Double standards appear to be rife at the ECB. The obvious example is the on going hideously boring Kevin Pietersen saga. A series of convoluted statements from Downton, Graves and Strauss have led to the whole affair continuing to be made into a right old shemozzle.
I am not the world’s greatest KP fan, I burnt my bridges with the pro-KP brigade long ago, but equally I’m not ideologically opposed to him returning to the side as others seem to be. It’s only cricket at the end of the day, and of course none of it really matters a great deal in the grand scheme of things.
So if the ECB are take a tough stance on players stepping out of line, then fine. That’s great, let’s be tough on the players and we all know where we stand. Only, the ECB aren’t tough on all the players. The whole organisation is run like some kind of puerile arcane private school, where your background and friends seem to matter far more than your character or ability.
Stuart Broad recently missed a sponsor’s event for the England team due to what he described as a ‘severe migraine’, and what some papers have described as a ‘marathon drinking session’. I’m inclined to believe the truth lies somewhere between the two but more in line with the hacks, and I have no doubt however that Broad has acted in an entirely unprofessional manner. The ECB have simply asked him to whip up a quick statement to explain his headache and that’s the matter closed. I’m sure they even wrote and printed the statement for him to read.
Now, this is fine if the ECB treated all their players with the same degree of leniency. But we know they don’t. One of the principal reasons for KP’s dismissal, was his perceived unprofessionalism, including whistling after being dismissed during the Ashes. If KP can be pilloried for whistling, then how can golden boy Stuart Broad get away with missing an entire event due to being hungover?
The whole thing reeks of double standards. I can’t say I’m surprised, the ECB are a corrupting influence upon the game at the highest level. They do a great deal of good for the game at grassroots level, and even at county level. But in the very top corridors of power, the entire system is malfunctioning and not fit for purpose.
Strauss harped on about a breakdown in trust between the ECB and KP. Well, for now I’m having issues trusting the ECB to run the game in the interest of the supporters.
I can only hope that Andrew Strauss, a man I have an enormous amount of respect for, can turn the tide and help to create a fairer, more in tune ECB senior management. Unfortunately after his talking around the houses during his unveiling as Director of Cricket at Lord’s last week, my hopes are not too high.