Ex-England batsman Kevin Pietersen was a superstar in his day but his not-so-cordial exit from the English team had started a big conversation around the treatment of players by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB). While talking to the Daily Mail, Pietersen reflected on his illustrious career and the controversies that surrounded it. Pietersen also wants the ECB to make Jofra Archer feel a sense of belonging so that he keeps playing cricket for the country.
Pietersen, who was born in South Africa, talked about the struggles of being an outsider and how Jofra Archer may be suffering from the same fate. The Carribean-born bowler has gotten a lot of attention in the past two years for his skills with the ball but his recent form against South Africa has been a cause of worry for the English camp. Adding to Jofra Archer's dodgy form, the media perception of him has been questionable. Pietersen weighed in on the situation and expressed how Archer's troubles may be stemming from his non-English roots.
Pietersen added that England is supposed to be a place where everyone feels a sense of belonging and people can be comfortable being themselves. The former England batsman also advised against people from the English camp talking about Archer to the media. KP explained how a media perception of someone drives their image forward and even affects the players themselves. Pietersen added that Archer's health and personal biases towards the sport should only be kept between the members of the team.
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On a scarier note for English cricket, Pietersen warned the ECB regarding Archer's freedom of choice. Pietersen mentioned that if things get too much for him, Jofra Archer may quit playing cricket for England altogether and solely focus on franchise cricket. Pietersen wanted Jofra Archer's wishes to be prioritised and he suggested that the bowler should be allowed to make the choices that he wants to.
According to Pietersen, even if Archer does not want to play Test cricket, he can still gift the country precious moments like when he helped his country lift its first Cricket World Cup in July 2019. Archer is currently missing the fourth and final South Africa vs. England Test because of an elbow injury. He will be playing for the Rajasthan Royals in the IPL 2020.