Sir Andrew Strauss Acknowledge Mistake
Sir Andrew Strauss told did say on Podcast that he made mistakes with his handling of Kevin Pietersen during his time as England captain.
Pietersen sent text messages to South African players during the 2012 Test series between the two sides and allegedly insulted Strauss in them.Pietersen was dropped after the ‘Text-gate’ scandal and although he was later reintegrated into the side, his England career came to an end after the 2013-14 Ashes after Alastair Cook’s side had lost 5-0.
“There came a time when some of the people he was close with in the team retired or got dropped. There was an opportunity there, not necessarily to bring him in, but spend a lot more time with him and make sure his views were valued and considered.”I think instead I just let KP be KP. In retrospect that was a mistake and might have sowed the seeds for what was to come down the track.
“I don’t think he would have been in the engine-room of the team in that sense but I’ve always felt a good team environment embraces difference and finds a space for everyone.
“I think we did that for large periods of time but possibly through neglect, KP became increasingly isolated.
“Often KP wanted to be the guy who was slightly separate from the team. On any given day it didn’t feel like an issue but over time it became an issue.
“Would I do things massively differently if I had my time again? Probably not. The worst thing you can do for players like KP is to straitjacket them and say ‘you have to abide by x, y and z. You can’t go and play in a flamboyant way, you have to grind it out like Jonathan Trott’.
“Effectively you’d be asking him to be someone he’s not, so you had to cut him some slack and allow him to be himself. At times, though, what worked for KP almost undermined what the team was trying to do. It felt like there were two completely separate agendas there and that became a problem for me, the rest of the team and [then head coach] Andy Flower.
“We were all tired, emotional and had spent so much time in each other’s pockets. Probably if we had a bit more space to think clearly it might not have got to that stage and we might have managed it better.
“But I don’t look back and think ‘we were wrong to call KP out over some of the things he did’. I think we had to do that.”
Sir Andrew Strauss and Pietersen had also been at odds over the latter’s desire to play in the IPL, with large parts of the tournament clashing with England’s home Test summers.
Sir Andrew Strauss explained the situation on the Podcast and why, when installed as England’s director of cricket in 2015, allowed current players to head for the IPL.
“I always had sympathy with KP over the IPL,” added Sir Andrew Strauss. “I understood what a big event it was with all the best players playing there together and huge amounts of money on the table as well.
“Long term my view was that we had to find a window for the IPL. I told the ECB we couldn’t compete against each other as it is going to create massive issues within our team.
“But I thought it was incredibly dangerous to allows players to miss Test cricket to play in the IPL. The message you’d be sending and the precedent you’d be setting is that the IPL is more important than Test cricket.
“I was saying to KP at the time, ‘listen, mate, this is the situation. You can’t opt in or out if international cricket. You’ve got obligations to England and hopefully there are gaps where you can play in the IPL as well’.