Kevin Pietersen is a great batsman and a lousy negotiator.
His technique is ‘take me or leave me’, as he showed when settling terms with his masters over the future of coach Peter Moores.
This time, it was during the recent Lord’s Test against the West Indies that the switch hitter opened and closed discussions with the Board over their decision to ensure that the central contract linked selection for T20 with availability for those lucrative ODIs.
Third Man was at the back of the Pavilion, waiting for the Squire to come out for a turn round the ground, when he heard raised voices from the Tennis Court dressing rooms.
“Make my day punk!” said a South African voice.
“Au contraire, my dear fellow, make ours,” countered a man from NW4.
Later the following statement was released by the ECB:
“Pietersen, who discussed his position with the ECB during the recent Investec Test at Lord’s, accepts that his current contract will continue to run through to September 2012 but that the contract will be downgraded to reflect the fact that he will only be selected for Test cricket for the remainder of his current contract.
“The terms of the central contract state that any player making himself unavailable for either of the one-day formats automatically rules himself out of consideration for both formats of the game as planning for both formats is closely linked.
“This is designed to reflect the importance of one-day international cricket which is a strategic priority asEnglandlook for improved performances in the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy and the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup.”
He didn’t have to, but, for the record, Pietersen has said in 130 characters, “For the record, were the selection criteria not in place, I would have readily played forEnglandin the upcoming World Twenty 20.”