Destructive batsman Kevin Pietersen has decided to retire from all forms of international limited overs cricket, which would mean both ODIs and T20s. He will only play international cricket as a Test specialist henceforth. Pietersen said in a statement that, he wished to step aside in order to give the next generation of players a chance to bed in before the 2015 World Cup.
Quite surprisingly, he called it quits just months before the T20 World Cup. Having had performed so well in the IPL and having the impact that he did for the Delhi based franchise, the Englishmen would have considered Pietersen as one their greatest strengths heading into the World Cup. Pietersen wanted to play the T20 World Cup, but the ECB contract states that he must be available for both formats, or neither.
Pietersen said: “After a great deal of thought and deliberation, I am today announcing my retirement from International One Day Cricket. With the intensity of the international schedule and the increasing demands on my body, approaching 32, I think it is the right time to step aside and let the next generation of players come through to gain experience for the ICC World Cup in 2015.
I am immensely proud of my achievements in the One Day game, but still wish to be considered for selection for England in Test cricket.
For the record, were the selection criteria not in place, I would have readily played for England in the upcoming ICC World Twenty20.”
ECB managing director Hugh Morris expressed his dismay over Pietersen’s decision.
“The ECB is disappointed by the timing of Kevin’s decision less than four months before we defend our ICC World Twenty20 title,” he said.
“Kevin is a world-class player and I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his efforts and we look forward to his continued contributions to the Test match side.”
Having made his international debut in 2004, the 31-year-old has played 127 ODIs and 36 international T20s for England. Pietersen has scored 4184 runs at an average of 42 in ODIs and averages 38 in international T20 cricket.