No Eng­land re­call for Pi­etersen

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

LON­DON — Kevin Pi­etersen was told he will not play for Eng­land again af­ter meet­ing new Eng­land direc­tor of cricket An­drew Strauss to dis­cover whether his ca­reer-best 326 not out yes­ter­day was enough for a Test re­call.

The South Africa-born for­mer Eng­land cap­tain con­firmed the meet­ing with Strauss, as well as Tom Har­ri­son, the new chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Eng­land and Wales Cricket Board, fol­low­ing his un­beaten 326 for Sur­rey against Le­ices­ter­shire — an ex­tra­or­di­nary per­for­mance.

“There is a meet­ing this evening and it’s a to­tally pri­vate mat­ter,” Pi­etersen said, re­fus­ing to spec­u­late on any pos­si­ble out­come.

How­ever, Piers Mor­gan, his close friend and loud­est cheer­leader, quickly spec­u­lated that Pi­etersen was about to be told to for­get his dream of play­ing for Eng­land in an­other Ashes se­ries.

Tweet­ing shortly af­ter Pi­etersen left the field to a stand­ing ova­tion, Mor­gan said: “I can now re­veal that An­drew Strauss and Tom Har­ri­son asked to see KP tonight. I be­lieve to tell him he wouldn’t play for Eng­land again.”

And that proved to be case even though Pi­etersen, who eclipsed his pre­vi­ous best score of 254 by 72 runs af­ter hit­ting 34 fours and 14 sixes — “the most in­cred-

Southamp­ton v As­ton Villa, West Ham v Ever­ton, Queens Park Rangers v New­cas­tle, Sun­der­land v Le­ices­ter, Burn­ley ible innings from KP ever seen,” ac­cord­ing to Sur­rey direc­tor of cricket Alec Ste­wart — be­lieved he made a pow­er­ful case for his re­call and ac­knowl­edged that with new men in the top jobs at Lord’s and a new coach to be ap­pointed, he could not have cho­sen a bet­ter mo­ment to de­liver such an em­phatic state­ment.

“They say tim­ing is ev­ery­thing,” he said. “He (Strauss) has come in, there’s a new chair­man (Colin Graves) on Fri­day or Satur­day, there has to be a new coach, (Peter) Moores has gone.

“I’ve got to be care­ful what I say; it’s an in­ter­est­ing time, and what more can I do? I was told to go and get a county, I was told to score runs... I think I’m scor­ing runs.

“I’ve al­ways said since my knee was sorted in Australia, af­ter that first train­ing ses­sion in Australia, I said that my knee’s good, and if my knee’s good, I’m go­ing to play well.

“I played well in the Big Bash, I gave up a con­tract in In­dia, I’m not play­ing for any money here - I’m ded­i­cated to get­ting back my Eng­land place. I want my Eng­land place, and I think I de­serve my Eng­land place.”

Nonethe­less, it was al­ways go­ing to be a ma­jor sur­prise for Strauss to agree to KP’S re­turn. His for­mer bat­ting part­ner and suc­ces­sor as Test cap­tain, Alas­tair Cook, was firmly be­hind the de­ci­sion to sack Pi­etersen fol­low­ing the Ashes white­wash in Australia two win­ters ago, and was fu­ri­ousus when in­com­ing ECB chair­man Graves hinted in March that the door was not closed on a Pi­etersen­ter­sen re­turn if he made enough ough runs in coun­tyunty cricket.

Yet af­ter fi­nally dis­ap­point­ing the most tal­ent­ed­lented crick­eter of his gen­er­a­tion, ion, Strauss risks an­other PR dis­as­ter just ust days af­ter ter the shabby dis­missal of f Moores, whose sec­ond sack­ingg as Eng­land and coach — his first came along- Pi­etersen’s s re­moval as cap­tain in early 2009 — was widely

si side de leaked the day be­fore it was of­fi­cially an­nounced.

Now he is in dan­ger of be­ing ac­cused of let­ting his own per­sonal dif­fer­ences with the player cloud his judg­ment.

The “textgate” af­fair dur­ing the 2 2012 Test se­ries against South Africa createdc a rift be­tween th the pair that Pi­etersen tried to re­pair with an apol­ogy but which was re­opened when, in his bi­og­ra­phy pub­lished last au­tumn, Pi­etersen held Strau Strauss re­spon­si­ble for al­low­ing a bull bul­ly­ing cul­ture to de­velop in the Engl Eng­land team.

Strauss, meanwh mean­while, had made his feel­ings to­ward Pi­etersen un­equiv­o­cally clear w when, work­ing as a tele­vi­sion pun­dit,pu he was caught off mi­cropho mi­cro­phone dur­ing the MCC v Rest of the World match at Lord’s last July de­scrib­ing Pi­etersen as a “c*nt”.

He could have pu pulled a sur­prise and of­fered Pi­eters Pi­etersen a way back, although sources claimed that Strauss and his fell fel­low can­di­dates for the new role, w which will in­clude ul­ti­mate res re­spon­si­bil­ity for team se­lec­tion, we were told by the ECB that they would­wou not be able to pick Pi­etersen i in any cir­cum­stances.

— The In­de­pende In­de­pen­dent LON­DON — Manny Pac­quiao (pic­tured) says he is close to mak­ing a de­ci­sion on whether to re­tire from boxing.

The Filipino, 36, re­turned to his home coun­try on Wed­nes­day fol­low­ing de­feat by Floyd May­weather in their world wel­ter­weight su­per-fight on 2 May.

“I will fo­cus on heal­ing my shoul­der. Af­ter that, I will an­nounce con­tin­u­ing my ca­reer or re­tire­ment,” he said.

“I’m not say­ing I am go­ing to re­tire, but it’s near. I’m al­ready 36, turn­ing 37 this De­cem­ber.”

De­spite a unan­i­mous points de­feat in Las Ve­gas, Pac­quiao, a six-weight world cham­pion, was wel­comed back to the Philip­pines by fans as he pa­raded through the streets of cap­i­tal city Manila on the back of a truck.

Pac­quiao, who is also a con­gress­man in his home coun­try, had his arm sup­ported by a sling fol­low­ing surgery on his in­jured shoul­der –– a prob­lem he said had ham­pered him dur­ing the fight with May­weather, the most lu­cra­tive in boxing his­tory.

New fig­ures re­leased by Amer­i­can net­works Show­time and HBO said the fight shat­tered the pre­vi­ous record for to­tal payper-view buys with 4.4m pur­chases of the fight in the United States alone.

That gen­er­ated $400m in do­mes­tic sales while to­tal rev­enue is ex­pected to ex­ceed $500m.

May­weather (38) called Pac­quiao a “sore loser” and has ruled out a re­match.

But Pac­quiao, who is the sub­ject of a Ne­vada law suit af­ter be­ing ac­cused of fail­ing to de­clare his in­jury prior to the bout, said he would con­sider fight­ing the un­de­feated Amer­i­can again. — BBC

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