When a century is never enough ! Will Pietersen ever be British?

Nate HowlanderContributor IJuly 11, 2008

I am sure when Tony Gregg was given the England Captain's spot, his first thought was to his home nation of birth, and whether his heart had ever been in the right place from the beginning, right? Hick, Smith and Lamb were surely mercenaries too, as too was obviously that waster Basil D'Olivera. 

Kevin Pieterson, according to the likes of cricket commentator Mark Nicholas, obviously still has this issue to reconcile in his mind, and having raked his home country, South Africa, for 152 off 181 deliveries to put England in a hugely commanding position against Grahame Smith's visitors in the First Test at Lords, Nicholas must feel the England batting supremo still needs to ponder on this a little longer to justify where his loyalties sit.  You feel that what Nicholas really wanted to ask was, " You can't be English wanting to play for us still, you're a winner....what are you doing with England man!?" But he didn't have the guts. What he did do was project England's long term mediocrity firmly at Pieterson's feet by questioning whether he 'felt English' whilst excelling in his cricketing talent. It was a shocking and tasteless comment....Nicholas needs to think more before engaging his mouth with insults to such emphatic displays of cricketing prowess.

In the days when nothing is secure, the comforting and definite crunch of willow against leather, and then leather against advertising hoarding or upper-tier stand, might only be undermined by the nagging insecurity of the current credit crunch sounding still distinctly in our collective minds....But only just! However, when is performance and loyalty going to be officially recognised for its refreshing sense of patriotism, and stead-fast sense of heart-warming purpose? Pietersen's innings was something definite in an otherwise perilous and uncertain time.

Kevin Pieterson has ripped apart his birth-countryman's bowling on numerous and devastating occasions (not to mention those of the other cricketing nations!), yet the slightest hint that a dodgy run between the wickets might not be dithered with the same stuttering ineptitude of the likes of a bloated Gatting, over zealous Botham, and even a unrepentant selfish Boycott (believe it or not!), means that we still can't, after all his monumental efforts, accept 'KP' as one of our own!? Maybe he should do as Boycott would, and stay in for the whole day scoring only 19, yet "quality", runs, or capitulate and throw away his wicket in every tight spot he has battled to save England's collective chances, by obviously being too flamboyant and wishing to score his centuries too swiftly?? Is this the Britain and England we are still expecting then??? To long has Englands cricket team been shadowed and cut down by the Grim Reaper of futile inevitability.

...But there again, is it just in the nature of those who run English cricket to leash it, and selfishly gaze upon it with their own aged view tabulated in stone by their own masonary. Keeping it reined and bridled, they are incapable of invoking the type of freshness in approach or ideas, capable of making a gnat's fart's worth of difference to the great game, and meeting this type of talent half way. Ian Botham, probably still the most remarkable England player of recent times, was given the ultimate insult of not being treated as England Captain (they appointed him by the way!), English, or even British, or even seen as being on the same premises as these 'governors' when dismissed for a pair at the same venue in 1981.  In stone cold silence or verbose unthinking twaddle, they stoop to insult, to conquer those who are best untamed by such sloths.

If being British or English is to call into question and insult those who would go the extra mile of distance run, regularly displaying the most extraordinary talent for the country they have chosen in their hearts to represent with all the passion and focus and desire they can muster, then maybe the question should be asked as to whether those who are getting too fat in the comfort of their own pompous positions within the game need to question their motives for asking such questions of the these great players in the first place!?

After all...how old is the saying, home is where the heart truly is!?

Kevin Pietersen's statistics in an England shirt.......Good enough to be called English yet anyone?

Batting and fielding averages
First-class123206159751254*51.05  3438  1070
List A18416930612214744.04  1139  730

Bowling averages
First-class123 52783052594/31 51.723.4689.4 00
List A184 20611825363/143/1450.695.3157.2000