BETVICTOR COLUMN: ECB right to overlook Pietersen

Surrey's Kevin Pietersen during his innings of 355 not out during the LV = County Championship match at The Kia Oval, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday May 12, 2015. Kevin Pietersen's retort to his exclusion from the England side came to an end as he ran out of partners in Surrey's LV= County Championship match against Leicestershire. See PA Story CRICKET Surrey. Photo credit should read: PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use without prior written consent of the ECB. Still image use only, no moving images to emulate broadcast. No removing or obscuring of sponsor logos. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Surrey's Kevin Pietersen during his innings of 355 not out during the LV = County Championship match at The Kia Oval, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday May 12, 2015. Kevin Pietersen's retort to his exclusion from the England side came to an end as he ran out of partners in Surrey's LV= County Championship match against Leicestershire. See PA Story CRICKET Surrey. Photo credit should read: PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use without prior written consent of the ECB. Still image use only, no moving images to emulate broadcast. No removing or obscuring of sponsor logos. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.

This time next week we will be looking forward to Adam Lyth’s England debut against New Zealand but Yorkshire start their T20 season with a home game against Derbyshire on Friday and the White Rose County are 7/1 second favourites for a competition they have never won since the competition began in 2003.

T20 NatWest Blast prices from BetVictor:

Notts 6/1

Hampshire 13/2

Yorkshire 7/1

Surrey 8/1

Somerset 8/1

Birmingham Bears 9/1

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Looking further ahead to the Ashes I appear to be the only person in the solar system who agrees with the ECB stance taken over Kevin Pietersen; that ship has sailed and while it might look short-sighted, with the Ashes looming on the horizon, the bottom line is that KP is 35 next month and averaged 34 in the 10 Tests played between England and Australia in 2013/14.

Despite smashing a second rate Leicestershire attack about at the Oval earlier in the week the Pietersen of 2015 is not the same player as the one that scored 158 against the Baggy Greens also at the Oval a decade ago.

York’s May meeting concludes on Friday with the feature race the Group 2 Yorkshire Cup; I was fortunate enough to visit Manor House Stables the home of Michael Owen’s equine star Brown Panther (3.15) who is taken to give weight to his five opponents in a fascinating renewal of this valuable and prestigious event. The selection looked better than ever when scoring in Dubai last month and John Gosden’s Leger runner-up Romsdal looks sure to take them along at a decent clip.

Brown Panther was due to go to stud but, don’t tell him, that plan is likely to be shelved for a further 12 months given he continues to race with such enthusiasm.

If he knew what was in store for him in 12 months’ time he might down tools earlier if you’ll pardon the expression.

Brown Panther is 2/1 at BetVictor and that looks a fair price.

Steven Gerrard will play his last game at Anfield on Saturday when Liverpool entertain Crystal Palace in what is sure to be an emotionally charged atmosphere.

All eyes will be on the Reds’ skipper who is 13/2 to score the opener and 15/8 to find the back of the bet at anytime; having scored against QPR and Chelsea in Liverpool’s last two PL games there will be many who think the 15/8 is too big.

Liverpool are ½ to keep all three points in Gerrard’s last game at Anfield with the Eagles 13/2 and the draw 7/2; Liverpool to win and both teams to score is the 85/40 recommendation and things will never be the same again at Anfield.

The weekend nap is Manchester City 7/10 at Swansea on Sunday; the Swans have had a magnificentseason but City are finishing with a flourish and the return to the Liberty Stadium of Wilfried Bony adds spice to what should be a cracking game.

For all your sporting odds check out BetVictor.com