JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Kevin Pietersen was axed over Cook concerns: ECB

Date
Kevin Pietersen.

Kevin Pietersen. Photo: Getty Images

London: Kevin Pietersen's England career was brought to an end due to concerns about his support for captain Alastair Cook, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) revealed on Sunday.

Pietersen confirmed that he would no longer play for England last Tuesday after the South Africa-born batsman was left out of the England squads for the tour of the Caribbean and the ICC World Twenty20.

At the time, the ECB would only cite the need for a new "team ethic and philosophy" in the wake of the 5-0 Test series defeat in Australia.

However, following calls for an explanation from players including former England captains Ian Botham and Michael Vaughan, the ECB issued a joint statement with the Professional Cricketers' Association.

"The ECB recognises the significant contribution Kevin has made to England teams over the last decade," the statement read.

"He has played some of the finest innings ever produced by an England batsman. However, the England team needs to rebuild after the whitewash in Australia.

"To do that we must invest in our captain Alastair Cook and we must support him in creating a culture in which we can be confident he will have the full support of all players, with everyone pulling in the same direction and able to trust each other.

"It is for those reasons that we have decided to move on without Kevin Pietersen."

Pietersen, 33, bowed out as England's record scorer across all formats of the game, with 13,797 runs to his name.

However, his strong personality made him a divisive presence in the England changing room.

He fell out with two head coaches in Peter Moores and Andy Flower and was also briefly dropped in 2012 after it emerged that he had sent text messages criticising then England captain Andrew Strauss to South African players.

The ECB went on to address accusations emanating from social media that Pietersen had been forced out of the England squad by figures from within the camp.

"Allegations have been made, some from people outside cricket, which as well as attacking the rationale of the ECB's decision-making, have questioned, without justification, the integrity of the (former) England team director (Flower) and some of England's players," the statement added.

"It is important to stress that Andy Flower, Alastair Cook and (wicketkeeper) Matt Prior, who have all been singled out for uninformed and unwarranted criticism, retain the total confidence and respect of all the other members of the Ashes party.

"These are men who care deeply about the fortunes of the England team and its image, and it is ironic that they were the people who led the reintegration of Kevin Pietersen into the England squad in 2012."

Speaking before the ECB explained its reasons for deciding to jettison Pietersen, Strauss had expressed a belief that trust was the critical issue.

"Without trust, the team environment is stillborn. It is for this reason that Kevin Pietersen's international career had to be brought to an end," Strauss wrote in British newspaper the Sunday Times.

"The media have been searching for a 'smoking gun'. Everyone is looking for disciplinary problems, bust-ups and character clashes, but they are looking for the wrong thing.

"The smoking gun is the total absence of trust."

AFP

35 comments

  • So in other words it is correct that he was "forced out of the England squad by figures from within the camp."

    If only South Africa would force their best batsman out. Preferably before they play australia.

    Commenter
    Heath
    Date and time
    February 10, 2014, 11:24AM
    • And Cook and Prior are not but of the rebuilding process they have been guaranteed spots?

      Commenter
      Greggy
      Date and time
      February 10, 2014, 2:00PM
    • The other Pietersen headline this morning is that he has re-signed his county contract for this year. What will be interesting and a true indication of where England 'is at' is when (for he will and no mistake) starts racking up huge scores week in and week out, how will the selectors not be able to pick him again. Pietersen, in his zone and when focussed on his cricket and not his 'celeb' status is just about as good as there is going around in world cricket.

      Commenter
      TT
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      February 11, 2014, 7:49AM
  • Strange they believe he is so selfish when in the Boxing Day Test just over a month ago he was clearly their best batsman, made 71 & 49 and only went out because he was hitting out at the end of the innings when running out of partners.

    Commenter
    coops90
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    February 10, 2014, 11:38AM
    • He may be their best batsman but it didn't stop them loosing the series.Obviously there's a lot gone on we are not privy too but you'd have to guess he's not a well liked chap.If they want to rebuild they have decided a rotten apple has to go as part of the process. Can't say I'm upset

      Commenter
      Wal
      Date and time
      February 10, 2014, 6:46PM
  • While Pieterson might be England's best batsman (I think even that is up for some debate) he is far from an elite batsman, unlike de Villiers, Amla or Smith. To continue to get picked in the England team despite his behavior he needed to be putting up elite performances, not just slightly better performances than his team mates

    Commenter
    Knackers
    Date and time
    February 10, 2014, 11:54AM
    • His record looks pretty elite to me.

      Commenter
      Darian
      Location
      Docklands
      Date and time
      February 10, 2014, 1:56PM
    • He's the leading runs scorer for his country across all forms of the game... That's Elite.

      Commenter
      Diesel
      Date and time
      February 11, 2014, 10:07AM
  • In these issues timing is everything and as things currently stand England need batsmen who can score quickly in the short form and bat 3/4 in the long form.
    I can't see a more explosive batsmen for England in 20/20 or ODI and in the test scene I can't see anyone who can bat well at position 3 and 4.

    Commenter
    trigga
    Date and time
    February 10, 2014, 12:33PM
    • I get the impression Andrew Strauss is loving this. I think he has enjoyed watching the demise of Kevin Pietersen.

      Commenter
      Andy
      Date and time
      February 10, 2014, 1:00PM

      More comments

      Comments are now closed

      Related Coverage

      Protea expects Henriques to play first Test

      South Africa spinner Robin Peterson is convinced Moises Henriques will fill one of the two vacancies in the Australian batting order for the first Test, as insurance in case one of its seamers breaks down.

      Centurion curator says first Test pitch will be OK

      It's more green than ethically-sourced, home-grown wheatgrass, but Centurion curator Hilbert Smit says Australia need not worry about the pitch for the first Test against South Africa.

      The secret formula behind our success

      A lot of people would be shocked by how much research we do on opposition teams.

      Jason Gillespie backs Australia to 'belt' thin-on-spin Proteas

      Australia backed to become the first team in five years to beat South Africa in a Test series.

      Australian batsman Chris Rogers is feeling his way in South Africa

      Only three of opener's 257 first-class matches have been outside England or Australia.

      Surrey agree to Kevin Pietersen deal

      Controversial ex-England star remains wanted at his county.