Kevin Mitchell says Kevin Pietersen should show less 'entitlement'
Last Updated: 23/06/13 10:47am
Kevin Pietersen will be welcomed back into the England dressing room this summer, but he needs to address his sense of entitlement.
That's the view of The Guardian's Kevin Mitchell, who was speaking on Cricket Writers on TV in the week that the enigmatic batsman returned to competitive cricket for Surrey as he bids to get fit for the Ashes after a three-month lay-off due to a knee injury.
Pietersen causes plenty of controversy last summer after retiring from limited-overs cricket because he felt he was being asked to play too much - a decision he has now reversed - and sending "provocative" text messages to members of the South Africa team.
And Mitchell hopes he will display a more responsible attitude when he returns to face Australia this summer.
"He needs to grow up and they all need to grow up," said The Guardian writer.
"There's a lot of entitlement in sport where people feel 'I'm a star player and someone needs to look after me'. You see it right across the board.
"I'm not particularly saying he feels he should be indulged, but I do think he might have been a bit more responsible about the way he reacted.
"I don't hold with the view that people should be indulged. I think that's wrong. Regardless of how many rascals are in the team, if there's bad behaviour you've got to be brought to account and stand up and recognise you're wrong."
Pietersen has clearly been an unpopular figure in the England dressing room in recent years, but Mitchell says there's no reason why his team-mates won't welcome him back.
He says that England's batting is clearly weaker without him - particularly in one-day and Twenty20 cricket - and that his faults will be forgiven while he keeps delivering runs.
Mitchell added: "Cliques and factions are not unusual and that's not necessarily a destructive thing if you can control it. If you're winning matches then it doesn't matter at all.
"KP is a classic case in that regard. You've got to be that good to get away with poor behaviour and to be forgiven and indulged in the way that KP has been.
"A lot of people were so angry at the way he behaved and thought we'd never have him again, but you turn around and you notice when he's not there. You definitely notice it in the shorter form of the game particularly."