Geoffrey Boycott bats for Kevin Pietersen with both eyes wide open.
What he said:
“But all diamonds are flawed. They are not perfect and you have to learn to love and nurture a diamond.”
Geoffrey Boycott , in Kevin Pietersen’s defense, likens the South African born cricketer to a solitaire.
“I am not blindly sticking up for Kevin. But most very talented sportsmen are like diamonds. They sparkle and glitter and light up the game. They catch the eye and enchant the public. But all diamonds are flawed. They are not perfect and you have to learn to love and nurture a diamond. They have not done that with Kevin.”
The Yorkshire man is disgusted with the way the English Cricket Board sought to discredit Pietersen’s outbursts about the bullying culture within the English team by leaking a confidential document outlining his indiscretions to the media.
“Kevin is a sinner but he has been sinned against by the ECB. There are rights and wrongs on both sides and whatever Pietersen’s faults, the ECB is not blameless.
For me, it reached its lowest point on Tuesday when a ‘strictly confidential’ ECB document was leaked to the media. The points it contained were pathetic and it was a crass idea to put together such a report to try to trash Kevin. It stinks.”
“Yes Kevin was awkward, difficult, different and at times his own worst enemy. But his record and his performances do not deserve a character assassination. The ECB should be dignified about it all and not try to belittle him.
I hope the ECB is investigating how one of its confidential documents reached the public domain. If it discovers someone within the ECB leaked it then they should get the sack. If nobody is sacked then we can only assume that the ECB was happy or even complicit with the document being leaked in order to denigrate Kevin.
Some of the points contained in this document are so trivial it beggars belief. He had rows with the captain and coach about the way the team were performing, that sort of thing has gone on forever. It is OK if it happens within the confines of the dressing room. You are supposed to have open discussion in the dressing room and get things off your chest. In fact, the way we played in Australia, I would have said some far worse things to my team-mates if I was still playing.
Another claim is he took some younger players out for a drink in Adelaide. Give me a break – drinking has always gone on and that should not be dignified with a reply. It was only last year after a drinking session we had England players peeing on the Oval pitch after an Ashes win and the ECB or Andy Flower did nothing about it. We had Andrew Flintoff full of drink and trying to ride a pedalo in the West Indies but it did not finish his career. We had Joe Root drinking in the early hours of the morning when he was attacked by David Warner during the Champions Trophy last year. On the field James Anderson uses personal abuse every Test and nothing has been done about it.
The report also claims Kevin looked at his watch and out the window during team meetings. He was probably bored to death. I am sorry but the ECB is making itself look like a laughing stock.”
Boycott claims that he is no stranger to blackballing tactics elaborating thus:
“The Yorkshire committee tried to do the same thing to me when they had an ‘in-depth investigation’ into why we were not winning championships. They tried to blame me for everything. They even got a tea lady at Warwickshire to write a letter of complaint saying I had taken the crusts off my sandwiches which had upset her.”
Geoffrey Boycott, however, does not mince words when he says that he found the ace bat sometimes displaying an insouciant nonchalance and lack of commitment to the national side.
“This is not a one-eyed support for Kevin from me but a defence of fair play. There is no excuse for some of his stupid shots when England were in trouble. He gave the impression, rightly or wrongly, that he could not care less. There was also no excuse for KP constantly agitating to play a full IPL season to earn his $2 million for eight weeks’ work. England compromised and allowed him half that but told him he had to be back for the first Test of the summer. England were right on that. He had been given an opportunity to play for England and he was contracted to the ECB on good money. Do not forget, his IPL deals only came about because he had been given the chance to showcase his talents by England.
Kevin wanted the penny and the bun. He did not want to give up anything.”
What he really meant:
“Diamonds are forever. But you have to know how to wear them and camouflage the flaws.”
What he definitely didn’t:
“You do know Pietersen’s originally South African? See, how I’m being clever here with the metaphor.”