England batsman Kevin Pietersen believes team-mates behind Twitter account that is holding up new contract - Telegraph
One of the “points” Kevin Pietersen says needs to be resolved before he contemplates any future deal with England is the parody Twitter account set up in his name, which he believes some of his team-mates are behind.
The account, @kevpietersen24
, is wickedly observed and, providing you have an English sense of humour, extremely funny.
Some of the in-jokes suggest a source close to the team and Pietersen
has been hurt by it enough to get his lawyers to try to close it down. They could not, though they did succeed in getting the original avatar – a picture of KP at his most gauche with skunk hairdo circa 2005 – replaced.
Pietersen’s suspicions just highlight the tensions that have been simmering within the England
dressing room since he came swaggering back from this year’s Indian Premier League. Apparently, his already huge self-regard has risen to the point where he has alienated colleagues and created massive friction among the ranks. So far, speculation has raged as to who the authors of the Twitter account are with Pietersen keenest to find out.
That he is offended by their exaggerated claims, especially when they refer to him in the third person as “KP Genius”, suggests he already has a distorted sense of self.
Unless Andy Flower or the England and Wales Cricket Board discover who is behind the fake Twitter account and appeal to their better nature, Pietersen is going to have to weather the barbs – which can be cruel though not in an abusive way – and play on.
Truth hurts, but so will some of the gems from his press conference on Monday night once they get a good airing. “You know the saddest thing for me is that the spectators love to watch me play – and I love to play for England,” was one of them – a love he wants to spread thinner and thinner in order to spread himself further and wider around the global T20 circuit.
What the ECB would like to stress, despite the impasse it and Pietersen appear to have reached over his demands against the constraints of their central contracts, is that all channels of communication, notwithstanding @kevpietersen24, remain open.
Which suggests he will probably be picked for next week’s final Test against South Africa at Lord’s.
Pietersen probably feels he has made his negotiating position clear enough already, though another of his bon mots on Monday night was that his dispute was “100 per cent not about the money.”
Curious then that Pietersen wants enough leeway to play a full Indian Premier League for the Delhi Daredevils, to whom he is contracted for £1.3 million a tournament, with the possibility of doubling that in bonuses and advertising contracts.
For that he appears to be prepared to give up the cachet, glory and commercial opportunities of back-to-back Ashes series, which is what will happen if he does not compromise, for Flower and the board are not for turning.
That the terms of his current central contract (which expires this September) will not allow him to do as he pleases has made him feel victimised, a feeling he has experienced with every team he has ever played for, from KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, where perceived racial quotas allegedly kept him from progressing; to Nottinghamshire, where beastly team-mates took the mick too much; to Hampshire, which proved too inconvenient for his London lifestyle; and now England, whom he seems to feel need him much more than he needs them.
According to Pietersen, the only team that do understand him are the Delhi Daredevils, though he would say that at present wouldn’t he.
There is a feeling that Flower and Hugh Morris, the general manager of England cricket, would have been more sympathetic to his demands had he conducted them respectfully, but his attitude towards them and the team that has given him a good living since 2004, has been questionable.
It is possible Pietersen is right when he contends that most people in England just don’t get him, but on the evidence of the past few months there is only one person to blame for that, something his father, his sycophantic advisers and his celebrity friends, would do well to point out.