We need to talk about Kevin. Specifically, we need to talk about all the times Kevin has been persecuted and victimised by the powers that be in English cricket, who exist for the sole purpose of ruining Kevin’s life. Kevin has kept an encyclopaedic list of every grudge and grievance he’s ever experienced, no matter how trivial, so his ghost writer should have little difficulty in stringing them together into a vaguely coherent story. You’ve already heard about the early part of my life in my first autobiography, but in case you didn’t read it I’m just going to carelessly coMine was a family where we backed each other up in whatever we did. It was a fantastic childhood. Mum and Dad supported us in everythingpy and paste some bits. That should do the job. I moved to England in 2000. Soon afterwards I met my wife Jess, an average singer for the shit pop group Liberty X. Sorry if this sounds harsh but Jess knows I will always speak my mind – one of the many reasons she is attracted to me. Craven, agenda-driven journalists call that abrasive, I call it honest. Sadly I’ve fallen out with everyone I’ve met because they can’t handle a bit of honesty, with the exception of Piers Morgan, the most straight-up guy I’ve ever encountered.
Let’s get down to business – slagging off those involved in cricket who aren’t as talented and honest as me, i.e. everyone. We pick up the story in 2008. We’d won the Ashes in 2005 mostly thanks to my brilliance, but we were whitewashed in Australia the following year where poor coaching was to blame. I stupidly accepted the captaincy when Michael Vaughan retired, but I was doomed to fail. Peter Moores, the head coach, was a nightmare and my teammates were horribly out of form. I made several mistakes too. I just can’t think of any right now. Moorsey wore me down. He kept asking me to attend team meetings and training sessions. I obviously refused because I thought they were a waste of time. When Moorsey insisted, I threatened to scream and scream until I was sick. This was very poor man management on his part. In this situation, a good coach would have recognised my talent and made one rule for me and another for my teammates. Sadly, Moorsey refused to indulge all of my requests and it was no surprise when he was sacked shortly afterwards. I issued a ‘back me or sack me’ ultimatum to the ECB before jetting off to South Africa on holiday. They sacked me. But I was delighted to return to my favoured role of undermining the management structure and sniping from a safe distance.
In 2009, Moorsey was replaced by his assistant coach Andy Flower. Flowery was an even worse man manager than Moorsey. One of the enduring curiosities of my career is my bad luck in meeting so many dickheads in positions of authority. Flowery insisted on making senior players like Straussy, Swanny and me practice our fielding and engage in team building exercises. I thought these were stupid, and made no secret of broadcasting this opinion to anyone who would listen. And plenty who wouldn’t. But I really fell out with Flowery when I wanted to bin off playing for England for a while and make a ton of cash work on my game in the IPL. Flowery refused to make an exception for me, and our relationship never really recovered. I’m not one to bear a grudge by any means, but I will despise that man until my dying breath. Anyway, we won the Ashes in 2009 but I found the whole experience boring because I wasn’t man of the series. Some of my teammates played well but I can’t bring myself to say anything nice about them, so will instead focus on how badly the Australian team performed and provide another 173 examples of how Flowery hurt my feelings and refused to sacrifice all other aspects of the team to accommodate my brilliance. Arsehole.
During the Ashes I struggled badly with several injuries, which didn’t seem to bother me when I scored well but became seriously debilitating whenever I’d just top-edged a slog sweep to deep square leg. I sought some medical advice regarding my Achilles tendon. In a typically appalling piece of man management, Flowery made me take a cab to the Lister Hospital rather than carrying me there himself on a giant throne. You wouldn’t treat a dog like that. The doctor took one look at my Achilles and said “This is the worst injury I’ve ever seen. I’ll have to amputate.” I said “No way, I love playing for England. I’ll play through this considerable pain”. That’s just the sort of guy I am. Fortunately, my injuries had a habit of clearing up immediately before I flew out to play in the IPL or the Big Bash. Around this time, Flowery came up to me and said “KP, I know you’re struggling: how can I help?”. I was so disgusted by his attempts to curry favour after he’d been so vile to me in the past that I was obviously left with little choice other than to tell him to fuck off, then drip feed details of the conversation to favoured journalists, who dutifully covered them in the media.
Right, it’s time to talk about some of my teammates. Obviously I hated all of them apart from Trotty, Belly and Rooty, i.e. the ones who wouldn’t dare stand up to me. In order to be pithy and quotable, I’m going to employ a series of ridiculous analogies that are like sun cream in Antarctica. Completely pointless. Anyway, Priory, Broady and Swanny were the worst. They were like the school bullies. I remember one time in Cardiff when they gave poor Monty Panesar a wedgie and stole his lunch money. Another time, Broady didn’t invite me to his birthday party. But the ringleader was definitely Priory. I found him incredibly arrogant, vain and lacking in self-awareness. No wonder we didn’t get on. By this point the bullying in the dressing room meant my morale was like James Caan’s character in The Godfather. Shot to pieces. Inevitably it was this that caused my form to dip rather than, say, any technical deficiencies on my part. Again, Flowery should have stepped in and told the other players’ mums that their sons were being mean to me. But he didn’t, and instead had the nerve to drop me from the team. Yet more evidence that winning test matches was secondary to his pursuit of a poisonous vendetta against me.
We won the World T20 in 2010 then I single-handedly retained the Ashes in Australia the following winter. These victories were all well and good, but I was completely miserable. I spent most of the time crying, in between slagging off Flowery and the ECB whenever I had a spare moment. The dressing room cliques had worn me down. I tried telling them about some classic bantz I enjoyed with Chris Gayle and Yuvraj Singh on the IPL gravy train. They were still funny by the fifth re-telling – I promise you. However, the players weren’t interested. What can you do? The thing is, I’m actually a very insecure person. People are confused because my insecurity manifests itself in me behaving like a belligerent, arrogant prick most of the time. In 2012, I started to hear rumours that some of the lads were mocking me via a parody Twitter account, @KPGenius. Look, I can take a joke but the stuff they were saying – like pretending that I was texting Barack Obama – it was so hurtful. Whenever I’ve had a problem with a teammate, I’ve had the common decency to tell Piers about it and let him slag them off on Twitter on my behalf. This was just so duplicitous. I cried all the water out of my body in front of Flowery. It’s so hard being me.
At around the same time, I got in a bit of trouble for texting my mates in the South African dressing room criticising Straussy – known as ‘Textgate’. After my disgusting treatment at the hands of everyone…[cont. 100 pages], it was only a matter of time before my frustration boiled over. I went off in a huff and for a while it looked as though I might never come back. But then I tired of being out of the limelight, so pretended to reintegrate with the team. I was back to my brilliant best and won us the series in India in the winter of 2012, but Flowery was doing my head in. With the benefit of hindsight it was quite obvious that we were doomed to lose 5-0 in Australia in 2013/4. When things were going badly, I tried to perk everyone up by starting petty arguments with them all day, calling bullshit on every little thing I disagreed with and refusing to participate properly in team events. We got thrashed in Australia but my poor form coincided with a long-standing knee problem flaring up, so blame the physios. Then those idiotic wankers at the ECB sacked me, and none of my pathetic team mates stood up for me. Outrageous. Still, I haven’t given up hope of a recall. I’ll wait by the phone.