Image courtesy of: The Telegraph
“Kev gets a bad rap a lot I think for some of the stuff he says and does, but for me in this group he has been great with these young guys”
England limited overs coach Ashley Giles has announced that South African-born batsman Kevin Pietersen is a perfect role model for youngsters, despite all the controversies he has been involved in throughout his international career.
Just over a year ago, Pietersen was banished from the national team after it was found that he sent text messages to South African players that told them how to dismiss then England captain Andrew Strauss.
However, following Strauss’ retirement at the end of the England’s home series against South Africa, Pietersen began his ‘reintegration’ into the national team, but was forced to miss the 2012 World Twenty20 as a result.
Giles will definitely know a lot about Pietersen since he played alongside him in the England squad during the memorable and historic 2005 Ashes series.
“I’ve got a decent relationship with Kev, I’ve played a lot of cricket with him and he’s one of the best players in the world,” Giles said. “Kev gets a bad rap a lot I think for some of the stuff he says and does, but for me in this group he has been great with these young guys.
“There is a danger that when a size of personality like him comes back into the group that they are in awe, but he’s been fully involved and been great.”
When asked if Pietersen enjoyed opening the batting during ODIs and Twenty20 Internationals, Giles shrugged and stated that whenever Pietersen opened, it was usually his decision and not the batsman’s.
“I didn’t really ask him, I just told him he was opening,” Giles said. “He clearly enjoys opening, he’s got two hundreds and a 60 in his last three innings as an opener.”
Giles also lashed out at former England captain Michael Vaughan’s criticism about England resting too many key players during the limited overs series and stating that the fans deserve a partial refund.
“It is tough because you want to win every game but I’m not planning on being here just for the next couple of months, so in that respect I’m getting to look at some young players coming through,” Giles added. “All we ask for is a bit of understanding about what we’re trying to do. It is not just about winning the next game.
“We don’t take losing games lightly. It is not about giving games away and it is not about robbing the public of the right to watch our best players. We’ve got to get the balance right and I think in this squad we’ve got some very exciting talent to watch and we’re still very capable of winning games.”