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Benj Moorehead: The court of King Kev

July 3rd, 2009 by Benj Moorehead in England, The Ashes


Much has been said about the hierarchical battles going on in the England dressing room, but journalists were left in no doubt of the pecking order during a visit to Edgbaston’s David Heath Suite on Monday.

Ten round tables filled the room (there was no Andrew Strauss), each with a player’s name attached to it. Seven of them were cast either side of the room, allowing for an aisle down the middle for which we could pass through. And where did that aisle take us? To King Kev of course. His table, as central as central can be, had a magisterial view over his knights. Immediately behind him was an npower billboard with a picture of the England balcony celebrating, KP once more the central figure, on his feet pumping his fists.

But that’s only eight tables. Where were the last two? There they were, virtually closed off by the mighty width of King Kev’s throne. You could hardly see them. They were, at best, an afterthought. The unlucky two, to little surprise, were Matt Prior and Alastair Cook.

Stuart Broad, who along with Freddie Flintoff had been assigned the two tables flanking King Kev, wandered around to comfort the forgotten Prior, though he couldn’t help chuckling.

I’d last seen Cook at Lord’s. The ECB publicity man told us he was available and when no one looked bothered Cook was left staring awkwardly around him. He didn’t seem surprised to be at the back of the room on Monday. Surely he should be allowed the day off on these occasions.

When the King finally emerged, a vacuum sucked almost everyone to his table. Paul Collingwood, who sat somewhere in the middle of it all, was left with a token journalist or two on his table. “Keeping busy Paul?” asked KP as he passed the man who was an England captain two weeks ago.

And then Kevin Pietersen proceeded to tell us that “we are certainly not a one-man team”. Come on Kev. Honestly?

Benj Moorehead is editorial assistant of The Wisden Cricketer

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