The Reuters global sports blog
A casual remark from Pakistan fast bowler Wahab Riaz last week illustrated how swiftly life moves on in elite sport.
Riaz was asked which of the five England wickets he had captured in his test debut at the Oval had given him the most satisfaction.
The answer was not Kevin Pietersen, England’s premier batsman with more than 5,000 test runs and 16 centuries. Instead Riaz nominated Eoin Morgan, scorer of 234 runs with one century.
Even six months ago such a statement would have seemed inconceivable.
One transcendent innings at Lord’s in the final test against Pakistan this week would silence the doubters but something is clearly something amiss with Pietersen, who has not scored a test century since March last year. He dropped out of the 2009 Ashes series with injury and averages 28 in the current series against Pakistan, including 80 at Edgbaston where he was dropped three times.
England batsman Kevin Pietersen has been ruled out of the Ashes series after undergoing surgery for an ongoing Achilles tendon injury.
ECB Chief Medical Officer, Nick Peirce, said: “The operation involved a small incision and trimming of the blood vessels and nerves around the inflamed tendon and appears, at this early stage, to have been routine.
England may argue that they were unlucky to exit the World Twenty20 following a five-wicket defeat by West Indies but the simple truth is that they batted poorly throughout the tournament.
With the honourable exceptions of Ravi Bopara and Kevin Pietersen, the batsmen completely failed to get to grips with the art of scoring runs in this form of the game.
If the result of a cricket one-day international is forgotten by most fans within a week the shelf life of Twenty20 memories must be measured in Mayfly proportions.
However, that does not mean that there is no value in the smash and crash of cricket’s newest format. Quite the opposite.
It’s a busy time in the cricket world. Pakistan has been told it can’t host matches in the 2011 World Cup while the second edition of the Indian Premier League, this time being played in South Africa, starts on Saturday.
IPL fans are preparing themselves for what should be 59 scintillating Twenty20 matches, played at a frantic pace by the very best players in the world.
Andy Flower, appointed England director of cricket on Wednesday, was responsible with Zimbabwe team mate Henry Olonga for a startling and unprecedented protest in his team’s opening 2003 World Cup match.
Flower and Olonga took the field against Namibia in Harare on Feb. 10, 2003, wearing black armbands to “mourn the death of democracy in our beloved Zimbabwe”.