Cricket Expert & Columnist
The torn ultimatum
Nasser Hussain says Kevin Pietersen's captaincy style is in danger of tearing English cricket apart.
Last Updated: 23/01/09 3:01pm
I am very surprised at what's happened today. I am surprised that English cricket continues to shoot itself in the foot just before an Ashes series.
This is something that could've been avoided if people had gone about things in the right way - and they've certainly not gone about it the right way.
The ECB knew, when they signed Kevin Pietersen as captain, when they gave him the job they knew from his history what kind of guy he is. That was why, I guess - and I thought - they gave him the job; because he is an abrasive guy, he took people on, asked questions of people and wasn't happy just plodding along with his own game.
Look at him when he left Natal to come to England; look at him when he left Notts to go to Hampshire, look at him when he took over the England captaincy: he was going to be in your face, question people and take people on and they must've known that eventually it was going to come to a clash between Pietersen and Moores.
The ECB should've been able to react to that. If they've given him the job to be this abrasive, this in your face, then maybe at some stage they should have sat down and listened.
Kevin Pietersen himself should definitely have gone about this in a much more professional way, you can't just sit on safari in South Africa and issue ultimatums to the board about the England cricket captaincy, it is far too important for that.
You get off your backside, you come to England, you sit down with your bosses and you decide and discuss what is the best way to progress and what has happened in the last week has been very poor from a lot of people.
Also you don't always get on with your coach. That's not your job, your job is not to be popular with the players, or your coach, you're there to get the job done.
Myself and Duncan Fletcher argued about a lot of things behind the scenes, about Andrew Flintoff about Steve Harmison, about everything. But never in the public domain, in front of the team or the cameras. I knew and he knew that we were a team, just as Fletcher and Vaughan were a team.
You have your good points and bad points, but don't we all? Peter Moores has some really good points: he sets the team up brilliantly in the mornings, he trains the team well, they are finely-tuned and you can see that. His bad points might be he is not as tactically astute as Duncan Fletcher - but who has been over the last 20 or 30 years.
Enough is enough
Whoever is captain has to work out with their coach; it's like a marriage. We work together on this and that and we just try to get the job done as best we can. It's never perfect and it's almost as if Pietersen is looking for perfection. Should we criticise him for that? Perhaps, because it's never perfect.
As for the next man to captain England if it is not Pietersen, it will be difficult for Michael Vaughan to return. I believe that when you are done as England captain, you are done. Something within you tells you that enough is enough.
You've put yourself through it mentally for four or five years and something just switches off. You could see in that emotional press conference in Loughborough that Michael had given the job all he could.
I don't believe in going backwards, I believe in trying to progress a side, take it in a forward direction.
In that respect, I always thought Andrew Strauss would make - and has made - a very good England captain. I just like the way he goes about his business.
But I am going to back a little bit before I go and say that I would have quite liked Kevin Pietersen's way to work. If he does stay as captain, I would like him to continue to challenge people and take people on, providing it is done in the right way.