BBC Sport - Newsnight: Is Kevin Pietersen the Jeremy Clarkson of cricket?

Newsnight debates Kevin Pietersen

After a day of debate, drama and recriminations, the Kevin Pietersen saga even made it on to the Newsnight agenda.

Pietersen was given hope of a recall by incoming England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Colin Graves, but has been told by new director of cricket Andrew Strauss he is not going to be picked because of "massive trust issues".

Presenter, Evan Davis suggested the South African-born batsman could be "the Jeremy Clarkson of cricket - the brilliant individual that doesn't fit in".

BBC Sport's The Analyst Simon Hughes agreed, saying Pietersen's X-factor has been replaced by "an I-factor - it's all about him all the time".

But historian and cricket fan Tom Holland said "transcendental genius" Pietersen had a "Homeric ability to create chaos" and has a "more epic quality" than the controversial former Top Gear presenter, sacked in March over an attack on a Top Gear producer.

He added: "Cricket is the Downton Abbey of our national sports. It has an upper-class area and a lower class. Pietersen is like the character who is occasionally introduced to Downton Abbey who doesn't fit into that class system."

All that led Davis to chuckle: "It is just cricket for goodness sake".

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