TUESDAY – Further details of Kevin Pietersen’s shock decision to retire from limited overs internationals emerged today as it was revealed, the England batsman would be taking over from Chris Gayle as the ICC’s Ambassador for International Relations.
With the former West Indian captain showing a cynical lack of commitment to money-grabbing by returning to his national side for their ODI series against England, Pietersen has – in a typically selfless move – put his principles to one side by filling the vacant post.
“I took one look at next year’s itinerary and saw we’d be playing five ODIs in India in January,” said KP, at a hastily convened press conference. “And I just thought, sure, it’s a really lovely country and all, and I love playing there – especially now the rupee has depreciated so much – but I’ll be damned if I’m going to shirk my new responsibilities by not playing in the Big Bash.”
Not unusually, Pietersen went on: “Before I took up this vital position, I had these terribly puritanical thoughts about trying to play in those ODIs and the Big Bash, but then I got a phone-call from Steve Smith, and let me tell you, when you get a call from the Steve Smith, you sit up and listen,” he said. “I knew what I had to do.“
Ahead of his decision, Pietersen had come under fire for his perceived lack of loyalty towards England, the country he adopted after shunning South Africa due to their ‘unfair selection policy’, which chiefly revolved around not selecting him.
In addition, many England fans took issue with Pietersen’s most infamous instance of lack of patriotism, as revealed in Aussie opener Ed Cowan’s book, In The Firing Line: From Dire To Dour, when he failed to identify the classic British dessert of ‘bread and butter pudding’ at a lunch buffet.
Confusing it with a variation on biltong, Pietersen’s faux pas was a humiliating incident at the time, and one from which his reputation has never fully recovered amongst hardline fans.
“I could just about tolerate KP coming to our country with his skunk hair and brash attitude,” said Rosaline Dixon, 28, who enjoys watching England play Test cricket on her iPad, whilst poking immigrants with a rolled-up copy of the Daily Mail. “But his ignorance of English desserts should have been instant cause for revocation of his citizenship. Where will it end? Today, there’s a South African who doesn’t know what bread and butter pudding is. Tomorrow, there’s a Bengali pointing quizzically at a sticky toffee pudding. We’re trying to host a jubilee, you know.“
The Queen congratulating Kevin Pietersen on seven years of loyal service to the country that took him in when nobody else would.
When pressed that his new role would mean having to spend less time with his family, Pietersen got up to leave: “At heart, I am a family man – there’s nothing my wife loves more than gathering around a warm, open fire, and watching me watch DVDs of my 158 at The Oval [vs Australia in 2005],” he said, as his head, massively engorged by years of self-indulgent, narcissistic tendencies, got stuck in the door-frame.
“Then, when I’m finished watching myself flay Warney to all parts, I let her watch The X-Factor while I fall asleep on the couch. After all, isn’t that what family time is all about?”
Despite his new ambassadorship meaning that many may now regard him as merely as a travelling T20 mercenary, who will indiscriminately bite any hand that attempts to feed him, Pietersen was at pains to emphasise his commitment to new franchises.
“Since I was a young lad growing up in South Africa, it was always my dream to play professional cricket in Bangladesh. I’ve been there several times, and from what I could see from the 32nd floor of the Dhaka Hilton – it’s Daa-kaa, right? – it looks a pretty happening place,” he said, speaking later in the day at a welcome party, organised in his honour, by fellow mercenary, Kieron Pollard.
Despite all left-arm journalists being barred from the event, Pietersen was still made to field a number of uncomfortable questions including one from our correspondent at the conference: “So KP, what attracted you to Dhaka Gladiators as opposed to, say, Barisal Burners?”
Pausing only to put a sticker of an atlas over his famous three lions tattoo, Pietersen angrily replied: “Since I was a young lad growing up in Blighty – just a stone’s throw away from the Dhaka city centre – I knew that it was my destiny to return to play in the district that offered me the most financial incentive for playing there,” said KP. “I am Dhaka, through and through.”
“The fact that I will be playing in a franchise format, where players get an above average share of ticket revenue, and where the salary for a month’s work is several hundred times the takings of a farmer in a nearby slum area, is just the icing on the cake.”
Published with permission from Alternative Cricket...cricket for grown-ups.