No room for spoiled brats in team sports

Mike Kilpatrick, Yahoo! New Zealand Sport August 20, 2012, 12:48 pm

We tend to hold our sportsmen and women to higher standards than we hold our fellow sports watchers.

We even use the words 'role model' for those whom can actually maintain those next to impossible standards we expect.

But even by my standards, Kevin Pietersen's supposed text messages to the opposing team are a new low in sport.

Not content with bad-mouthing his captain by using a South African slang word which means the same as the most unmentionable of swear words, he also gave them tips on how to get him out.

Now I have no idea what kind of guy Andrew Strauss is except from my watching him both on the pitch and in his media interviews.

But I would trust Strauss ahead of a habitual offender like Pietersen every day of the week.

The South African-born England star is one of those sports stars who I end up disliking intensely because of their tendancy to put themselves above everyone else.

Pietersen is obviously a very talented player - he has an average of 49.48 in Tests and 41.84 in ODIs - but England did the right thing by dropping him from the current Test against the Proteas.

This comes only a short while after he retired from all forms of one-day cricket but then said he wanted picked for the Twenty20 World Cup after being left out of the squad.

I may be making a leap in logic here, but if you retire from that form of the game I reckon it shouldn't be a major suprise when you aren't picked.

Given the Twenty20 world is still effectively run by the Indian IPL it wouldn't surprise me if his desire to play in the tournament was simply a way of shoring up his playing contract on the sub-continent.

Now despite what you may think, this isn't about egotistical stars. The greatest sportsman that ever walked this earth - Muhammad Ali - is a legendary egotist.

Unfortunately egotists don't work as well in team sports as they do in single competitions. How could they?

When you're putting yourself above your team you're always likely to make the wrong call in the heat of battle.

The truth is England are better off without a self-obsessed star who says the text messages were only 'banter' when they clearly were much more serious.

Arguably, cricket would be better off without him too.

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  1. 07:18am Tuesday 21st August 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    Aren't we the fools for attaching such reverence to sport - and in particular team sport? Idolised as they are, no wonder some of the players get big heads. Peter, you took the words out of my mouth; the Hurricanes suffered from this problem for years, and it took Mark Hammett to clean out the pot. Just as the Hurricanes managed without the "stars", so can England without their Judas. It's not as if a nation of 60-odd million is going to be short of cricketers, surely?

    1 Reply
  2. Stephen John06:58am Tuesday 21st August 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    Morning sports fans. I see your all in fine form as usual. Actually, some really good comments here. Obviously alot of interest in whats happening abroad. I'm afraid all I have to contribute is GO THE MIGHTY BLACK CAPS. Your all traitors.

  3. O Mighty O11:38pm Monday 20th August 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    Not sure if I'm missing something here, but why should a good sportsman necessarily like his (or her) team mates? I was an international athlete and there were quite a few of my fellow team members I didn't like. So what? At the end of the day it's about how many points you can score. I always felt that I was there to represent my country, not my buddies. If my country gets more points from me than from my reserve, isn't that a good thing? Why replace someone who will do well with someone who won't be as good? Yes, we like to think of our team as a nice jolly bunch of people, but the reality is that they may be racist selfish ratbags. Under those circumstances I'm still willing to give my all for my country, but I really don't want anything to do with the rest of my team. As things stand it starts to look like being selected doesn't just depend on how good you are but also on how willing you are to toe the party line.

  4. Russell11:17pm Monday 20th August 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    Putting yourself before the team , would that include S.B.W or will that be overlooked because its rugby. SELCTIVE KIWIS .

  5. 10:59pm Monday 20th August 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    I wonder how many of the people making anti-South African comments love Irene Van Dyk? see we don't have a problem with them and playing for a new country when it's winning games for us do we?

  6. Noddy09:42pm Monday 20th August 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    Back in the day this could have been seen as sympathising with the enemy and spying, and the 'turncoat' becoming a traitor to his adoptive country. He's a big head & his ego was always going to get him into trouble. Team comes first. While the English have been successful as of late it was always Pieterson who seemed a bit aloof from the team culture. Go back to SA.

  7. pat09:40pm Monday 20th August 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    well said judy anne.. bravo

  8. none09:35pm Monday 20th August 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    Annaleille you are a doos

  9. none09:33pm Monday 20th August 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    Annaleille you are a #$%$

  10. Annaleille09:30pm Monday 20th August 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    Sadly all this thread does is bring the Boks out the cupboard...fortunately we cannot hear their irritating awful accents.


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