Having followed the news over the last couple of days, I’m saddened by the fact of Kevin Pietersen’s retirement from international limited overs cricket.

Apparently the fella wanted to continue playing T20 for England, but the ECB advised that to be eligible for T20 he had to be available for ODIs (50 over cricket) as well.

ODIs can be a bit tiresome on occasion, but they are still a good way to pass a day. Especially with people of Pietersen’s callibre playing, who can sense that the game is dying or becoming dull, and inject a bit of adrenalin into the situation. KP and his ilk can turn a game and make it exciting.

A few days ago, I believe it was Thursday, while we watched the rain at Edgbaston, I listened to Andy Flower talking about the medium- and long-term interests of the team. And I think Flowers and the ECB have got it right.

You can’t make an exception for individuals. And I think there is a concern that ODI cricket is the poor relation to Test and T20 cricket. If they (the ECB) allow KP to pick and choose, they will have to let all players pick and choose. And especially with the strains that modern bowling inflicts on the body, I could see the entire first-class England bowling attack retiring with immediate effect from ODI cricket.

T20 is the glamourous form of the game; Test cricket is the strategic mind game. Fifty over cricket is a way to watch a complete game in a day, but it isn’t differentiated; it needs to build its own reputation. I don’t think that cricketers are crying out to play ODIs, and that needs to change. ODI cricket needs its own image, its own brand and specialists.

Until it does that, ODIs, for England at least, will always be a secondary thought. They might attract large crowds in the sub-continent, but so do T20 matches.

I’ll miss KP and the anticipation of his appearance. But his performance was always hit-and-miss. He could be out for a low score or hit a quick 50. The team as a unit needs to be reliable. And with the strength and depth of the English team as it is at the moment, perhaps now is the best time for KP to retire. At the age of 31. Lucky git.

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