Pray, what unspeakable wrong has he done?

The ECB has kissed Kevin Pietersen goodbye.-AP

Ted Corbett sympathises with Kevin Pietersen, the superstar who has been turned into the world’s best paid victim.

They tell me — those who claim to know everything — that when Kevin Pietersen asked why he was being cast into outer darkness by the England and Wales Cricket Board there was no answer.

Sadly, that has been the case throughout this trial by implication, this turning a cricket genius into an outlaw, this removal by rumour.

People on the inside — you know, selectors, team-mates, coaches, captains, those who know him best — cannot find a way to describe the Pietersen behaviour that meant he was no longer welcome in the England dressing room.

Particularly at a time when England need every run they can gather, every wicket by fair means or foul and every decision to go their way. How will players, coaches, selectors and officials feel when they read about Pietersen earning up to £3m from his duties with IPL? My guess is that they will not be laughing.

I will spell it out again. Kevin Pietersen is one of the best batsmen in the world, headed the England batting averages on the tour that will never be forgotten in Australia this winter, boasted he would score 10,000 Test runs and already has 8000, with an average of 47.

Yet England think they can let him go.

I suppose there is an explanation. Cricket is thought of as a team game, and the cliché “no player is greater than the team” is often trotted out. In fact, the sheer genius of Pietersen meant he was able to contradict that statement, to win matches by the force of his heavyweight bat and, not surprisingly, urge spectators to come to watch him as he flayed the bowlers round the park.

So what caused him to be given the cricketer’s farewell? Did he boo the Queen? Unlikely. Did he criticise Alastair Cook’s captaincy? Probably. Did he mention, once or twice, that he might be a better captain than Cook? I would not be surprised.

Does that amount to a sackable offence even if there are previous crimes to be taken into account?

It might. Of course all of us who stayed to grumble in windy, flooded England while the cricketers were in Australia don’t know exactly what happened even if we did rise at 2 a.m. to watch and hurried back to bed when we saw it was 200-8 and good old KP, who has saved us so often before, was out for, by his standards, next to nothing. All we knew is that captain Cook had not scored many runs either, the ever reliable Bell had reverted to being the non-striking Bell and poor young Joe Root had found yet another place to bat. Root-less, I’d give it, but it was certainly not his fault and I hope he recovers.

Without the stressed Jonathan Trott, with Matt Prior unable to bring his gloves together or get his bat on to the ball and Graeme Swann gone at the game — by his own estimation — it’s no wonder England lost.

Those lying a-bed in England, as Shakespeare had it, kept thinking: “Just wait until KP gets going.”

That’s because his greatness was such, his run-scoring so devastating and his power so awesome that his right to play as he wanted, to behave as he desired and to speak his mind as forcefully as he wished, was taken for granted by the average fan.

It seems there was no one in the England management structure who could take that attitude and so KP, the poster boy for the team, the self-motivated fitness freak with the best conditioning of all the players, the darling of the sponsors, beloved by Sky TV and a hero to the crowds, had to go.

It was not a shock. There had been hints and, after all, he had what the language of the day calls “previous.”

The day he left Nottinghamshire, their captain threw his clothes out of the dressing room window. He was hardly at Hampshire long enough to cause a great deal of trouble and at Surrey they worshipped the ground he walked on.

His England career has been punctuated with trouble and, for all his skills, his great innings — 23 Test centuries, 8181 runs, average 47.28 — have been riddled with good luck.

I guess the old ’uns in the Lord’s pavilion found his habit of dyeing his hair, his tattoos and his swagger — not to mention his finely tuned 6ft 4in — too much even in the 21st century and I judge it may have upset his coach Andy Flower.

KP’s finest moments came when an outstanding innings was demanded and he stepped up to the mark. The spotlight was his friend and his runs, especially his centuries, turned defeat into triumph for his side.Not a team player? Well, well, that definition does take a lot of justifying.

Remember his greatest effort, at the Oval in 2005 when he arrived at the crease with England in a lot of trouble, when he was dropped by Shane Warne . . . and went on to 158, to ensure a draw and deliver the Ashes?

I have a special regard for the hundred he made at Adelaide, because he found time to talk Paul Collingwood to a double hundred.

So he is not a team player. Well, he was that day and my guess is that Collingwood, as honest, straightforward and plain spoken a guy as you will meet any week, would have demanded justice for Pietersen, if he had been asked.

He might, of course, have found it difficult if no one could tell him exactly what accusation faced KP, the superstar who should never have been turned into the world’s best paid victim.