Pietersen ‘sad’ as England career ends
LONDON: Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen expressed sadness over the end of his international career on Wednesday and said that he was ‘incredibly overwhelmed’ by the support he had received.
Pietersen’s days as an international cricketer came to an end on Tuesday when the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced that it had ‘unanimously’ decided to move forward without him.
With England due to name their squads for the forthcoming tour of the West Indies and the World Twenty20 on Thursday, the ECB’s new managing director, Paul Downton, elected to make a decisive call on the batsman’s future.
Pietersen posted a picture on Instagram of himself leaving the field after his final Test match against Australia in Sydney during England’s recent 5-0 Ashes defeat.
He wrote: “So sad that this will now be the last time I leave a field in an England shirt.
“I’m incredibly overwhelmed by the support. Thank you so much. I love England and I honestly hope they have every success in the future.”
Now Pietersen appears to have more time to make the vast sums of money in the lucrative Indian Premier League – something his critics have always claimed is his main motivation.
But he insisted on Tuesday: “Playing cricket for my country has been an honour. I will continue to play, but deeply regret that it won’t be for England.”
Pietersen, England’s record scorer across all formats, bows out with a purely Test tally of 8,181 runs in 104 matches, including 23 hundreds, at an average of 47.28.
Pietersen axe splits England pundits
Pietersen’s outspoken personality and on-pitch single-mindedness have made him a polarising figure, with former England players divided in their reactions to the news of his axing.
Former captain Michael Vaughan wrote in the Daily Telegraph that Pietersen’s sacking was ‘preposterous’, but former fast bowler Bob Willis said that he had ‘disrupted every single dressing room he’s been in’.
Nasser Hussain, Vaughan’s immediate predecessor as England captain, had mixed feelings at a decision that left current skipper Alastair Cook without one of his most talented players.
“Some people believe in cutting out the virus and moving on; others just say ‘manage your best players’.”
Pietersen’s exit is the latest chapter in the damaging fall-out from the Australia tour for England, after head coach Andy Flower resigned, spinner Graeme Swann retired, and batsman Jonathan Trott had to leave the squad with a stress-related illness.
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