On this day: Controversial Kevin Pietersen handed ECB fine

On this day in 2010, Kevin Pietersen was fined by the ECB for comments he made towards them during the Pakistan series.

Sport has rarely been without its controversial players. In football there is Mario Balotelli and there has been Diego Maradona. Mike Tyson and Tiger Woods have also been at the top of their game. It is not often, however, that a cricketer would be mentioned in such a discussion.

Except for Kevin Pietersen, at least. On the pitch he is a complete game-changer, possessing the ability to shift through the gears and score rapidly at any form of the game. Off it, he has the tendency to put his foot in it.

In the summer of 2010, KP was playing at the top of his game. His thrilling performances in the Twenty20 World Cup - which included 47 in the final against Australia and a fantastic 73 off 59 in the group stage against South Africa - had helped guide England to the trophy. This was the Pietersen England fans had come to know and love, but he was about to say something silly.

England's Kevin Pietersen walks off after being given out off the bowling of Australia's Peter Siddle© Getty Images

After the T20 World Cup, England were successful in a Test series over Pakistan, winning 3-1 - in which KP had less of an impact - which was followed by one-day internationals and T20s. The South Africa-born batsman found himself rested by the ECB, who had one eye on the upcoming Ashes series against Australia.

Pietersen was not happy. He just wanted to play as much cricket as he could and in his head he had been denied the chance of scoring more runs by the selectors. So he took to Twitter.

"Done for rest of summer!! Man of the World Cup T20 and dropped from the T20 side too. Its a f**k up!!" he wrote before promptly deleting the tweet. However, it was too late.

Kevin Pietersen of England kisses the urn after England won the Ashes during day five of the 5th Investec Ashes Test match between England and Australia at the Kia Oval on August 25, 2013© Getty Images

The ECB were not happy at what they deemed a "significant breach of the England player conditions of employment". So, on this day in 2010 KP was slapped with an undisclosed fine, which was given to charity. It was a swift action from the ECB and at the time set down some clear rules that players were not to misuse social networking sites.

He was back in the side that recorded an historic 3-1 Ashes win in Australia over the winter and finished as England's fourth-highest scorer with 360 runs in the series. With his apology accepted by the ECB, all had been forgotten and he had got back to doing what he does best.

But KP could not stay out of the headlines - for the wrong reasons - for long. In May 2012 he was again fined by the ECB for taking a swipe at former player Nick Knight, whose commentating credentials he questioned. Then again in August last year, Pietersen was dropped from the side for what were regarded as derogatory texts to the South Africa players regarding his own teammates.

He has always been reinstated to the team, suggesting that the ECB have realised that with KP, you must take the controversy with the class.

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