14 May 2015

The Pietersen paradox: beggars can’t be choosers, says Hussain

Former England cricket Captain Nasser Hussain has offered a damning indictment of the England team’s prospects this summer without the services of their leading but controversial batsman, Kevin Pietersen.

“We are not good enough to be leaving out anyone,” he said today.

Hussain blamed poor leadership for England’s failure to manage Pietersen’s unpredictable genius.

“I was a captain who believed in picking your best players,” Hussain explained.

“If you are captain and coach, you man-manage difficult people – that’s why you get paid the extra few quid.

“We are not good enough to make anyone unavailable for selection – unless they retire.”

In a tacit criticism of Andrew Strauss, the new director of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), Hussain supported the path for Pietersen’s redemption laid out by chairman-elect Colin Graves.

“Personally I would have said to Kevin as maybe Colin Graves did – ‘go away play, for a county, get some runs and we’ll consider you for selection’.

When he did that I would have then gone to him and said ‘you’ve done everything we asked – at the moment, looking at the side there’s no place for you in that middle order; you carry on doing what you did and we will consider you’.


“That’s how I would have handled the situation. Because we are not good enough to be leaving out anyone.”

The ECB’s strategy will only be measured once the summer is through – after a two-test series against New Zealand that starts next weekend, and then the Ashes, back here again after the humiliating 5-nil thrashing down under in 2013.

Can England rebuild without their best player?

“Andrew Strauss is going to be judged on results,” Hussain said. “He’s taken the difficult decision and he will be judged by the results.”

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