Pietersen on Cricket

Published: 2015
Pages: 288
Author: Pietersen, Kevin
Publisher: Sphere
Rating: 3 stars

We have a tendency to be a fairly benevolent group of reviewers at Cricketweb. Few of our reviews of books are deeply critical of their subjects. Perhaps some think we are a soft touch, and I have to say that anybody who sets out to research a full length book with no reasonable prospect of any significant financial reward does get a bit of a head start from me, but anyone who reads our reviews regularly will have noted that we all have our moans from time to time.

One factor in the lack of scathing reviews from me is that I am firmly of the view that in order to review a book I must have read the entirety of it, and have done so with some care. With limits on time I tend not to persist with books that start badly, and I do pick up a not inconsiderable number of those. Something else that I must concede is that books of a type that I don’t generally like, and by that I mean the sanitised ghosted autobiographies of current players, I tend to avoid anyway.

Kevin Pietersen continues to play cricket around the world and cricket betting is available all year round.

It was some time after KP: The Autobiography was released in October 2014 that I decided to read a book which caused as much of a media storm as any cricket book has in recent times. Having seen a number of early reviews I confidently expected to have picked up a book that would at least hold my interest, but of which I would not approve. In the end however despite the oft-quoted crass and tasteless passages it isn’t the worst book of its type by any means.

A mere twelve months later we had another book from Pietersen, an indecently short gap. The cynic in me concluded that the book was rushed out when it became clear that events on the field in the summer of 2015 had reduced the public’s calls for a return to England’s colours to barely a whisper and, absent his playing any meaningful cricket, something was needed to get him back in the news.

It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that part of Pietersen’s motivation in giving his name to Pietersen on Cricket  was to portray himself as the nice guy after all. There is no real criticism of anybody, and selected opponents and, just occasionally, former teammates receive some fulsome praise.

The difference in character in the two books means that it is impossible to describe Pietersen on Cricket as a second volume of autobiography. One of the major criticisms of Kevin Pietersen: The Autobiography was that there was too much sniping and backbiting and not enough cricket. As its name suggests the follow up makes good that deficiency and in doing so does show a different Pietersen. He has his own ideas, but explains them well and shows he does have a good cricket brain and an ability to recognise his own faults – maybe he would have been better off waiting six months, combining the material in the two books and producing a Steve Waugh style tome of epic proportions. If he had taken that course, and delayed the score settling then that would have enhanced his chances, now gone forever, of an England recall – it might also have enabled him to properly think through his opinions on Hansie Cronje on the one hand, and Mohammad Amir on the other.

Unlike its predecessor Pietersen on Cricket appears to have been remaindered already, as clear a sign as there can be that he is now regarded as yesterday’s news. I certainly wouldn’t recommend paying £20 in order to sample the amiable and knowledgeable side of Kevin Pietersen, but at around a fiver it is certainly worth a look.

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