An open letter from the residents of Canberra to Kevin Pietersen

Dear Kevin

Welcome back to Australia. We hope you enjoy your visit more than last summer. It could not have been fun coming into the Ashes as raging hot favourites only to have your world and dressing room crumble around you as a moustachioed menace reduced your collective stumps to sawdust.

It must have been even more upsetting that as that series effectively finished your test career, it enabled all your former team mates to come out and say they never really liked you anyway. Let’s face it, you are English cricket’s good looking, foreign ex-boyfriend.

When you decided to play in the Big Bash League it must have been tough to pick a team given there are four real teams to choose from (as if the Adelaide, Brisbane, Hobart and Perth teams are options for a man of your… status). At least you should be suited to T20 cricket – the longest you have to bat for is 20 overs and they’ll even give you a microphone and encourage you to express your opinions, no matter how inane. Given on your last visit here you averaged 59 balls per innings you are uniquely suited to T20 in Australian conditions.

It being the political off season (we’ve just finished cleaning up after their mad Monday – cigar stubs and damaged promises left lying around all over the place) we are really excited to be hosting the final at Manuka Oval. Sure our team, the Canberra Bureaucrats, may not have got off the ground (even after bowing to political correctness and scratching our first name proposal, the Canberra Bushfires) but we are anticipating up to 40 of the finest overs in Australian cricket history.

We’ve even been talking to Tony Abbott to see if he can come and pretend to be interested in cricket. Just like he does at the Sydney test and the PM’s XI (we hear he used to bowl long hops).

About the other night

It was, then, with great shock and dismay that we heard you say during the Renegades game the other night that you weren’t sure you wanted to win because you didn’t want to go to Canberra. We thought we might have misheard you the first time – apart from anything else your position on the table does not justify such arrogance, no matter how naturally it comes to you. Although presumptuously assuming the Melbourne team will make the Grand Final seems almost as common as facial hair in Australian sports these days.

Anyway, we were willing to let it ride, assuming that all of your blood had rushed to your bat, until you said it again one over later. Now, while we are not ones to lecture an esteemed comedian such as yourself – who can forget your ‘now Cook has gone I can return to the England one day team’ gag? However, if a joke bombs the first time you won’t get more laughs by repeating it. Although we must congratulate you and your teammates for running with the premise and almost losing the game from the very comfortable position you were in when you made your ‘jokes’. The joke would have lasted for at least two more overs had Rimmington not messed up that run out.

Our concern

But to the point of this epistle. We don’t much care for your joke. Jokes about Canberra being rubbish are one of the hallmarks of a lazy comedian (some fresh material you might like to consider for future jokes include: people from Adelaide are serial killers; Taswegians have two heads as a result of inbreeding; and Queenslanders say ‘ay’ a lot). Far be it from us, of course, to suggest that you are lazy… or a comedian for that matter. It may play ok to an audience of brightly dressed and slack jawed commentators but, for those of us with a bit more culture, it was a fresh air swing.

Culture club

Onto culture, we think you could do with some and Canberra is the perfect place. Museums, art galleries, libraries, war memorials – we’ve got it all (well, we actually only have one of each but you get the point). All conveniently located within a pleasant stroll of Manuka Oval and the fancy hotel you would likely be staying in the unlikely event that the Stars make the final.

Now we understand that there may be only so much culture you can take (in your case we suspect it’s very little) and that you probably also look for a bit of nightlife in a town. It may interest you to know that Manuka is also home to Canberra’s thriving nightlife. With all of the politicians and their staffers out of town, the company’s almost bearable too. Finally to assuage your fears – we understand last time you went to the capital city of a new country they made you a citizen and selected you for their cricket team. We can categorically assure you that will not happen here should you choose to grace us with your presence.

So, in summary, all the best. We won’t at all be cheering for the Thunder and the Scorchers in your next two matches. Should you make it through those and a likely away semi-final in Perth or Adelaide (bet you’d be thrilled to go there), you can expect a warm welcome here in the nation’s capital.

Yours sincerely

The current (and former) residents of Canberra

p.s. we concede we may have misunderstood your joke and that it was in reference to the fact the the English one day team is currently based here (and having a wonderful time too we might add) rather than a slight on Canberra itself. If so (first off apologies) then we’d like to help you learn to read a calendar – a valuable life skill we teach to children in Australia. They’ll leave two weeks before you possibly get here.

About Dave Brown

Upholding the honour of the colony. "Play up Norwoods!"


  1. Luke Reynolds says

    “English cricket’s good looking, foreign ex-boyfriend”. Gold. Great work D.Brown. Lots of laughs in this.

  2. Love your little letter but I’m terribly afraid you’ve really got no idea about KP as we call him. You have been reading the English Press and to a lesser degree the OZ Press They don’t like him at all and so are quite happy to print whatever comes into their heads. KP [ as we call him] is an educated decent young man. Weird sense of humour, I ‘ll grant you but a nice guy. You should meet him .I would love to be there but unfortunately I live in Sydney. Enjoy your cricket!!

  3. Thanks for this Dave. I’ve been out of touch for about a month so didn’t know of this incident. You’ve convinced me to do something I rarely do, which in this case is to read his autobiography (it’s not a genre I normally bother with). He’s long been a fascinating, complex character. Plain arrogance isn’t terribly interesting, but KP has more than this going on. Cheers.

  4. Malcolm Ashwood says

    It was a weird comment but I have enjoyed his commentary and to be fair while he does not lack confidence the commentary with , Ricky Ponting tonight was fascinating and I will definitely get his book thanks , Dave

  5. Is there a World Cup match being played in Canberra? I don’t have access to a fixture.


  6. Tongue was firmly in cheek.

    Three pool matches are being played in Canberra, Glen: Bangladesh v Afghanistan; West Indies v Zimbabwe; and South Africa v Ireland.

  7. Peter Schumacher says

    I found the Ponting Pietersen exchanges to be very interesting.

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