LONDON: England coach Andy Flower insists Kevin Pietersen’s infatuation with the Indian Premier League (IPL) played a significant role in the collapse of his international career.
The former Zimbabwe wicket-keeper said Pietersen, dropped for the third Test and left out of England’s World Twenty20 squad, stopped focusing after his lucrative spell playing domestic cricket in India. Flower is certain Pietersen’s availability for the cash-rich tournament is at the heart of the current problems and could herald the end of the batsman’s career.
“I think it’s fair to say that his issues over being available for the entire IPL have changed his attitude,” said Flower. “I think that was the catalyst for a lot of the stuff. The IPL and the international fixtures in England are an area of conflict. And it will continue to be an area of conflict in the future.”
Wants Pietersen to reveal text contents
Meanwhile, Flower believes the batsman must reveal the content of his controversial text messages if he wants to salvage his career.
Pietersen was left out of the side that lost their world number one Test ranking to the Proteas with a 51-run loss at Lord’s on Monday after sending what he admitted were ‘provocative’ texts to South African players. It has been alleged the texts contained derogatory remarks about Andrew Strauss and advised the opposition on how to dismiss the England Test captain.
“There are a number of outstanding issues to be resolved.
“An example of that would be finding out exactly what these text messages contained, if we do really want to move forward either way. I think it’s always nice to have a large element of up-front honesty.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 23rd, 2012.