Last Thursday, The Guardian reported (here) that negotiations between the Professional Cricketers’ Association and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) over the severance terms of Kevin Pietersen‘s contract, which had seven months to run and was worth around £500,000 a year, were nearing completion, which will confirm the 33-year-old’s new status as a freelance cricketer.

cricketThe paper said that a disastrous week of publicity for the ECB plumbed new depths when James Whitaker, the new national selector, became its first official representative to face the media – albeit selected outlets, rather than at an open press conference – and gave a toe-curling interview to Sky Sports News after the announcement of a squad for next month’s World Twenty20 in Bangladesh.

The interview was delayed by more than half an hour because of issues about Whitaker appearing live on air, and even after it had finally begun it was interrupted when the selector received a call on his mobile. “I thought I’d turned that off,” he said.

But, the paper says, it was the hoops through which Whitaker, an eloquent and amiable former Leicestershire captain who has been on the selection panel for several years, was forced to jump to evade questions on Pietersen that underlined the mess the ECB is in.

Still, yesterday, The Guardian updated the story, here saying that England have hit back in the previously one-sided war of words over their decision to sack Kevin Pietersen, enlisting the support of the Professional Cricketers’ Association to confirm that he had been released because they could not be confident of his full support for the captain Alastair Cook.

There was no direct criticism of Pietersen in a statement released after 6pm, at least three hours after it had been expected, because “both parties remain bound by confidentiality provisions”. But there was little doubt to whom the ECB and PCA were referring in complaining about “a breach of trust and team ethics” that has led to savage criticism of Cook, his Test vice-captain Matt Prior and former team director Andy Flower in recent days.

Former Australian captain Ian Chappell says: “Did England sack him [Pietersen] because he thought differently from his captain and coach or because he was a disruptive force in the dressing room?”  He adds: Any English player who wasn’t exasperated by some of Cook’s captaincy in Australia deserves to be demoted.”

That sounds fair enough and makes sense to me. From my perspective, it’s clear. If the captain is weak, he should be sacked. The other two transgressors have either resigned or been stood down.

Martin Pollins

Managing Director at One Smart Place
Martin Pollins is a Chartered Accountant and MBA with wide experience in corporate finance and business management. He has served on the boards of several companies, including those listed on the London Stock Exchange, AIM and OFEX. He is Chairman and Founder of OneSmartPlace and was a Council member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales from 1988 to 1996. He was managing partner of PRB Martin Pollins, based in Sussex, the first Accountancy firm to advertise on British television.He went on to create and launch the CharterGroup Partnership (the UK’s first Accountancy network) and then LawGroup UK (at the time, one of the largest networks of lawyers in the UK). In recent years, he helped to raise several £millions to fund British films such as The Da Vinci Code, Bridge of San Luis Rey, Head in the Clouds and Merchant of Venice with actors such as Charlize Theron, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, F. Murray Abraham. Kathy Bates, Gabriel Byrne, Geraldine Chaplin, Tom Hanks, Ian McKellen, Audrey Tautou, Penélope Cruz, Steven Berkoff, Lynn Collins, Jeremy Irons, Joseph Fiennes and many more.

He has written over 700 business publications (see Glossaries at and is editor of Better Business Focus (see His Blog, on a wide range of subjects can be found at:
Martin Pollins

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