Former England cricketers blame board for current crisis (Lead)

January 8th, 2009 - 9:30 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Jan 8 (IANS) Former England players blamed England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for its current crisis that emerged after the resignations of outgoing captain Kevin Pietersen and coach Peter Moores.Pietersen resigned as the England captain Wednesday after a fallout with Moores with whom he disagreed on many issues including Michael Vaughan’s exclusion from the West Indies tour.

Moores has also tendered his resignation and Andrew Strauss has been appointed as the captain for the tour to West Indies later this year.

Former England captain Geoffrey Boycott and ex-coach Duncan Fletcher backed Pietersen while lashing at ECB for the present crisis.

Boycott felt that ECB should have backed Pietersen.

“What did the England and Wales Cricket Board expect when they appointed him (Pietersen)? They knew then he was outrageous and different, a one-off and a showman. But the most important thing is he’s a winner,” Boycott wrote in his column in The Daily Telegraph.

“Maybe KP told the board some home truths, and also told some players to buck up their ideas if they wanted to win the Ashes. Some people just can’t take the truth. Geniuses are often misunderstood,” he said.

Fletcher, who guided England to the Ashes win in 2005, felt that by appointing Strauss as the captain ECB has made things worse.

“Strauss is currently not in the one-day team and his bosses have made it clear they want the same captain in charge in all forms of cricket. It would be tricky for Strauss to establish himself as the Test captain only, because you’re then back to the perilous split-captaincy scenario - and that might only exacerbate the current unease in the dressing room.

So the chances are they would have to bring a guy back into the one-day side who they obviously don’t think is good enough in the first place,” he said.

Former England captain Nasser Hussain said the ECB has let down Pietersen after having shown faith in his captaincy just four months ago.

Hussain, however,felt that Pietersen could have handled the situation in a better manner.

“I don’t for a minute question his motives in making it known that he could not work with Peter Moores.

“He is a single-minded character and all he will have wanted was to do what was best for the England team. But he went about it in completely the wrong way, which led to this terrible situation.”

“The ECB must have known when they made him captain that he was someone who would ask questions of his team and the management and do whatever it took to stop them under-achieving.

“That is surely what they wanted, as well as expected, from him. When it came to the crunch they weren’t quite prepared to back him to the hilt.”

Hussain said that ECB should have given a free hand to Pietersen.

However, Michael Vaughan, touted to be the man behind the fall-out of Kevin Pietersen and Peter Moores, said the two should not have taken their strife to public.

“The captain coach relationship is crucial and when they speak to the team and the public they have to sing from the same team sheet. Myself and Nasser both had great working relationships with Duncan Fletcher despite the fact that we didn’t always agree but the team and the public never saw that.”

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