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Greig likens 'hate him but can't do without him' KP to Boycott

London, Sun, 07 Oct 2012 ANI

London, Oct. 7 (ANI): Former England captain Tony Greig has revealed why South African-born English cricketer Kevin Pietersen reminded him of another extraordinary character in the team, who was talented enough to be treated differently.

There have been difficult characters in England dressing rooms before. Nothing is new, and, Tony Greig remembered it as though it was yesterday.

Greig said that England was playing against West Indies early in 1974, and Boycott was in a truculent mood. His grievances were different in particular from Pietersen's, but exactly the same.

"The first thing to be said is that I'm always in favour of picking the best side you have available," Greig said.

"It's why Pietersen should be playing for England now, it's why I would have had Boycott in any side I was in or captained," Greig said in an interview with the Independent.

Greig said that Boycott's behaviour then, like Pietersen's now, bespoke of a man who refused to grasp team ethos.

In Boycott's case, it was exacerbated by his burning desire to be captain, and his dismissive attitude towards the man who actually had the job, Mike Denness.

"At the beginning of the tour, we were in the nets and the allocated time was just over 12 minutes each," Greig said, adding: "At the end of his time, Boycott wouldn't leave, he just wanted to go on and on and he demanded the bowlers bowl some more at him."

"This was unfair on the other batsmen as well as tiring out the bowlers. We had to do something and it was decided that I would go to see him as vice-captain," Greig said.

" I told him that he could only have the same 12 minutes as everyone else, but he wouldn't have to do his share of the bowling, and at the end of the session, he could go back in and bat as long as he wanted against local net bowlers without completely knackering our own bowlers. It was a case of finding some middle ground, and that's what has been lacking in the Pietersen case," Greig said.

"He is entitled to make the most of his talent and get the rewards for it. But it doesn't look as if he's gone about it the right way. But what were the others doing to allow it to get this far? It shouldn't have come to this," Greig added.

Pietersen is about to start what is described as a process of reintegration with the England team before he can start playing again.

His long-running dispute with the management ended, temporarily at least, after he issued a public apology last week in Sri Lanka. (ANI)

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