WHEN the clamour gets too much in the newsroom we have an arts writer who will often treat us to a hollered imprecation – albeit in plum-rich, stentorian tones – declaring “SHOTT OPP”.

If only such a plea had been heeded these past few days since the announcement of Kevin Pietersen’s dismissal by the England and Wales Cricket Board as an England player.

It’s been like the tower of bloody Babel in the wake of the ECB actually showing some cojones and jettisoning a man who no longer deserved to wear the three-lioned shirt. Indeed, I would maintain that the South African born mercenary should never been allowed to flourish under the banner of the England team. But more of that later.

First off, you would have thought a well-respected world leader had died given the acreage of coverage, let alone a mere willow-wielder had been sacked.

Devotees of the KP myth and those who have nought to do with such a sporting falsehood, traded arguments, accusations and anecdotes. They were splashed across news print, ladled across radio interviews, and turgidly turned over on television.

Bizarrely, Pietersen was cast in the role of sacrificial lamb by his growing battalion of apologists among which numbered ex-England captain and Yorkshire opener Michael Vaughan.

In a bewildering few days, the undoubtedly excellent former cricket leader turned ballroom dancer was like a Beatles classic – here, there and everywhere – stoutly defending the “maverick” as Vaughan kept referring to his former batting team-mate.

Vaughan recalled how when he was England captain he had no trouble handling Pietersen.

He did concede that the batsman arrived under his care at the outset of his international career when “he had everything to prove” – and there was the rub. By the time Pietersen had journeyed from rookie serial attack-dismantler to an established one, now feted and courted by the dollar-drenched Indian Premier League, then the way to harness mercurial batting to the needs of the team were vastly more problematical.

In present world cricket, where the Test arena and the wild-west knockabout circuits of the IPL, Big Bash League and Caribbean League do not always fit snugly hand in hand, Pietersen is now not just a celebrity, but a stellar-sleb.

And that status does not sit comfortably with someone who performed as poorly as the rest of his England team-mates during the current Ashes tour of Australia in which the tourists were abjectly humiliated.

The first casualty was coach Andy Flower. But as this column reflected a week ago he would only be the first of several casualties if natural justice was to be carried out.

Now it’s Pietersen’s turn and for all his army of admirers, led by the obnoxious Piers Morgan – another avaricious grabber of attention and self-promotion – the batsman cannot gripe too much.

If England want to rebuild in the desire to recapture the number one spot in the world they so briefly held, and not without a considerable contribution from Pietersen, then they cannot be expected to hang on to a presence, who is divisive and who, at the age of 33, does not exactly have Father Time as an ally.

Getting rid now makes sense and Pietersen has been living on borrowed time ever since he went behind his then England captain’s back, Andrew Strauss, to disrespect him to then direct opponents South Africa in a series of traitorous text messages in 2011.

Let him go and “fill his barrow-load” with IPL and/or Big Bash cash. Let him grumble and carp to his sleb-mates as he counts his money.

Pietersen has benefited from England as much, if not more, than England have benefited from him.

The end of the Pietersen era, I would hope, would also end England’s increasing reliance on players not born in England.

The past few years has mirrored the likes of the Republic of Ireland football team in the 1980s and 1990s when if you could spell Guinness then you were almost guaranteed an international cap, even if you were born in deepest sarf London or from the guts and gore of the Gorbals.

I know that would also mean not having the services of a Jonathan Trott, or even the aforementioned Strauss. But come on. It’s a national team that should be open to one nationality.

Cam chord is off key

YOU know something fatuously momentous was going on in sport when that archetypal publicity-whore Mr D Cameron piped up.

Taking the example first set by a previous resident of number ten, the sardonicus-toothed Anthony Blair, Cameron entered the Pietersen debate with as much ministerial authority as he could muster, which amounts to about what England batsmen averaged in Australia – namely little above zip.

Get away with you PM – just try and govern the country. Oh, I forgot, you don’t know too much about that either.