In Depth

Pietersen autobiography is sweetly timed: who will suffer?

Controversial batsman is now beyond the reach of the ECB as he prepares to publish memoir

Former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen releases his autobiography next week and it is fair to assume it "will contain a fair amount of score-settling", says Andy Wilson in The Guardian.

The timing of the publication is as sweet as one of the batsman's trademark drives. His confidentially agreement with his former employers, the England and Wales Cricket Board, expired on Wednesday and Surrey's decision to cancel the player's registration at the end of the season means that he is now beyond the reach of the cricket authorities, who may feel the need to don the body armour before reading the tome.

"The move by Surrey was... pre-empted by fears that the ECB could use his registration with the club as a means to punish him for any content in his book, which will be published next Thursday," explains the Daily Telegraph.

"As a registered county player, Pietersen would have to seek the ECB's permission to play in the Big Bash in Australia this winter and the Indian Premier League. There were concerns that the board could refuse to give consent, in response to revelations in his autobiography."

The paper says that Surrey could re-sign him once the storm has blown over and he has spent the winter on the Twenty20 circuit.

So far Pietersen has declined to say who will be in the firing line when his book comes out, but with the field scattered to all corners the explosive batsman could have any number of targets in his sights.

Guys - even though my confidentiality agreement is over, I'm not going to reveal anything on Twitter. My story is in my book out next wk!

— Kevin Pietersen (@KP24) October 1, 2014

Clues could be contained in his newspaper columns and the Twitter rants of former Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan, who is Pietersen's "most voluble supporter", says Andy Wilson.

Ex-England captain Andrew Strauss and coaches Andy Flower and Peter Moores are bound to be in the line of fire, as is the current national skipper Alistair Cook, who oversaw his expulsion from the dressing room. "Details of the disintegration of their relationship in Australia, and then of Cook's role in the decision to sack Pietersen, that will be especially intriguing," says Wilson.

Matt Prior, James Anderson and Grame Swann are other former team-mates who will be waiting for the book with bated breath, along with establishment figures like Paul Downton and Giles Clark.

"There is little doubting Pietersen’s loathing for the majority of the media," adds Wilson, who predicts that "prominent commentators" like Geoffrey Boycott and Jonathan Agnew could also feel his wrath.

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