x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Tufnell to KP: grow up

The former "bad boy" of English cricket criticises Kevin Pietersen for showing a lack of responsibility to his teammates.

LONDON// The former "bad boy" of English cricket, Phil Tufnell, has criticised Kevin Pietersen ahead of today's second Ashes Test at Lord's for showing a lack of responsibility to his teammates. Tufnell, whose 42-Test career was littered with disciplinary problems, said Pietersen's horror shot to get out against off-spinner Nathan Hauritz in the first innings of the first Test in Cardiff showed England's leading batsman had not learnt from past mistakes.

"We've seen him throw his wicket away two or three times now," said Tufnell. "For him to do that in Cardiff just showed a lack of responsibility for the team and he needs to start showing that he is growing as a batsman. "Apparently he's said that he's not going to change his game and it's the way he plays. I can't have that. For himself and the team he'll have to cut those sort of shots out. No one is asking him to stop playing fabulous shots or being aggressive, that's fine. We like that.

"But to say 'it's the way I play, take it or leave it' doesn't sound right to me or surely the other boys in the dressing room." Tufnell suggested that there was reluctance among the England management to challenge Pietersen to think more about the team cause. "You hear these things that no one will say anything to him. But no one should be afraid. If I was in that England team after he had got out to their spin bowler I would have been furious. I'd have had a right go. 'What have you done that for? Giving their spinner an easy wicket. They won't give me one'. That's me, though.

"I'm not suggesting someone should go and have a right pop at KP but we want someone to say 'you're better than that'." sports@thenational.ae