Boycott had similar problems to Pietersen
Former England captain Tony Greig has revealed that his old team-mate Geoffrey Boycott was involved in a situation just like Kevin Pietersen was this summer, but noted that both players were not dropped since they played a key role in the team.
Grieg stated that even if you love them or hate them, players like Boycott and Pietersen were here to stay since they were both just that good at what they do.
In an interview with the Independent, Greig said: “The first thing to be said is that I’m always in favour of picking the best side you have available, it’s why Pietersen should be playing for England now, it’s why I would have had Boycott in any side I was in or captained.”
Grieg noted that Boycott’s problem was similar to Pietersen’s, whereby both of them lashed out at players who failed to understand team ethos.
However, instead of sending derogatory text messages in Pietersen’s case, Boycott had a burning ambition to become captain, and he started to speak in a very dismissive manner to the man who had the job, Mike Denness.
Recalling those days, Grieg said: “At the beginning of the tour, we were in the nets and the allocated time was just over 12 minutes each, at the end of his time, Boycott wouldn’t leave, he just wanted to go on and on and he demanded the bowlers bowl some more at him. This was unfair on the other batsmen as well as tiring out the bowlers. We had to do something and it was decided that I would go to see him as vice-captain.”
“I told him that he could only have the same 12 minutes as everyone else, but he wouldn’t have to do his share of the bowling, and at the end of the session, he could go back in and bat as long as he wanted against local net bowlers without completely knackering our own bowlers. It was a case of finding some middle ground, and that’s what has been lacking in the Pietersen case,” Grieg added.
In terms of the Pietersen saga, Greig noted that both the South African-born batsman and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) were to blame for the situation spiralling out of control.
“He is entitled to make the most of his talent and get the rewards for it. But it doesn’t look as if he’s gone about it the right way. But what were the others doing to allow it to get this far? It shouldn’t have come to this,” Greig added.
Pietersen recently signed a four-month central contract and could possibly make his return for England in the upcoming Test series against India.