 34 and way past his best. His presence in the Ashes series this summer would make little difference to the inevitable outcome.
Let him become the Twenty/20 mercenary that is his true calling now.
Irrelevant cricket for an irrelevant cricketer.