The England Cricket Team is Missing the X Factor

New contributor Tom Parry-Jones discusses how the England cricket team might be missing a key player.

England are missing the X factor. No, I’m not talking about technical issues at ITV (though I daresay some of us would consider that a godsend). I’m talking about the England cricket team, who, since Kevin Pietersen’s axing earlier this year, appear to be missing a modicum of mercuriality.


As well as being a fantastically talented cricketer, the South Africa-born batsman also had the uncanny ability to divide opinion like few before him. Whether his actions were on the field or off it, Pietersen always found a way to get himself on the back pages – and sometimes even on the front page.

For all his faults – whether they be getting out cheaply with a selfish slog or sending traitorous texts to members of the opposition – KP was a larger-than-life personality in the mould of the outspoken Geoff Boycott and Tony Greig and the enigmatic Andrew Flintoff.

Freddie himself was known for shenanigans of his own – who could forget the sight of him turning up to collect his MBE from Buckingham Palace with the world’s biggest hangover, or the infamous “Fredalo” incident at the 2007 Cricket World Cup? – but he was no KP.


Some might say there’s no place for players like Pietersen in today’s game, going off the reservation and jeopardising their teams’ chances, but others might argue his indiscretions were worth the entertainment factor. Which begs the question, who in the current England side could take up the mantle?


Jos Buttler has already shown he’s got the range of shots to match Pietersen’s on-field flamboyance, but he doesn’t seem like the type to bother with Pietersen-like media antics. Monty Panesar, on the other hand, showed his unpredictability last summer when he urinated from a club balcony onto the heads of two bouncers, and he certainly has KP’s exuberance with ball in hand, though when he comes out to bat, it’s hard to tell if he knows which end to hold.

It seems trite to say it, but maybe there really is only one KP.

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