Tuesday, July 17, 2007

How to fix Kevin Pietersen

Once again, an English cricket player makes life harder for pommies everywhere by uttering a long, sinewy whine.

This time, not even a real Englander emitted the moaning noises. It was Kevin Pietersen. He’s about as English as good food. For interest’s sake, I will display all his considered comments:

"I’m mentally fatigued - really, really tired. It was a long winter of Champions Trophy, then the Ashes, then the World Cup.

"I rattled into the West Indies series but got progressively worse, more and more tired.

"That’s why I have to make the most of these little windows of opportunity for a proper rest.

"So we’re going out of this country, I’m going to turn my mobile off and enjoy waking up knowing I don’t have to play cricket or do a gym session."

After saying this, he went to the South of France.

First he’s saying that he’s “mentally fatigued” then he complains about doing a gym session. I went to a gym once. The only time my mind became tired was worrying about the big bloke laughing at my puny arms. Mercifully, he didn’t; but boy was I fatigued.

Anyway, old county warhorses (and England rejects) Chris Adams and Dominic Cork laid into him, saying something about playing international cricket being a privilege. Not sure exactly what they said, because they’re has-beens, and who listens to them?

Anyway, what I was going to say was this: I work with people in the City who regularly enjoy 12-14 hour days. One person I know once started work at 8am and finished at 6am the next day. They have highly-stressed jobs, in which their bosses, clients and the sheer scope of the deals piles the pressure higher and higher.

They’re fatigued as hell. But, a few coffees and a sneaky sniff of coke later, and they’re away. That’s solution A for KP.

Solution B is this: A while ago I remember the British Army running an experiment on pressure. They organised a war game between two teams. Team 1 was constituted from professional officers; Team 2 was brokers and traders working in the financial markets.

The set-up heaped the pressure on the decision-makers, with tight deadlines and conflicting information creating further stress for the “generals”. Team 2 won hands down.

Not that they were better soldiers, but because they could handle pressure. The knowledge of the professional soldiers was lost in anxiety.

Cricket is a game, and the individuals that it produces are not hardened to what us workers like to call “the real world”. So, what does KP need? A quick bit of training in options, futures and other derivatives and a placement at a merchant bank in between tests, then he’ll be fine.

This will provide him with some techniques with dealing with pressure, and also allow him to over-come “fatigue”. Weirdly enough, I think that KP would quite suit being a City Boy: big car, expensive pink shirts and spending all day talking bollocks and telling everyone how “shit hot” you are.

As you can see, this won’t result in a change of character, but may keep him out of my life for a while.