Infotainment Factory: Pietersen's blunt take on Warner and teammates

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Saturday, 20 April 2019

Pietersen's blunt take on Warner and teammates


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David Warner does not have to be liked to be a part of the Australian cricket team, former England star Kevin Pietersen says.

Warner and Steve Smith has returned from year-long playing bans and will feature for Australia in the World Cup and Ashes campaigns this year.

While Smith's reintegration isn't expected to be difficult, Warner reportedly angered a number of teammates with his actions at the time of the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal.

Pietersen, sacked from the England team in 2014 after a fall-out with captain Alastair Cook, said that Australian cricket had previously enjoyed huge success despite fraught relationships.

"Did [Adam] Gilchrist and [Shane] Warne get on? Did Warney and 'Tugga' [Steve Waugh] get on?" Pietersen said on Sports Sunday.

"You don't need to get on in the dressing room, you don't need to be best mates. When you cross over that white line, somebody's bowling, you take all his catches. When you're the batter, you score runs.

"That's just the way it is, that's just the nature of sport. Not everybody gets on, not everybody gets on in business. Some of my friends ... are incredibly successful businessmen; there are people in organisations that they treat in a different manner.

"David Warner might just need to be treated a little differently to Steve Smith; he [Smith] will probably just blend straight back in."

Pietersen said that personality clashes were given too much airtime in the media and with fans.

"It's not for the public to worry about what's happening in the Australian cricket team," he said.

"It's about Justin Langer winning a World Cup with the Australian cricket team. And how does he do that? Well, he's got to try to find a way to do it.

"It's not about 11 blokes going out for a pizza every night and enjoying each other's company. All Australia cares about ... is the 'W' and the trophies. That's it."

Warner goes cheaply as Sunrisers beaten

Former South African captain Graeme Smith, who recently said that Warner "pissed a lot of people off", agreed that teammates did not need to be friends.

"I don't think it always needs to be happy families, as long as there's that mutual respect," Smith said.

"You want to be able to pick your best 15 [man squad] going into a World Cup, and Steve Smith and David Warner probably cruise into your best 15. Ultimately, it will be Justin Langer's job and whoever's going to be captain [Aaron Finch] to manage that space and make sure everyone's ticking along.

Both Smith and Pietersen said that Australia could not be considered favourites for the World Cup, on English soil, but as defending champions had to be respected. The Aussies have beaten India and Pakistan in their past two one-day series, both away from home.

David Warner does not have to be liked to be a part of the Australian cricket team, former England star Kevin Pietersen says.

Warner and Steve Smith has returned from year-long playing bans and will feature for Australia in the World Cup and Ashes campaigns this year.

While Smith's reintegration isn't expected to be difficult, Warner reportedly angered a number of teammates with his actions at the time of the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal.

Pietersen, sacked from the England team in 2014 after a fall-out with captain Alastair Cook, said that Australian cricket had previously enjoyed huge success despite fraught relationships.

"Did [Adam] Gilchrist and [Shane] Warne get on? Did Warney and 'Tugga' [Steve Waugh] get on?" Pietersen said on Sports Sunday.

"You don't need to get on in the dressing room, you don't need to be best mates. When you cross over that white line, somebody's bowling, you take all his catches. When you're the batter, you score runs.

"That's just the way it is, that's just the nature of sport. Not everybody gets on, not everybody gets on in business. Some of my friends ... are incredibly successful businessmen; there are people in organisations that they treat in a different manner.

"David Warner might just need to be treated a little differently to Steve Smith; he [Smith] will probably just blend straight back in."

Pietersen said that personality clashes were given too much airtime in the media and with fans.

"It's not for the public to worry about what's happening in the Australian cricket team," he said.

"It's about Justin Langer winning a World Cup with the Australian cricket team. And how does he do that? Well, he's got to try to find a way to do it.

"It's not about 11 blokes going out for a pizza every night and enjoying each other's company. All Australia cares about ... is the 'W' and the trophies. That's it."

Warner goes cheaply as Sunrisers beaten

Former South African captain Graeme Smith, who recently said that Warner "pissed a lot of people off", agreed that teammates did not need to be friends.

"I don't think it always needs to be happy families, as long as there's that mutual respect," Smith said.

"You want to be able to pick your best 15 [man squad] going into a World Cup, and Steve Smith and David Warner probably cruise into your best 15. Ultimately, it will be Justin Langer's job and whoever's going to be captain [Aaron Finch] to manage that space and make sure everyone's ticking along.

Both Smith and Pietersen said that Australia could not be considered favourites for the World Cup, on English soil, but as defending champions had to be respected. The Aussies have beaten India and Pakistan in their past two one-day series, both away from home.

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