Cricket: Kevin Pietersen defiant after axing over alleged text messages
Kevin Pietersen insists his England career will continue despite being left out of this week’s must-win Lord’s Test.
England’s selectors did not pick Pietersen yesterday afternoon in their 13-man squad for the final Investec Test against South Africa and replaced him with Jonathan Bairstow.
Pietersen had hoped his commitment last night to make himself available again for England in all three formats would ensure he was selected to face his native country in his 89th Test match.
However, the absence of a public assurance from him that there was no “derogatory” content about his own team in text messages he reportedly sent to South Africa players last week was apparently the last straw after a vexed summer of contract wrangles between him and his employers at the England and Wales Cricket Board.
“This entire episode has been demoralising for me and my family,” Pietersen said in a statement. “However, none of this constitutes the end of my career as an international cricketer.”
Pietersen spoke, in an interview released on YouTube on Saturday night, of looking forward to joining England’s bid for a series-levelling victory as they try to salvage their world number one status. Yesterday, he added: “Naturally, I’m hugely disappointed that the ECB have decided not to select me.
“To say I’m gutted is an under-statement.” The 32-year-old played one of his best innings – a man-of-the-match 149 – in the drawn second Test at Headingley, where he also became the quickest batsman in history to top 7,000 runs. But he left Leeds under a cloud after a post-match press conference in which he hinted at dressing-room unrest and refused to give assurances that Lord’s Test would not be his last appearance. “I had an emotional time at Headingley, and the video I released was my way to bring closure to the issues I had at that time,” he said this evening, as he responded to his omission. “I stand by every word I said in that video.
“The fact is I love England, and I love cricket. I wish the team, and Straussy in particular, every success next week.”
It had emerged during a controversial few days – even by Pietersen’s standards – that he was perturbed by a parody Twitter account and the possibility that his team-mates might somehow be associated with the tone, sending up his personality and behaviour.
The account was closed down. But a further revelation, that Pietersen sent texts to opposition players in the thick of a high-profile series, appears to be the one that truly undermined his attempts at reconciliation with ECB management.
Hugh Moris, Managing Director England Cricket, said: “During the past week we have held several discussions with Kevin Pietersen and his advisers.
“Following a constructive meeting, it was agreed that a number of actions needed to be completed to re-engage Kevin within the England dressing room. A fundamental item was to confirm publicly that no derogatory texts had been sent by Kevin to the South African team. “This has not been forthcoming, despite clear timelines being set to allow the selectors to pick the squad.”
Also in a squad showing just one change from Headingley are James Taylor, seamer Graham Onions and spinner Graeme Swann.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 12 C to 20 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: East