England in disarray as tour selection is postponed over Kevin Pietersen row

World T20 preparations in jeopardy as Pietersen row leads to delay in naming squad for India

England yesterday postponed the selection of the squad for their Test tour of India. It was too late, however, to delay the distinct impression that the wheels are coming off.

The announcement of the party for what remains one of the most demanding of all series will be made on Tuesday morning, instead of today as was originally intended. Although no reason was formally given, the overwhelming probability is that Kevin Pietersen is at the root of the change.

It is difficult to tell whether this means he is closer to rejoining the dressing room or further away, and it is highly likely from the resounding official silence that those involved in what are believed to be constantly continuing talks are not much nearer to knowing either. The only quasi-official advice was not to hedge any bets. What is certain is the unprecedented nature of events.

Tour parties have been beset by controversy before, most notably when Basil D'Oliveira was first omitted and then included in the party to tour South Africa in late 1968. But at least then the selectors were able to make a decision, universally scorned though it was.

Pietersen has completely dominated the cricketing agenda since the start of August when he made a blistering 149 in the second Test at Headingley and almost immediately expressed the disaffection with the dressing room that soon led to his being dropped.

Discussions between the player and various members of the England management have been taking place intermittently. If there has been progress it has clearly not been sufficient for him to resume his England career.

The affair has overshadowed preparations for the World Twenty20, which starts in Sri Lanka next week, and has made planning for the tour of India almost equally difficult. While the resolute silence might not have helped, the feeling that England are in a state of disorder is hard to dispel.

One of the selectors, Andy Flower, the team coach, flies to Sri Lanka today with the T20 squad, so can hardly be part of the final discussions about Pietersen and India. It remains possible that Pietersen could be left out of the tour with discussions between the parties continuing but this would leave the additional problem of his current central contract ending on 30 September.

That will make him a free agent and it is well known that suitors from the Australian Big Bash T20 tournament are lining up. He already has a lucrative contract in the Indian Premier League.

If there are points of principle at stake, Pietersen's importance to the team as a player will be overlooked by management. But without him they are looking at a side which will have to contain one new opener following Andrew Strauss's retirement and would also have two Test batting novices. There could be only one outcome.

Nobody seems to know which way this will go now and nobody except those doing the talking is aware of the demands that each side has made. But the feeling in the dressing room against , that they have put up with him for too long and cannot take it any longer, should not be underestimated.

There was a suggestion, also not rebuffed, that the selectors need more time to ponder certain other roles in the party for India, such as the identity of the new opener and the support spin bowlers. But it seems stretching it to think that after a full season of watching players perform in the County Championship they do not know their preferred men.

These may be highly unusual circumstances but in so many ways it is like watching the England of the old days.

 

Get Adobe Flash player

 



Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map