Dmitri Award Number 2 – 355*

 

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It was either Tickers or Miller who said that Kevin Pietersen was the greatest ever exponent of the “Fuck You” innings. There was the infamous 149, full of anger, full of bravado, full of full blown confidence. That’s a legendary knock. But there’s nothing quite like timing your career best, the fourth highest score ever made at The Oval, the second highest by a Surrey player to coincide with Andrew Strauss’s annointment as the Director Comma. I think if you had to put something forward for a Dmitri, that dominated the landscape of the blog, that fuelled a record month of hits, then to leave out this innings would not be right. As I said in my previous post, it’s time to be true to what I think the blog should be, and not what others want me to write.

Kevin Pietersen still dominates the landscape. Even today he’s playing in a T20 Final in South Africa, and although he failed today, he was the story of the early stages with back-to-back hundreds. It was KP in a nutshell (I apologise). Selvey called him a fruitfly back in the day, but it’s not Pietersen’s job to make things cosy for the powers that be and their enablers in the print and TV media. It is not his job to be quiet. He is playing T20 cricket and that’s so depressing. Because on that day back in May, we saw what he could do. He was dropped a few times, it wasn’t the strongest of opposition, but he was doing as he thought he was told. Go out and score runs in county cricket. He did. 355 of them.

I was in the States at the time. I’d managed to buy a £15 data roaming card which gave me around 500MB data. I’d started the day following the increasing level of his score as we drove up the Parkway to Atlantic City. I have to say I was chuckling heartily. I could sense the bile of those who loathed him from 3500 miles away. You could hear the nonsensical arguments to decry the innings. They had a spectacularly bad tempered Dominic Cork to hide behind if they so wished. But you don’t ignore triple hundreds. You just don’t. This innings made a statement. Pietersen could still bat, so it put to bed that magnificent nonsense that people were putting out there that he was finished. It left them now with the only line left – England would not be picking on cricketing merit. They would be using other criteria, as if any sentient being believed otherwise. The fig leaf was removed. Note – next highest scorer in that innings was 36. By some muppet called Sangakkara!

If KP had not made that innings, then he could have trundled on, and the can could have been booted down the street. “He’s not making enough runs, and he’s at Division 2 level. There are no vacancies in the middle order.” The elephant in the room always was that KP couldn’t be allowed back in because too many people would have been wrong. By making 326 not out at stumps that day, he’d rammed the nonsense back down their throats. “Not enough runs?” Well…..

History has treated Strauss kindly after this decision. An Ashes win was the end justifying the means. The ODI renaissance paints a youthful verve rather than a look-back to past times. But the test batting is now an effing mess, and the only trust we have is in Dmitri #1 to keep the middle order in any reasonable functioning order.

But let me tell you what it did for this blog in May. Being Outside Cricket had its record day, week and month. Pietersen is box office. Those who come here to snark on their own little private echo chambers know this. I know it. I know of people who are sick that they didn’t go to the Oval that day. I know of people who are glad to see the back of him, finally. But what you can’t deny that he is a compelling cricketer. The 355 runs he made in May set up the Director Comma era, and there will be more of that later….

So, as, under my own silly rules, I can’t put KP in, the number 355 will be put into the Dmitri Award annals…..

Here are some interesting links on that time….

https://beingoutsidecricket.com/2015/05/15/statement-of-the-oblivious/ — on Colin Grave’s pathetic justification.

https://beingoutsidecricket.com/2015/05/13/a-matter-of-life-and-trust/ – TLG’s wonderful piece on matters Strauss

and this line…

“That Pietersen has been treated dreadfully is a given even amongst those who are not remotely his fans – and let’s nail this particular straw man argument right here, there are a tiny number of people who are proper, out and out Pietersen fans.  Most of the others are England fans who may or may not think the side would be better with him in it, but believe a team should be selected from its best players, and who know a stitch up when they see one.

https://beingoutsidecricket.com/2015/05/12/trust-1/ – On Trust. We’ll be looking at that in due course.

https://beingoutsidecricket.com/2015/05/12/strauss-press-conference-live-blog/ – TLG’s behemoth post (most hit this year) on the press conference.

So – 355*. Dmitri Award #2.

11 thoughts on “Dmitri Award Number 2 – 355*

  1. Julie Dec 13, 2015 / 12:27 am

    Up at 3am this morning to watch KP on Cricinfo.Was a little disappointed but he’s on his way out here to OZ where I will see him live 3 times so looking forward to that. Am now tired and a little fragile and you have just brought so much of the past back and dam it Dmitri you have made me cry.I still live in hope that one day next year he will walk out in whites to play for England.Silly me , I still believe there can be justice in cricket.Love your articles

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  2. Zephirine Dec 13, 2015 / 1:14 am

    An excellent award for a fine and worthy number.

    Fruitflies have quite a limited life-span, I believe. Mr Pietersen is going to be around for a long time.

    Like the song says:
    I’ve run the gamut, A to Z
    Three cheers and dammit, C’est la vie
    I got through all of last year, and I’m here
    Lord knows, at least I was there, and I’m here…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Rooto Dec 13, 2015 / 4:58 am

    So the anti-KP England fans, journalists and administrators are playing the long game. Waiting for KP to become too old to reasonably play. Then they feel they will have won the argument. It’s pathetic isn’t it?
    They will expect the disaffected to drift back and all to go on as normal. But some of us will not drift back. Gaps will appear.
    Losing a dozen spectators at the interval may not be noticed if you’re watching “We will rock you” in a theatre full of Japanese tourists, but seeing as cricket is fast becoming a niche performance art installation held in a room above a pub, losing a dozen will soon mean obvious and worrying spaces.

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  4. Arron Wright Dec 13, 2015 / 9:10 am

    Great choice. Interesting to re-read those old links, from the time before The Most Thrilling Ashes Series Ever (comparable to 2005, honest) changed the world.

    Just to make it clear in advance, by the way: I will be unapologetically supporting South Africa in the forthcoming Test series. Durban will be their fifth Test against England in the 2010s, as they finally break their tie with Bangladesh as the ECB’s least favoured opponents of the decade. And there you have my reason.

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  5. Mark Dec 13, 2015 / 11:21 am

    Bravo, Bravo, Bravo. An excellent choice.

    As the runs piled up that day the anger of the Establishment just grew and grew. Strauss was forced to hold the famous meeting, and then surprise, surprise someone leaked the result to Agnew about ten seconds after the meeting finished. The cricket establishment in all its tawdry glory. But their goose was cooked. All the lies and distortion were laid bare. England it seems doesn’t pick on merit. It’s an invitation eleven. A bit like the Barbarians in rugby.

    KP that day forced their hand. The media all attacked Graves for opening the door in the first place. He allowed KP the opportunity to prove the truth, and show them up as nothing but ECB stenographers. A black day for the English cricket media when they cheered a player not being selected on merit. Impossible to take any of them seriously after that day.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Alec Dec 13, 2015 / 12:28 pm

    Pietersen proved that he still had what it took to build a long innings and had the drive to do it in front of the handful of fans still turning out for county matches. Whether he was still good enough for test cricket is a question that will now never be answered, and that is to the detriment of the sport.

    What’s more interesting is how everything that KP has said about the IPL/BBL etc. is finally being taken on by the English management. Look at the team’s selection for South Africa as well. With the exception of Hales, it is almost entirely players who were once picked, found wanting for one reason or another and sent back to the counties to work on their games. Only Cook and Broad have had largely unbroken runs in the test team (injury permitting in the latter’s case). KP said after Melbourne that players needed more self reliance and willingness to take on responsibilities for themselves and this is what we have.

    This proves a rather fundamental point about the ECB: they subscribe to the view that “it’s not what you say, it’s the way that you say”. One of those useless cliches that boils down to “you were right and I was wrong but I don’t want to admit to it in public.”

    Liked by 1 person

  7. pktroll (@pktroll) Dec 14, 2015 / 8:24 am

    I actually watched the start of his innings with about an hour or two before the end. I also watched him the following afternoon when I got to the Oval (a 15 minute brisk walk from my office) fully expecting to see Surrey bowling, but instead watched him get over 100 more runs very quickly indeed while phoning a good mate of mine while I was spending some time making sure I wasn’t in the firing line as shot after shot cleared the boundary. I was getting rather animated trying to say that the crowd was nigh on getting bombarded. A fun evening!

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  8. greyblazer Dec 14, 2015 / 1:35 pm

    Jason Gallian once scored 300 for Lancashire. England ignored him too

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    • LordCanisLupus Dec 14, 2015 / 1:48 pm

      At least he got a cap. Mark Wagh got one and never got a sniff. See also David Sales.

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      • ArushaTZ Dec 15, 2015 / 10:48 am

        Lets not forget Mal Loye. I always thought he was very unfortunate not to get a chance in the late 90s.

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