Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 23rd 2013 Contents A53
June 23, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
Kevin Pietersen has marked
his return to first-class action
for the first time in three
months by suggesting that his
fear of prolonged injury lay-
offs was precisely the reason
why last summer he wanted
to retire from England s one-
There was no angry self-jus-
tification, no forceful opinion
likely to incur the wrath of the
England management, just a
gentle acceptance in a chat on
Talksport radio with his old
England buddy, Darren Gough
---billed as his only interview of
the summer---that his injury
might never have happened if
he had been allowed licence to
plot his own career.
over England's refusal to let him
retire solely from ODIs---he was
obliged to give up T20 as well
---to an outburst after the Head-
ingley Test against South Africa,
a rift with the England dressing
room, a stand-off with official-
dom, exclusion from England's
World Twenty20 squad and
finally a triumphant return in
the Test series against India as
he agreed to continue in all
Despite being rested for the
T20s in India and both limit-
ed-overs series against New
Zealand, he suffered a badly
bruised knee bone in Queen-
stown, which has caused him
to miss both the IPL and
While England face India in
the final of the latter compe-
tition at Edgbaston on Sunday,
Pietersen will be engaged in the
third day of a Championship
match against Yorkshire at
Headingley. The English media
he so mistrusts were out in
force to watch him field on the
opening day as he made a rare
Championship appearance for
In the interview, Gough sug-
gested to Pietersen: "Only last
year you were talking about
looking after your body; you
don't want to get injured play-
ing all forms of the game. You
went back on that, and ended
up playing all forms of the game
and got injured. So it highlight-
ed what you were saying, that
at some point every individual's
body is going to break down."
"Exactly," Pietersen respond-
ed. "You can feel it as a player.
I probably didn't go about it in
the best fashion. You make
mistakes, and you get over
them, and that's the way you
grow as a human being, by
learning from things that you
don't do well. So I take it on
the chin, no dramas, it's just a
case of looking forward and
making sure that you do the
right things now."
Pietersen's relationship with
the English media has never
been more strained. His dis-
enchantment with the ridicule
he received during his power
struggle with England was
deepened when it was erro-
neously suggested in New
Zealand that his knee injury
was not serious and that he
was just trying to pick up an
insurance payout from IPL.
"It was really bad," he said.
"In New Zealand I couldn't
duck a bounce, I couldn't
sweep, I was in all sorts of
trouble. I was on the strongest
painkillers and eventually my
stomach just gave up with me
in the second Test match. I
probably did it a lot of damage
by playing, but I just tried to
get through and played for as
long as I could because I hate
missing Test matches.
"A bruising on your bone is
a lot worse than breaking it.
You know with a break it'll be
back. I've broken my arm, I've
broken collar bones, I've broken
my leg. I've broken plenty of
bones and you know that with-
in six, seven, eight weeks you're
firing again. The bruising has
been really frustrating but over
the last three weeks I turned a
real positive corner.
"I'm just going up to York-
shire this week to get through
four days. If I get runs, I get
runs. If I don't get runs, I don't
get runs. I just need to wake
up on Tuesday morning or the
day after being on the field
knowing that my knee's not an
"The professional in me will
want to score as many runs as
possible and that never stops,
never fades, but the most
important thing from this four-
day game is to wake up every
morning with no knee issue
and to know that I've turned a
good corner and I can handle
a day in the field---because
that's the only thing that hasn't
been tested yet. I can bat in the
nets, I've done all the fielding
drills you can do but it's not
the same as fielding for 96
Despite England s status as tournament
hosts, it is the World Cup holders who will
start today s final as favourites having won
all their games in the tournament, including
Thursday s comprehensive eight-wicket win
over Sri Lanka in the semi-finals.
Captain Dhoni has led his side through a
testing transitional period to a point where they
are a force to be reckoned within all forms of
the game; they currently sit in the top three
in the Test, ODI and Twenty20 rankings.
And Ishant has revealed how the support of
his skipper has done wonders for the confidence
of him and his team-mates.
"Obviously, the support in the team, and the
support from the captain is very crucial for any
player, not only for me," he said.
"I think MS is always supporting every
youngster in the team. So I think he's been
tremendous with everyone.
"I think what I can say about him without
doubt is that it is a real pleasure to have him
in our side as the captain."
While the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, the tour-
nament's top run scorer, Rohit Sharma and
Virat Kohli have starred with the bat, the bowl-
ing of Ishant, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Umesh
Yadav has played an equally vital part in India's
advance to the final.
Ishant believes focusing on the vital ingre-
dients of line and length has been key, as well
as improved performances in fielding, has helped
the Indian attack, which was questioned in
some quarters prior to the tournament, to per-
form so well.
He said: "Taking wickets are the things out-
siders look for, but if you're bowling in a good
rhythm and you're hitting the landing the way
you can, I think that's the most important
"I also think our fielding has been really
"I think if you have the kind of fielders we
have at the moment on the team, I think every-
one is charging up and everyone wants to have
the ball in their hand when the ball comes.
"It gives you really big confidence for every
fast bowler, not only for me. I think it's very
good and we'll keep working hard on our fielding
and in every department. We are getting bet-
Defeat for Sri Lanka saw them suffer more
disappointment in the latter stages of a major
tournament, but captain Angelo Mathews was
pleased with how his team had performed since
losing their opening game against New Zealand.
He said: "We can't be happy. Our main objec-
tive was to get to the semi-finals, but I thought
from there we wanted to kick on to the finals.
"We just wanted to take one game at a time,
and we just had a bad day at the office.
"But credit should go to the whole team, the
way they showed their character in the second
and third games after losing to New Zealand.
"We had to do it the hard way, and the boys
rose up to the occasion."
Former England batsman
Geoff Cook, 61, is still in a coma
in Durham City s Dryburn Hos-
pital, but former captain Dale
Benkenstein reported that there
had been some positive news.
"His family are at his bedside
and his daughter, Anna, tells me
they have reduced his sedation
without him suffering any more
seizures," Benkenstein said.
Messages of support for Cook
were rife on Twitter when news
broke of his heart attack on
Thursday, with Durham skipper
Paul Collingwood and former
England captain Michael Vaugh-
an among those offering sup-
Collingwood posted: "All our
thoughts with Geoff Cook and
his family. Sad, sad day."
Vaughan added: "Thoughts
and prayers are with Geoff Cook
and his family...A great man..
Get well soon, Geoff..."
Cook played in seven Tests and
six one-day internationals for
England in 1982 and 1983 and
became director of cricket at
Durham when they became a
first-class county in 1991.
He was named as head coach
in 2007, immediately winning
the Friends Provident Trophy,
and brought the club back-to-
back county championship titles
in 2007 and 2008. They had
never won the championship
Cook remains in coma after heart attack
Links Archive June 22nd 2013 June 24th 2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page